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Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset

March 22, 2016


Veteran public relations and marketing professionals Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton provide the roadmap to getting attention in this evolved media landscape.

“In the old days, the only viable way to generate attention for you or your business was to buy it (advertising) or beg for it (traditional public relations). Barbara and Rusty show you a better way—understanding the world of micromedia, where everyone is a publisher.”
—David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR

“An incredibly smart and informative work. If you are aiming to broaden your influence, start here—it will change the way you influence others for years to come!”
—Tom Rath, #1 New York Times bestselling author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Are You Fully Charged?
“Read this book. It holds the precious gift of both context and clarity
in an ever re-interpreted world of media.”
—Charlotte Beers, former Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, and former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs


In the span of a few decades, what we’ve routinely come to know as mass media has undergone a sweeping evolution. Traditional gatekeepers controlling content delivery and news-of-the-day no longer dominate the landscape, and Internet-launched platforms, podcasts, and blogs have become widely adopted by millions—some rivaling traditional media in terms of reach and influence.

Despite these dramatic changes in consumption, accessibility, and media power, many individuals and organizations are still operating as if they remain in a media environment where top-down messaging were the only way to grow support for their ideas, products, and services. Few have the insight, strategy, or skills to take advantage of these new platforms in order create momentum for their messages and build an audience.

In Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset (Berrett-Koehler Publishers; March 7, 2016), veteran public relations and marketing professionals Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton provide the roadmap to getting attention in this evolved media landscape. Exploring a new breed of digital outlets, which Henricks and Shelton call micromedia (blogs, podcasts, webinars, and other content tailored to a very specific following), the book marks the democratization of media and asserts that anyone now has the ability to build an audience if they approach it in the right way. The key? Thinking more like a media executive than a marketer and collectively leveraging the three categories of media—earned, rented, and owned—that matter most today. The authors provide a proven method of channeling media coverage and efforts from each category into the other (emphasizing traffic to owned media), creating a positive feedback loop of maximum awareness and gained acceleration with time (see graph below).

“Put simply, owned media equals leverage in this new environment but utilizing all three kinds of media is a must for a fully integrated strategy,” Henricks and Shelton write. “Each category organically feeds the other, but the key to growing your owned media audience is making sure you create a magnet (a call to action) to intentionally and consistently push audiences from earned and rented to owned space.”

From Mastering the New Media Landscape, readers will learn crucial skills, such as how to:

  • Make yourself discoverable: Your brand is what page one of Google says it is, so be certain that you own that first impression. Further, take a look at how your website functions for visitors. Make sure your social media profiles reflect you and your brand in a way that’s both accurate and enticing. Rented spaces like Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as your own micromedia sites that include your website and your blog, should provide a clear path to contact you, interact with you, or become your customer.
  • Learn from traditional media: In becoming your own media outlet or creating content for any of the micromedia outlets that now exist, be certain your material is accurate and timely. Know your audience, what they consume, and what kind of information they value. Create an informal editorial board to test your ideas before you take to the public space online. Furthermore, do not underestimate the influence and relevance traditional or earned media still enjoys. There is no greater endorsement than from a credible and vetted source of coverage.
  • Create a community to surround your platform: Own your connections by moving your audiences to channels you fully control. Give them a reason to visit, subscribe, and perhaps most importantly, return. From creating password-protected areas of a website for members only to offering free one-on-one sessions, engaging with audiences and making your information useful to them will convert visitors to loyal followers.

Ripe with compelling analogies, best practices that have led to bestselling books, and interviews with respected media experts on topics ranging from how to craft great content to what it takes to be a contributor, Mastering the New Media Landscape provides an understandable and much-needed framework for creating a futureproof media strategy.



Barbara Cave Henricks is president of Cave Henricks Communications, a full service media relations and consulting firm, specializing in book publicity, media strategy for thought leaders, and platform development. Barbara has spearheaded campaigns for some of the biggest names in business today, including Jack Welch, Tom Rath, Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy, Maria Bartiromo, Clay Christensen, and Marcus Buckingham. A former journalist at NBC, Henricks has represented over 40 bestsellers during her publishing career.

Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of PR and marketing at the age of 23. Today, as CEO of Shelton Interactive, he leads one of the country’s fastest-growing digital marketing and PR agencies. Founded in 2010, Shelton Interactive features a unique and forward-thinking communications model that integrates PR, social media, graphic design, website development, and SEO—services that are normally handled by multiple agencies—under one roof. The company has launched more than 30 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.

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