Update from the field - Digital and social media incredibly important; mainstream media still alive

We do a lot of blogging, blogger relations and social media work for nearly all our clients. We also follow the social media dialog pretty closely, and I was told of a meeting yesterday where a client contact said a consultant working with another department suggested going all digital and avoiding "traditional" media altogether.

That idea is narrow sighted - and wrong. Yes, the communications landscape is changing, segments of traditional media are struggling from a financial standpoint and "digital" media is incredibly important. But we don't think things are as neatly silo'd as some of the more narrowly focused social media advocates would like to believe, and the idea that all traditional media are dead is plain wrong, at least from a traffic driving standpoint.

Here's a fresh example from today. Two of Atomic's consumer finance related clients were covered in a "traditional" broadcast segment on Good Morning America, Mint.com and SimpliFi.net. The piece also ran online on abcNews.com Money in Melody Harmon's Personal Finance section http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MellodyHobson/, which also carried a video clip. A copy of the clip was also posted to YouTube. If experience is any guide, the story will also now be blogged about. So what kind of coverage is this? Broadcast? Online? Video? Blog? It's all of that.

Site traffic at Mint and SimpliFi is spiking. The SimpliFi site even went down for a short bit this morning. This has happened to many of our consumer clients when they are covered by large reach, mainstream media. Though blogs, Twitter and social networks are incredibly important for lots of reasons we all know, we have never once seen a client site go down from blog coverage or other social media dialog. It turns out that outside Silicon Valley, people still watch TV in numbers large enough to challenge server capacity when they see something they're interested in.

It's a bit more work, but really successful PR programs engage all the important influencers for any given market - analysts, pro and amateur bloggers, online media, regular civilians - and yes, print and broadcast media, since many still have huge audiences.

Another interesting note. This story was pitched in April as a broadcast segment, and it ran more than 10 weeks after the producer indicated interest.