As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution that public service media (PSM) make to people’s lives has never been more obvious. We have all witnessed how citizens turned to PSM TV channels, radio stations and online content to obtain trustworthy information, to be entertained and to feel connected with each other.
This does not mean that PSM can rest on their laurels. The impact of this unexpected crisis on economic growth, employment and politics, together with all the uncertainties that lie ahead, will have profound implications on people’s lives and therefore on the role played by the media.
The pandemic has forever changed the way people access and consume media. Furthermore, this crisis fuels the discussion about how societies, democracy, public services, media and capitalism operate, and how citizens really benefit from them. Welcome to the era of the purpose economy, where ‘being meaningful’ is becoming a key survival factor!
For PSM executives this means that, now more than ever, they should refocus their organizations and teams to understanding, maximizing and communicating the value their organization adds to society.
While it is understandable that PSM executives continue to be absorbed by short-term responses to the current disruption or by the need to fulfill the obligations imposed by their legal remit, their audience’s changing expectations require them to shift their attention to the long-term benefits their organizations can bring to people’s lives.
This is already happening. Recognizing that they are leaders of organizations that truly matter to society, a number of our Members' forward-thinking Directors General have started asking themselves about their organization's and their own purpose. Doing so means moving beyond the traditional public remit, which is a legal construct, and acknowledging that, as a PSM leader, they can contribute to a much greater purpose. I had the privilege to conduct 7 interviews with some of these leaders which are now available on our website.
Putting the concept of value at the heart of your organization and your leadership means figuring out how PSM and their employees, their partners, their stakeholders and even their competitors can look ahead and work together to improve conditions for the people and communities they serve, to create a better world.
To support our Members in this endeavor, the EBU Strategy Unit and the Media Intelligence Service published an Executive Guide on The Value of PSM. It succinctly brings together the knowledge acquired from our strategic initiative PSM Contribution to Society during the last 5 years. It compiles the most inspiring steps taken by PSM leaders who have embarked on redefining the purpose of PSM to stay connected to society. The guide not only aims to inspire you but also ignite your imagination and prompt you to act and launch your organization’s own value journey.
In fact, we wanted to make very clear that launching your own Contribution to Society initiative is not as difficult as you might think. It requires 5 steps:
For us, at the EBU, this is a call to come together as a community and to make a coordinated effort to drive societal change through the value our Members deliver, now and in the future.