Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Digital Changes People and Habits

There are indicators of behavioural change showing a need for attention to the significance of online, including mobile, effects on people.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), and data consultants Springboard reported high street footfall was down -2.8% in June 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. Shopping centres also suffered, seeing a decline of -2.4% year-on-year.

Out-of-town retail parks fared reasonably well, Retail Bulletin reported. They are attracting more "click and collect" shoppers and reported a +2.8% rise in footfall, the 18th successive month in which the sector's footfall has increased.

Meanwhile 'click and deliver' services are booming.

Modern creatives must embody a "new way of looking at the world" that involves fusing data and the latest tech with big ideas according to Lynn Power and Eric Weisberg, of JWT New York. "Today requires a new breed of thinkers - a new way of looking at the world," Power said.

New cultures are emerging.

For example in managing an election campaign it is possible to identify the users 'n shakers in the campiagn and thier relationships with other opinion formers online. Below is a view of tweets for candidate in the CIPR presidential election 2015.

This kind of information changes the way campaigns are run and the way people engage in the election process.

Jaime Settle analysis of over 100 million Facebook updates in the US, discovered that 1.3 per cent more users in battleground states posted status updates about politics, and that this increased their likelihood of voting by nearly 40 per cent reports the London School of Economics.

For those working with technology in museums the catch-all “digital” has largely replaced “online” and even “web” as a description of what they do. From wearables to virtual reality, a plethora of new technology is emerging that challenges the primacy of the screen at the heart of digital experiences. At this year’s annual Museums Computer Group conference, Museums Beyond the Web, th agenda asked "what comes after the web for museums?"

The use of apps is a new PR dimention with examples ready to inspire the practitioner in the most obvious places. Apps change the way PR people behave and a lot of them can influence the way organisations operate as well. They also empower others who would, for example, want to spy on the paper that is still part of the professional's desk.  Withe CamScanner, your phone or tablet is your scanner. Take photos of documents and edit, store and sync them on-the-go!

The many apps are reported across the online media but come with a health warning. You do need to ensure that they do what they say on the tin and they don't steal too much infornation about you or your clients.

Dick Penny, director of Watershed, a cross-artform venue and producer based in Bristol, says: “technology allows people to choose between a more traditional, passive experience and a more active, participatory interaction … it’s amazing how regimented we have become in our cultural habits. Take theatre for example: you buy your ticket, have a drink, find your seat, sit, the lights go down, you know it’s time to be silent. Companies such as [immersive theatre pioneers] Punchdrunk and Watershed have turned those conceits on their head. Rather than devaluing the traditional approach, it just shows there is another way of doing it.”

Often written off as passing fads for teenagers, social media now have billions of users – not only with Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, Instagram and MySpace in the West, but with hugely popular sites like Tencent Weibo, Vkontakt and Orkut in the rest of the world, says CiarĂ¡n Mc Mahon. From the point of view of peer-reviewed psychological research, what do we know about what makes these websites popular, he asks and to a large extent answers.

Which brings us neatly to some other research: Eight in ten Brits get more exasperated online than in real life and experts reveal social skills can be hindered by social media.

Have you ever sent a tweet in anger? So many Britons have admitted to social media "road rage" that some experts are now classing it as a syndrome. BT have done some reserach and finds out that this behavioural change is significant and part of what we want to know in this new environment.

Research into the effects of the Internet on social involvement and psychological well-being is now being published. Greater use of the Internet is associated with declines in participants communication with family members in the household, declines in the size of their social circle, and increases in their depression and loneliness. These findings have implications for PR, research, for public policy, and for the design of technology.

This post was created to provide evidence across many aspects of modern relationship evolution to show just how far PR practice has to re-adjust in the new world.

There is a good case for much more detailed and structured research.