A summary from an interesting survey by Cisionand George Washington University passed through my email recently. Whenonline research methodologies were being widely marketed, these solutions werepositioned to researchers as cheaper and faster, shaving a few dollars and afew days off the process. Now, more than ever, the internet itself is aresearch study, waiting for analysis.

Social media alone is fascinating. Feedback is real-time.Here at Airfoil, we constantly monitor the 24-hour news cycle and investigatenew ways to use this to supplement our strategic approach to learning about thetarget audience and executing in more relevant ways. One of the facts in thestory that stood out to me is: “The survey data suggest that journalistsreporting and producing stories for Web sites found social media most important(69 percent), whereas traditional newspaper and magazine journalists foundsocial media less important (48 percent).” Forty-eight percent is still a highnumber, it’s almost half of respondents, but why the gap?

When it comes to examining the target audience and theirmotivations and behaviors, the place where we source the learning is asimportant as the learning itself. Preferring one media over another shouldn’tdiscount the intel derived from a contributor. Through branding, products andservices have become extremely personal to each of us. For that matter, so isnews. How we choose to express our opinions, whether through a letter to theeditor, a blog post, a phone conversation or a Tweet, doesn’t make thesentiment expressed any less passionate or relevant. Choosing to connect withothers through one media doesn’t make me that different from others expressingthe same sentiment using another. I love watching a local TV news report aboutan online story. It shows how truly connected, passionate and relevant we allreally are.

— Jennifer Becker