The Hybrid Consumer

Let’s take our PR and marketing hats off for a moment and talk consumer to consumer about the news and information we consume each day.  I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my daily regimen.

I wake up nice and early during the week.  I immediately grab my blackberry (soon to be a Droid) to check my email.  I log onto to my computer to access my headlines delivered to my email inbox, which in include NYT, InformationWeek, PR Week, PRSA Issues & Trends, Daily Bulldog, PRNewser, PR Daily, etc.  A quick check of my RSS feeds tells me what I’ll be viewing over coffee, later in the a.m.

Getting ready for work, I flip between channels including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN and Fox & Friends.  My morning ride to work is over an hour (on the way home too) so I’m hooked on National Public Radio.  As my day continues, I find myself online where I scour many different blogs and news sites depending on my projects.  I also look forward to perusing the magazines on my desk (which are always in a neat little pile to the far right).  In the pile sits Entrepreneur, Wired, PRSA Tactics, Adweek and CFO magazine.

The weekend has a similar routine, with the exception of reading the weekend paper over coffee with my husband, who also looks forward to holding a newspaper in his hands.  My routine continues during the day with TV, as I get ready for Sat. & Sun. festivities, I’ll put NPR when I go to the supermarket and I have my daily checks of email news subscriptions and RSS feeds.

I look forward and rely on this routine.  Here’s why I’m a creature of habit.  On Sunday, July 4th, the Asbury Park Press was not delivered to our house!  My husband was annoyed; the universe did not feel aligned.  We were both upset and sat on our patio sipping coffee and eating breakfast with out the newspaper.  What I find the most interesting is that this situation didn’t make us grab our laptops (and we have wireless outside) for the morning news.  We didn’t run inside and log on to our computers.  Instead, we were disappointed, but continued our routine by turning on the TV when we were getting ready for the day.

What I’ve discovered about myself is that I’m a perfect blend of the hybrid consumer and so is my family. We’re hybrid in the sense that we combine traditional, digital and social media into our daily routines. I see this almost every day when I observe the kids as they watch TV, while their on Facebook with their friends and text other members of the family, who are in the very same house.  You can’t just find us online because we’re also enjoying other forms of media: watching TV, reading the newspaper, and flipping through articles in magazines.

Recently, I’ve been discussing the hybrid professional and how PR, Marketing, and Web must work together so that brands can better communicate and interact with consumers.  A good look at my own news and information consumption reveals that a hybrid consumer drives this hybrid movement.  I’ve said that social media pushes the integration of PR, marketing and Web, but if you step back, it’s really the consumer that is driving the change behind everything we do.  What do you think?