Nikolai Volkoff for State Delegate - And Why MSM Matters More

I am a big supporter for maintream media. Yep, I love MSM. It serves a purpose, and stories that appear in local newspapers, on media Websites, on local TV news ... are not going to be out there on blogs, because bloggers do not necessarily care about certain issues.

One example I can think of is the recent rate hikes by PG&E. I read the SF Examiner, SF Chronicle, and SJ Mercury News every day ... because I am in PR and I work in the Valley. It only makes sense if you are in media to actually read media. They all had stories about the rate hikes - actually, each had more than just one story on the subject - so it should have been no surprise to anyone that lives in the City that the new bills were going to be a little bit of a shock. It's reasons like this that while the mainstream media is going to be hurt, nothing can take away from the act of turning those pages, and seeing those stories that you might not catch online - and definitely not on a blog - and might miss important news.

Well, so I caught another piece of fun news - the launch of Nikolai Volkoff into politics. Now, if you do not know who Volkoff is, think WWE wrestling and 1980's villain.

So, he has launched his career, and if I had not caught the story on Fox News, I would not likely have heard about it.

And the interesting part?

He said he will campaign "mostly" on the Internet, but left open the possibility of wrestling at campaign events. Such a tactic was not met with enthusiasm from his opponents.

Now, that's just fun and he already has a MySpace page set-up for his campaign. Is he qualified for office? I do not know, but at least he has been working for the city of Balitmore as a code enforcer, so is familiar with some of the rules and laws of the city. And, is not running for office and helping make the USA a better place the dream of every immigrant? (Well, that's how it was always spun to us as kids).

But, the point is that Volkoff would not be getting as much recognition if it were not for mainstream news. The MSM has a valid part to play in our world, and the PR people, PR bloggers, Web 2.0 executives and bloggers who try to discount the MSM as unneeded are under the impression of what I like to call "Bay Area blinders" - they have bought the myth that only blogs matter, and that they can ignore mainstream media.

They can - but only to their own peril.



  1. I agree that MSM can't be ignored. But I don't think this is in danger of happening in most places. I am a public relations student at the University of Georgia. I am in a May-mester class right now so each class covers what would be covered in a week in regular semester classes. My class spent about 1 and a half days focusing on social media and 8 and a half on MSM and mangement styles. My professor realizes that social media is become more improtant so she wanted to make sure we understood it, but she focused on main stream. Some circles may be more drawn to social media, but I agree that MSM is still the most effective. However public relations must embrace any form of media to be effective.

  2. I have a feeling your UGA prof pointed you guys to my blog. Just a guess ;)

    I always hated summer semester - too damned early and too damned hot - but it is the points that you hope get across that sometimes are missed.

    Your profesor is right and wrong. MSM is still very important, but you need a good balance (and then youare more marketable when you look for a job).

    Anyone can pick up newspapers, magazines, watch TV news and listen to radio news. But, the blogosphere is a little different, and to work in it is a totally new monster.

    If you can work in blogs, the mainstream media pitches turn out better because they are more fine-tuned and get to the point. That's what we need.

    That, plus people that can write and are not phone-phobic.

    Have fun at UGA!

  3. Hi! I am also a PR student at UGA and was completely foreign to the whole blogging thing before my class recently had a lecture on it. We learned that in corporate blogs, executives at large corporations are unsure how to deal with blogging and that the majority are not convinced of blogs' credibility for communication or branding purposes. Despite the many PR uses in weblogs, do you think/experience that blogging will become a major resource for information and media now or in the future?

  4. Okay, I think I am going to have to have the UGA instructor email me, to see if you are supposed to be fishing for answers, or if you are supposed to find answers. ;)

    Blogging will become a major resource for information and media, and is such a venue already. First, you have to not think of it as blogging, but word-of-mouth marketing, or viral marketing. And, since consumer companies already have embraced those forms of marketing and outreach, blogging (and podcasting) is a natural extension.

    And, since technology firms are always up to embrace new technology - like RSS feeds - it is easy for them to find new ways to communicate with the media and the public.

