Why the Web is the Rodney Dangerfield of Media

    June 6, 2006

According to a new study by the Online Publisher’s Association 17% of all time spent with media takes place online.

Meanwhile the online marketing spend accounts for a scant 8% of ad budgets. The Web, it seems, is the Rodney Dangerfield of media. It doesn’t get the same respect from marketers as it does from consumers. The same can be said for PR pros. What percentage of all programs put their emphasis on the Web? Very few, but that’s changing.

So why is the Web the Rodney Dangerfield of media? Part of the reason is, well, offline media still kicks butt. It’s awesome for building brands. But another reason lies in our egos. Everyone likes to see their brands on TV or in print. It validates the products we make and market when Mom sees it in the paper. The Web doesn’t offer the same kind of tangibility that other media offers. “I saw it on TV” holds more weight than “I read about it online.”

As generation that grew up with the Web their whole lives hits the 18-34 demo I bet this will change. But not until then.

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Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.