Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Of multi media context relevant messages

One of the early issues that faced us in the early days of mass use of the web was the extent to which it could be used by people.

The critical element was not about haves and have nots (that is resolved by the influence of the Internet on society both directly and indirectly – i.e. Third party influence such as a doctor keeping professionally up to date to better serve both haves and have nots). The key issue was the time available to use the Internet.

In recent years it has been quite obvious that people use many communications channels at the same time. This was raised as a news item by Trevor Cook when he reported on a story on the Revolution web site describing how people use many media concurrently.

I raised the subject in a post about the media and the phenomena of multi touch in our society.

This is but one more element that needs to be included in PR strategies and tactics. What is apparent is that to gain attention, embed messages and to be memorable the practice of public relations has to work to offer many cognitive devices using a range of social networks and channels for communication and content suited to a range of contexts.

The mono culture typical in many approaches to marketing communications (giving rise to expressions such as 'being on message') is inadequate and often counter productive. People mistrust the robot response of 'on message' politicians. Meanwhile we now know that relying on 'core messages' has dubious effect if it does not produce synaptic modulation.

The significance of PR's multiple domains is that these skills can be applied in tandem to reach publics in a way no other management discipline can.

Television may be the 800lb gorilla but it is only effective in the broader context of its jungle habitat and less massive, but, from the consumer's viewpoint, cute siblings.

Picture from Jersey Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, with information about the life and books of the naturalist Gerald Durrell.