Dance with one that brung ya.
That’s clearly the mindset guiding new media and old media alike as they seek to out-communicate one another over online piracy legislation, known commonly as SOPA.
Consider the contrast in communications styles: New media companies – like Google, Wikipedia, etc – are relying heavily on the web to raise opposition to SOPA. Old media – like Hollywood studios, directors, film companies, etc – are influencing public opinion through more traditional means of advertising.
Visitors to new media companies like Google and Wikipedia were greeted on Wednesday by messages like this:
Likewise, if you did some searching online to learn more about SOPA, you were likely met by an ad like this from Google on its own Adwords network:
Now for the other side of the debate: Old media – working through the coalition group Creative America – relied on old media to fight back. Here’s the ad they ran in The Wall Street Journal’s Thursday edition:
You could also find SOPA supporters running ads on another reliable old media platform – the outdoor billboard:
So far, new media is winning the fight. Members of Congress who previously supported SOPA are quickly withdrawing their support.
How this ends won’t be clear for weeks if not months, but what is clear is the stark contrast between how new media and old media seek to influence public opinion.