I was speaking to a group of Navy PIOs the other day and as part of a panel was asked a question about how to reach seniors, in this case the large population of Navy retirees in this region. Other panelists commented on the high degree of penetration among seniors of the internet which still surprises a lot of people. While not as high as 18 year olds, the majority of seniors do use the internet regularly, particularly to stay in touch with family.
But my answer was there is no single answer. Email, websites, absolutely. But no single medium will reach all you need to reach and part of the internet-dominated world we live in is the reality that the receiver is in control. They choose their own media and it is constantly changing. It reminds me of the student from a campus who was not in a position to receive and urgent message from the university via the automated phone message, the text message or the email message. Using the website, he complained he didn’t hear the announcement on the radio in his car! Mass media still lives and still plays a role in this day of instant, direct communication.
The message is simple: use multiple means. No single method has any assurance of being complete. There are even times to use snail mail. Well, not often.