In this post, I explore how to choose a medium for your message and the importance of using channels to distribute your message to your audience.
Choosing Your Medium
“Types of media”
Upon googling “types of media”, you will discover that definitions and descriptions of types of media that exist in the world vary significantly from source to source.
Just look at this section that was the second item to show up on my google search:
After reviewing the various types described in these search results, I realized that boxing and organizing types is unnecessary.
Media, after all, is just the plural form of the noun medium which Oxford Languages defines as “an agency or means of doing something.”
The medium is the messageMarshall McCluhan
In other words, you must craft your own form of media to communicate your message.
Crafting Your Own Form of Media
To craft your own form of media, I recommend you examine three elements, the message itself, yourself as the messenger, and your audience as the recipient.
To review these elements ask questions such as:
- In what ways could I share this message?
- How does this message want to be shared?
- What is the broader purpose of this message I am sending?
- How have others previously communicated a message like this? Could they have done it better?
- Are there conventions for messages such as this? Are they ideal?
- How can I make this message uniquely my own?
- If I could do anything to share this message how would I share it?
- What am I capable of doing to communicate this message?
- How can I compromise between my own ability and my ideal for sending this message?
- How does the audience want to receive this message?
- What do I want the audience to do upon receiving this message?
- How is the audience capable of receiving this message?
After asking questions like these (note that you are most certainly not limited to these or required to answer all of these), choose your medium. Then take action to craft it.
What a Channel Is
When I hear the term “channels”, I immediately think of television channels. Although those are most certainly types of channels, the type of channels we are looking at here is broader.
Here, we are going to define channels as paths that we can use to enable our content to reach our audience.
Channels themselves are too media, however, they are different than the form of media described above in that we are going to be using them to direct our audience to our message, whereas previously we were using our medium to direct our message to our audience.
The purpose of channels is reaching our audience so they can connect with our message.
To choose channels, we need to answer the question “what is the best way to get our audience to reach our content?”
Sometimes, the best channel is by talking directly to people and asking them to interact with our content. Other times it is best to simply let the content exist and be found by others.
Channels again come down to the sender, the receiver, and the message. Examining these three elements will allow you to choose the best channel for your content.
Media and Channels
To choose your form of media and your form of channel, you need to examine the sender, the audience, and the message.
In examining these items, you will discover a distinct medium you need to create to embody your message and channels you can use to spread your message to your audience.
Communication is an art form. Practicing and iterating on messaging is the best way to improve.
McCluhan, M. (1964). The medium is the message. https://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/mcluhan.mediummessage.pdf