The Pace of Change in Media

September 26, 2014

Admittedly our industry is probably one of the more exciting and dynamic industries to have a career in. I’m possibly being biased here but when people ask that typical conversation starter question “what do you do?” and I respond with “advertising” I’m instantly met with “oh cool”, “wow” or “is it like Mad Men?”
I’m not exactly a veteran of the industry but something that I’ve noticed is the pace of change in our industry; it’s phenomenal. In the last few years it can‘t be denied the leaps and bounds that the industry has come in terms of offering solutions for our clients communication needs. I often think about how people who have been in this industry a somewhat more substantial amount of time than me, must think regarding the rate of change. Perhaps in the 1980’s and 1990’s seismic changes occurred every couple of years with the introduction of a new radio station, for example Radio Ireland (now Today FM) being launched to rival RTE radio on a national front. Now it’s every few weeks/months that we are receiving updates and the main attributor to this is Digital.

Since I joined the wonderful world of media in 2011 the changes that I’ve witnessed are dramatic. VOD didn’t appear on our plans, Search budgets were pretty modest, a Facebook campaign meant garnering “likes” and I don’t think Twitter even featured! Now however we are regularly developing AV (audio visual) strategies in order to capture all potential viewers and building in the second and third screen. This incorporates TV, VOD, Mobile, Cinema & more. Another example of the fast pace of change we’re experiencing is the people. A few years ago if someone said that they work in social most people probably would have cocked their head to the side and asked “do you like sit on Facebook all day?!”

Online versus traditional

Needless to say digital developments have even changed how we plan the more ‘traditional’ forms of media. For example; when we’re planning radio campaigns we take into consideration the social offering of radio stations as well as the fact that we can now listen to radio online. Planning Outdoor? Dpods and interactive formats appear on plans more often than not. It’s only a matter of time before the digital OOH portfolio expands even further. Can you imagine a Dublin version of Time’s square? If we’re planning press we also consider that there are online offerings as well as iMags and Mobile options that can be included.

Some other changes that that I see having an impact on our industry and my role is data. Whether it’s our own, industry data, client’s data, bespoke, this is a whole new area for our industry that offers so much rich and quality information. There’s a whole new level of insights that data can offer that agencies are now recruiting data specialists and upskilling employees to interpret the masses of information that was once upon a time untapped and not particularly obvious to us. Data visualisation is a rather new but incredibly helpful tool for us all as well. It enables us to bring our strategies and innovative thoughts to life in a creative format and thus enrich our output for clients. Being media specialists it’s important that we all stay up to date with these developments so that we can bring the best to our clients. Data and all things digital is not something that you can just dip your toe into every now and again.



I’ve started sitting in on social meetings in the last few months to get a first-hand insight into how “these social campaigns” work and everything that goes into them. Once upon a time it was just about setting up a Facebook and Twitter account and voila, you’re “doing social”. Now, we have planning, briefing and review sessions, people are hired specifically for these roles, there are specialist agencies whose job it is to run social media campaigns (“do you like sit on Facebook all day?”) Companies are now hiring Chief Social Officer’s which in our industry is a welcome addition to any agency.

Digital is addictive, as a colleague simply put it today “it’s where we work, rest and play”. We’re all using it and we use it for almost everything. But we should also be aware how it has affected the development of more traditional forms of media; even cinema has been digitised with the digital transfer.

Given the rapid pace of change at the moment it’s easy to get lost in thought wondering where we’ll be in ten years; will it be like that movie Minority Report with retina identification? Will technology have advanced so much that all other forms of media will have disappeared into the background? I love hearing the “back in the day” stories from some of my colleagues and how different it was in many aspects. Hopefully in 10 – 15 years’ time someone in my position now will ask me “what was it like in your day?” Answer; “things changed a lot!”

– Rachel


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