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This semester my class has revolved around types of new media and how IMC (integrated marketing communications) can use these media to connect with consumers.  But what exactly is new media?  A simple definition is that new media is a general term for all forms of communication that are a result of the use of computer technologies.  This is contrary to old media which is represented by print, magazines and any other communications that are static in their presentation.  The main identifying element of new media is that it has the capability of being interactive.  So what are some examples of new media?  Here’s a few of the more popular, but of course, this list grows almost daily. 

  • Web sites
  • streaming audio and video
  • chat rooms
  • e-mail
  • online communities
  • Web advertising
  • DVD and CD-ROM media
  • virtual reality environments
  • integration of digital data with the telephone, such as Internet telephony
  • digital cameras
  • mobile computing
  • Naturally, all of these new technologies have put a serious crimp in the print business.  I’ve posted before about the demise of the newspaper business and it doesn’t seem like its going to get any better.

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     So of these, which is the most important to those who practice IMC?  The actual question is which of these is of no value to IMC practitioners?  The answer is none.  All of these methods of communication are important and useful to interact and build a relationship with consumers.  As more and more become plugged in and logged on, the importance of staying digitally fresh and up to date becomes apparent. 

    The most valued consumer relationship is one that is interactive.  This means that the consumer knows they can communicate with a business and be heard.  Whether this is through a corporate blog where consumers can post their product opinions or through twittering with representatives of Barack Obama, people want to interact and they want to do it digitally.