PR is one way marketers can break through
Television and music still rule when it comes to how young people engage with media. While computer usage has increased substantially for kids over the past ten years, it still ranks third in how much time teens spend with media.
A study released a few weeks ago by the Kaiser Family Foundation and reported online in a Center for Media Research Brief shows that kids ages 8 - 18 manage to cram 10-3/4 hours of media use into 7-1/2 hours every day. Multi-tasking with different media platforms, such as online chats or video gaming while texting or listening to music on the radio or iPod, accounts for the extra 3 hours. It also, as I'll explain later, creates some opportunities for public relations to fill a gap.
TV continues to be the leading media use by kids, at an average of 4-1/2 hours daily last year, up from 3-3/4 hours ten years ago. Music online, via radio or stored on iPods and other mp3 players and smartphones, remains at #2 with 2-1/2 hours a day -- up 3/4 of an hour from 1999.
Kids' computer use jumped to #3, at 1-1/2 hours a day. Ten years ago it was fourth, behind print, at 27 minutes a day. (And much of those 27 minutes ten years ago was probably spent just trying to sign-in online using dial-up.)
Games, at 1-1/4 hours, ranked #4 last year.
The survey shows how young people today are multi-tasking with media, which begs the question of how much attention do they really give to what they're doing? My guess is the tasks that demand closer attention, like active games, cause diminished attention to the other things being multi-tasked. That means that "traditional" forms of advertising like spots on radio and TV or banners and even pop-ups online are being missed, ignored or glossed over.
This makes a case for marketing messages that are a legitimate part of the content that's being consumed. Public relations and well-done product placement, as well as appropriate and logical sponsorships might, in my opinion, stand a better chance of breaking through the media clutter that young people are being bombarded with.For marketers and public relations pros, it's both a challenge and an opportunity.