Old media has new media fire power


During 2018 it’s likely that US bank Citi will reach a new global benchmark – the first western finance company to reach 1 million followers on Twitter. But while the firm is outstripping its competitors, it lags one business sector that appears to be thriving in the world of new media – the old media.

Take the venerable New York Times – well past the 40 million mark for Twitter followers. That’s 100 times the following of JP Morgan. The Economist has more than 22 million followers. The Financial Times is followed by 9 million across two accounts and business broadcaster CNBC has more than 3 million.

While it’s no shock that media outlets have more firepower than banks on twitter, the scale of difference is surprising. While we often read that digital media is killing journalism, the truth is that many traditional media groups have grown their global power base – certainly the case for The Guardian and Daily Mail.

It means that when traditional media post stories out about financial firms, they have a reach that the firms themselves cannot come close to competing with. Not only that but reporters use their own networks and other twitter users to build out stories and find new sources to speak to, especially in big stories.

Long term, firms will no doubt invest heavily into building their own reach. But in the short term the power of old media is building, not fading, so it’s more important then ever to:

  1. Influence how your organisation is reported on by building relationships with key publications.
  2. Keep an eye on what individual reporters are posting on their social media feeds
  3. Communicate clear, concise messages that can fit into a post.