How ‘the Medium is the Message’
The Canadian philosopher of communication theory, Marshal McLuhan, coined the expression ‘the medium is the message’ in the 1960s. He said the media that is used to publish a message attaches a value to the message even before it is read. That’s because different publishing media have different credibility. This can affect the perceived value of the message.
The best way to illustrate this is by example. Say you need to communicate ‘Joe Bloe’s new business venture’.
Imagine the different ways this information will be perceived if you choose to communicate it through any
one of these media outputs:
This is an announcement of Joe’s business that builds awareness of his existence and purpose. That’s nice to know.
This implies an insiders look, real life account of what Joe did to start his business. This is proof that Joe did it and demonstrates his business savvy.
This might be inspirational or instructive. Joe may want to personalise his achievement by showing his face, or he may describe in a practical way so you might be tempted to look him up and use his business services. He is reaching out to potential clients or customers.
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This is a nutshell view that gets to the essential steps that Joe took to get his business where he wanted it so you can see he’s got the goods. This is a credibility builder and says ‘I’m an expert in my field’.
Joe wants a two-way communication with you because he sees you as potentially a future client. You can join his online community or you can give him feedback like ‘unsubscribe’. If the email is unsolicited, it’s value is spam.
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Unless it’s a landing page, this medium tells me I have arrived at Joe’s business and am looking at the front shop (home page). I might be tempted to look inside and see what he’s got to offer.
Joe wants to connect and network with like-minded individuals in the industry. The relationship here is mutual with others, it’s not just to attract future clients but to network, share contacts, ideas, and news.
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© 2013 Matilda Reich – Infodesign Copywriting™