This is a question that I get asked all the time when I meet colleagues in Europe, the UK and the US. They want to know if they speak and write in English or if they write about companies, or they attend meetings and briefings and so on and on it goes. Sometimes I wonder if these well meaning extremely capable professionals think we are on a different planet!?
My answer is and will always be the same. Journalists all over the world are the same. They are interested in WIIFM. What’s In It For Me?
If we as communications professionals can fulfill this for them be it Japan, China, India, the UK or the US, they will be interested. Then it is up to us to sell that story with all the vigour and verve that we can muster to ensure that our story outdoes all other pitches that land on their tables.
Very senior journalists/editor friends across the region have told me that with the advances in technology, changes in the media scene (globally) and some extremely big names dropping off the face of the earth in the publishing industry, the industry is currently facing a life changing threat that has until now not been fully understood. Plummeting revenues, alternative information channels and ultimately changing consumer tastes are re-shaping how we consume news, information and content. Consumers today want the power to choose how they consume the news, information. Time plays a big part but also detail and almost mind numbing microscopic attention on information in the form of up to the second updates (cue Twitter) is in vogue.
Where will this lead to, most people cannot say. But some of my more enlightened colleagues claim that this will surely end in people not building relationships anymore.
I cannot believe that and will not believe that. Friends and acquaintances in the publishing industry are still interested in catching up for a drink, speaking on the phone and chatting about football. They are still human beings who are as susceptible to branding as the next man or woman. I say we keep delivering what is relevant for them – WIIFM and keep working to build relationships that will last. After all Asia is known for its relationships – Guanxi in Chinese.