Traditional Media and Fax Machines


July 31, 2012

New Media vs. Traditional Media

My desk at work is right next to the fax machine, and lucky for me, we don’t send that many faxes.  I say lucky for me because the shrill, ear-piercing, sporadic dial tones, known as the fax song, don’t make my Top 10 Tunes list.  In fact, I find the fax machine to be on the same level as pagers—dated and antiquated.  I have seen the light and there is a better way, a much better way.  It’s called the internet.

As much as I love having my ears bleed from the high notes that only the fax can hit, I really enjoy the seamless (and quiet) exchange of information that happens online.  It’s faster, smarter, and easier—like new media.  While many continue to hold steadfast to all that is traditional media, they fail to see that new media will only enhance what they’re already putting out there.  It’s kind of like new media is a face-lift for traditional media, but not the creepy, drastic, Joan Rivers kind.

An example?  All right.  Whether you get your news from the Old Gray Lady herself, or you’re like me and have the NYT app on your phone that updates in real-time, you’re still reading the same story.  The message is exactly the same, no matter the avenue.  Yet, the problem is that if you’re still taking Old Gray Lady Avenue, your street is looking a little deserted.  There are potholes, faded lines, and incorrect street signs, while the NYT Online Express is newly paved, safe, and current.  The old route is becoming less and less traveled, and if you’re investing your entire media budget into an untraveled road, well, some roadblocks and major closures are soon to follow.

New media will not only allow you to share and entertain—just like traditional media does, but it will also allow you to engage in conversation and truly relate to your audience.  It’s like being your company’s own personal toll keeper on the new media expressway.  You get a chance to interact with every single person that comes through your gate; you hear their compliments, concerns, and complaints firsthand, and you have the opportunity to respond right then and there.  You’re also able to take that feedback back to the boss to improve and cater to what your customers need and want.   Not to mention you’re able to accurately track traffic instead of having some guy stand at an intersection with a clicker and hope for a good estimate.

I’m not saying to completely abandon your old route.  It’s familiar, you’ve driven it a thousand times, and you know when to expect bumps along the way. I get it.  However, the party might be over by the time you get there if that’s the only route you ever take.  A combined approach of new media and traditional advertising is unstoppable and virtually unbeatable.  So air your TV commercials, broadcast your radio messages, and print your ads, but just be sure to drive your campaign home by adding a new media strategy along with it.

You can keep the fax machine.  I’ll allow it, but don’t buy your entire office 15 more fax machines when you could invest that money into new, more efficient, more effective technology.  If you do buy some more fax machines and refuse to integrate new media into your company’s marketing plan, go ahead and get me some ear plugs while you’re at it, because I definitely don’t want to hear it.