Johnny, I'm sorry. Won't you come on home?
I've been yelling and screaming for years - on this blog, Twitter, and in class - about the complete rethinking and reorganization of the traditional media structure, so you can imagine the spit-out-my-coffee moment when I saw "Johnny's" comment on ChrisD's website yesterday.
January 11, 2011 | 3:36 pm
And the wide-eyed Creative Communications students at RRC want to work in this industry? They’re being set up to fail and the instructors are pushing them towards it.
Word of advice to students: Work in the PR industry, not the broadcasting industry. It’s more secure.
(later post) ...the fact that students are out in the field this week at such stations gaining experience is a bit deceiving to them. Their dreams will be crushed when they land their ‘dream job’ in the industry only to be let go in a few years, or months down the road.D'oh!
The comment was in response to yesterday's layoffs at Citytv, which is rotten news for people who work in local media, but not surprising, given the state of the local TV industry ("local" meaning local markets around the world, of course, not just Winnipeg).
That might be why new, social, and mobile media have become the emphasis in Creative Communications across our four majors; on Monday, I had lunch with a former student who just made the leap from traditional journalism to social-media guru for a local organization focused on film and filmmakers, and his experience is becoming more common.
His job is all about new media, but the bedrock skills are PR, ad, J, and media production, which might sound familiar, since they're the four CreComm majors (confession: I'm against "majors" and for a second-year education in "everything." We're talking about it.).
The entire focus of last semester's ad major was putting together a new-media ad campaign for Berns & Black salon - featuring Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and enhanced with old-fashioned publicity and posters.
The ad majors are also writing and designing epubs for the iPad along with graphic designers. Next year, we're looking at app development and content in conjunction with another program at RRC.
As far as I know, we're the only school in Manitoba doing this stuff, which gives our students an expertise that no one else has. That's generally good for employability.
My online response to Johnny:
Kenton Larsen Reply: January 11th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Our students have a choice of four majors; our department and RRC track employment for all grads, including salary range; they’re available to anyone who wants to see them on the college website and at Student Services.
Our emphasis (or maybe I should say mine: I’m not a spokesman for CreComm) has nothing to do with getting an “old-media” job like the kind people dreamed of getting in 1963.
In fact, I go to great measures to argue and emphasize the exact opposite – most recently in yesterday’s Advertising class, where we talked about the entire idea of “scheduled TV shows” being an amusing chestnut of the past and “real reality” online being a far better sell than the “mediated reality” of supposed reality TV shows.
I certainly wouldn’t characterize our students as being “wide-eyed” or easily deceived. I also wouldn’t say that a three-week work placement is setting them up to fail or succeed in the industry – just to give them a little experience to put on their resume when they graduate.
There’s no bait and switch. We discuss “the media industry” with applicants before they enroll, including the new-media industry, so I’d be surprised if anyone felt they’d been deceived or tricked into having their dreams crushed.I would add to that that I believe in continued employability in communications and that we've only scratched the surface of the market for micro transactions, targeted ads, user-generated content, data-driven entertainment, and feedback consolidation.
My general beliefs about where the communication industry is going:
- Sensorial, experiential, and authentic experiences will dominate the industry.
- Advertising will underwrite the content of almost everything, including films, games, and music and will become more targeted and personal (a far cry from its "non-personal" roots).
- Branded platforms will become even more important. Apps are already simple, branded platforms for content - merchandise, ads, and transactions will follow.
- Broadcast TV will drive people to the Web, the reverse of how it works now, and be available on multiple devices all at once, underwritten by ads or subscriptions or both.
- "Gaming" will become more important across the culture and will invade everything, including education. Movies will become 3D interactive games.
- Media production will continue to exist and thrive online.
- TV, Web, radio, music, movies, social media - content and hardware - will compete with each other and we'll buy and use what suits us, depending on WHERE we are.