Here's What "Sells" In The Media in 2012

If there’s one thing you need to know about traditional media in 2012 it’s this – politics sells, both literally and figuratively.

First – the literal part. Traditional media is getting a big boost as candidate ads start taking over paid media slots. This week, reports campaigns will infuse $2 billion in advertising to traditional media outlets between January and November. One company, CBS, expects to receive 9-10 percent of that, as it operates many news radio stations in major markets. This should be be a waterfall of revenue for traditional media outlets after several dry years in a row.

Then – the figurative part. The 2012 election is the biggest story of the year. We can safely make that claim only six weeks into the year. We saw it first-hand in Detroit yesterday where dozens of news outlets from around the the world sent journalists to a Detroit Economic Club (our client) meeting to hear Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum deliver a speech on his economic plan. The snapshot I included with this blog entry is just of the cameras from news organizations that were set up more than 30 minutes before the speech.

In an era when more news is being reported using fewer journalists, news organizations of all sizes are throwing real resources at covering campaigns. It’s all designed to meet what consumer want. News of this campaign generates clicks, eyeballs, ears and probably moves some newspaper copies too.

While many across the country bemoan the partisan and philosophical divides across the US, traditional media doesn’t mind. “Bring on the nastiness, bring on the fights” you may hear in the boardrooms of the corporate media owners. This year, it’s all good for business, all driven by consumer demand.