Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Media Managers

Had I made this post at the beginning of the semester it would have had a different tone, for multiple reasons, but the main being the information I learned through my research. My original topic for my research paper was something of extreme importance to me, media management. I myself was a manager at a traditional television station. However, when I was in that roll (it was prior to me returning to school for my undergrad degree) there was no Facebook, or Twitter or any other social media tool. There was the Internet, obviously, but there wasn't a great emphasis in making it interactive. We had a website, but when I first started it was merely to say that we had a website, and to use it for informational 2D information. 

We did use interactive media, but it was to interact with the "viewer" instead of us interacting with them. How we did this was, we partnered with a radio station that had the same demographic as our programming. We would then tape the on air personality for the radio station, asking our viewers to watch a certain show that evening, look for a special word or phrase, and then call in to their show the next morning and repeat that word or phrase for a prize. It was amazing the power this technique had. We used this technique for quite a while, while also slowly adopting a web technique. We would put a phrase or word on the screen (pre-edited of course) and then ask the viewer to log onto our website, click on the corresponding logo and type in that phrase or word. The entire thing was interactive, yes, but again, this was before the social media tools. I remember when they first came out, media managers and employees in general couldn't figure out exactly how that would fit into their business model. No one could figure out a) how to engage the public, and b) how to profit from it. 

It is through my research this semester that I am realizing that they are slowly starting to figure it out. Data and research are also starting to emerge, and a clearer picture is starting to form about what the future of the media organizations will look like. Not so much from a production viewpoint, but from a mangers viewpoint, and that makes me happy. It is here where I will place my Abstract.

Traditional organizational theory deals with efficiency in the workplace, involving both human resources and traditional organizational behavior. For the most part, this is a sustainable model. For most industries this model can sustain as long as the industry itself. But according both academic and industry articles on media, not only is the media content starting to change, so is the way it is managed, thus introducing a new model for media management.  A new model for managers who still value the traditional world of media, but also want to manage from a point of knowledge and empathy, is feasible.
            What has been heard from those that actually produce new media is that the current managers hire people like themselves to make the media, and they literally stay out of the process. Meaning, the manager merely dictates what he/she wants done and isn’t involved in the process for the shear reason that they don’t know what they are doing. And from what is presented as research, are also unwilling to learn. This is a dangerous model, and one that needs to be explored further before it comes to fruition.

I look forward to taking my newly acquired information and applying it to media organizations...

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