Friday, December 16, 2005

PR Communications Channels

The nature of people is that they are more aware and remember messages when there is a range of stimuli about them.

As a strong advocate of 'multi touch' public relations, I have come across a range of products that can be used to extend the range of media channels available for PR practice.

We are all aware of the press, radio, TV, leaflets, posters, direct mail and that traditional stuff. Today, there is a further 19 channels for communication in use by a very high proportion of the public.

The Internet offers a wider range of communication channels, for most practitioners, these are still limited to PC's and laptops.

But, in addition to computers, the Internet is used on other devices such as cell phones, digital and satellite radio and TV.

There are other devices that use the Internet too. Many of those gaming machines used by younger brothers are Internet enabled devices too.

All these devices ofer a range of communications channels. These channels can mix and match in variety of ways.

Some channels are quite familiar and include email, instant messaging, web sites, Usenet, discussion lists, weblogs (blogs), Mobile Blogging, wikis, RSS and there is more information about them on at Wikipedia which is more than just a source of encyclopaedic knowledge, it is an example open source citizen maintained and interactive connectivity. The virtual environments like Second Life also provide communications channels and also have commercial application.

For practitioners who want to make a personal link, there is SMS, voicemail, mobile audio and mobile video and content designed for Blackberrys and PDAs.

So much for the past. Now we are seeing new developments that are even more useful.

We can use our imagination on how to use a paper-thin electronic-display technology so cheap it could replace conventional labels on disposable packaging, from milk cartons to boxes of Cheerios, or it could be used as an intelligent leaflets and much more.

What about interactive posters? When a camera phone user takes a picture of the bill board, they are directed to a website that features real PR content.

In addition to watching movies or football match,there are a number of PR applications for broadband mobile that can make these developments much more interesting fun and engaging because mobile is two way.

Can celebrity or political campaigning do without Vlogs? How cool can a creative PR make vlogging? There are other services to help too.

Then there is on-line broadcasting with podcasts. Here is a way for providing content for iPods and CD's and, of course online audio content.

Interactive television has long way to go too. Imagine people pulling PR messages from the push medium of TV?

Then, there is the capability to use gaming, such as X-box to interact with your communities.

And this leads us to imagine how many new communications channels are out there and the ability to integrate these many technologies into PR techniques.

Of course, you may want to keep an eye on what is happening on-line and can build your own monitoring and research resource using Alexa or Rollyo.

Picture: Communication by Isabelle Cardinal