Uncontrolled communications channels are the media used to present messages that an organisation has less control over. They cannot be easily influenced by the company. These media include press reports, feature articles and TV programmes. Although controlled communications including press releases and exhibitions can be used by organisations to influence these channels, what is reported and the way in which it is presented ultimately rests with outside agencies.
Even though it is more difficult to manage than controlled media channels, uncontrolled media gives an organisation the credibility that controlled communications lack. For example, a favourable article about a service/product in a seemingly independent magazine read by an organisation’s target audience will be more successful in motivating people to purchase than a ‘biased’ brochure created by the organisation. Conversely, a poor write-up may have devastating effects on an organisation’s market offering.
The correct media channels must be selected to capture target customers. For instance, to be successful a new bicycle with a unique saddle which allows for greater rider comfort would need both controlled media channels: brochures, product pages on website, advertisements, direct mail, and uncontrolled media channels: new releases to trade press and internet cycle forums, to be successful.