  5. Professor Jeremy,
    Again, you make sound points in your PR 401 class. I hope your students were taking notes. I know I am.

    For those who spend too much time in the blogosphere, it's easy to lose touch with reality.

    Yes, there is plenty of life in the mainstream media, as well as niche or trade media as well as local media and other media-spheres out there.

    There will ALWAYS be a need for and place for traditional media.

  6. Okay, that would be me. The students have an assignment to post at least three comments on PR blogs by tomorrow.

    However, they could pick any blog and some are picking yours because they're interested in what you're saying, not because I assigned them to you.

    I hope they aren't bugging you!

  7. It's foolish to ignore either MSM or blogs. You're correct that there is content in MSM that simply is not covered in the blogosphere and often not even tracked online. At one point, I had given up on print newspapers, but I realized I was missing quite a bit of content and went back. Of course, now I read both print and online versions along with blogs and other tracking systems.

    Love that he has a myspace.

  8. OK, I guess I am really not an original here as I also am in Dr. Russell's maymester class at UGA, but unlike some of my class mates I have been into blogging for some time (thanks Prof. Hollander!!) As for your blog I enjoy your sense of humor and wit, perfect for the slightly cynical older college student working toward that great lucrative PR pot of gold at the end of the rainbow ie. graduation.
    I agree that MSM is very important to the future of PR professionals,primarily because as we discussed in class today, you won't always find out about the latest "crisis rumors" from blogs. Sometimes the best sources for your "public's" opinion is in fact the local news/editorial pages in your community. (Personally I love the movie MIB where Tommmy Lee Jones explains to a naive Will Smith that the best place to find out about aliens are the local tabloids!)MSM is here to stay and although I firmly beleieve that blogs serve a vital purpose and are a useful tool, I agree with my teacher in that the Mainstream Media is still the best and most effective (if not always entirely accurate) source of information for the budding PR proffessional.As our world is becoming increasingly "wired" the new PR must be able to achieve a delicate balance between the bloggers and the "real" journalists.

  9. I'm not in Professor Russell's class, but if it means I could have the rest of the summer off after posting 3 comments in blogs, then sign me up!!!!

    But really, to my point - please tell me the Iron Shiek is coming back to be his running mate???

  10. First off: to anyone still in school, my heart goes out to you.

    Second, this is about as interesting as Rubel dubbing the Mavs "the blogosphere's team". Fascinating stuff.

    Any political candidate who would consider wrestling an opposing candidate gets my vote.

  11. Mike, thanks for the compliment. The real point is what you said - it's easy to get lost in the blogosphere, and forget about the middle of the country that still cares about the mainstream media.

    Karen - no problem. It just made me laugh to see comments come from a new school. I got UGA, UTA and Auburn. I need some northern schools now!

    Jen - you are right. I only wrote about the papers I read in the paper form. Online, I read the WSJ, NYPost and NYT, and read TechMeme for aggregated tech news (and WeSmirch for guilty pleasures). Every diet needs to be well-balanced.

    Kristina - thanks for the compliment, and glad that you have been able to test out the blogosphere. It's a valuable tool for students - just to learn how to monitor, how to work your way through blogs - and schools that ignore blogs are just as bad as PR people that ignore mainstream media. :) You got it, though - it's all about balance.

    Pikpr - not sure about the Sheikh, sorry.

  12. Chris, not sure where you are going with that one.

    This is more interesting than the Mav's post because I am not sucking up to anyone, nor making asinine comments. I am pointing out the value of mainstream media, and how it plays an important part in many people's lives still. It should not be blog, blog, blog because you will miss too much news, news, news.

    As for students, you are in some of the best years of your lives. Enjoy it while you can.

  13. Jeremy, you were one of my first comments on my blog. I don't think I ever said thanks. So, thanks.

    I don't think Rubel would disagree with you on your point. Blogs are great, but MSM is a wee bit more prominent and important. Not many people would argue that.

    I suck up to Steve all the time. Is that a bad thing? Probably, but I'm not afraid to admit it. I didn't see his post as sucking up though, but I guess you saw it differently.

    As for students, listen to Jeremy. Stay as long as your parents can afford to.