Let’s Stop Focusing on the Medium Rather than the Message

header paperonlineThis is not a political post, but it does involve an issue that has come to the forefront due to the communication preferences of the current administration. My comments apply to communication beyond government.

We need to stop qualifying statements based on the channel, or medium, used to share the message. When the president makes a statement on Twitter, he is making a statement. The fact that it was done on Twitter is secondary to the content of what he has said.

The emphasis on “the president tweeted” is a disservice, as if a tweet is any less of a statement than a comment on a television or radio news program or a quote in the newspaper. A comment made on social media is no less of a statement than information shared via any other channel, online or offline.

Statements can and will be made via social media. Whether they are made by government officials or public or private entities, these statements carry the same weight as those communicated via any other means.

This is the environment in which we operate. We do ourselves and our clients a disservice if we act as if saying something on social media is somehow not as real as saying it somewhere else. It’s not.

It is important to focus on the message and not the medium that was used to communicate that message. To do otherwise is to improperly diminish the understanding of the many channels available and their equal standing as communication vehicles.