Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Enter the Virtual PR Studio

Perhaps I need to explain what I think public relations will look like in the near future, a few months away.

It will be heavily mediated by Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and will use Augmented Reality to aid evaluation, decision making and relationship management.

Perhaps it's I should speculate on what I anticipate in a PR office of a very busy organisation.

My imagining looks at the office set up to manage the Government's PR around Brexit. It is a very busy office.

I take you to the morning conference between the press officer and the Prime Minister.

As the PM arrives she puts on a VR headset and is immediately transported into a huge room. It is a virtual studio as big as a Warehouse. It is a complete transformation from the slightly chaotic PR office. As she puts her hand out, she can see it and can point with it. Alongside her is the press officer.

They both begin to look round them

They can see flocks of things moving like a murmuration of starlings. These are clusters of spots in the Augmented Reality sky. Are yes… here is another murmuration. It is a different colour and the shapes of each dot is different. There are more. A timeline shows the time scale being considered. 

Four hours reflects the 60,000 citations (that the rate of citation observed by Google at present) in the clusters that include items in newspapers, radio, television, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and dozens more online media Brexit citations.

As the briefing begins the practitioner offers different perspectives. The flocks swirling round the virtual studio include changes in colour and represent other factors such as the nature of the content, pictures, words, emotions and place. The swirling movements offer a view of what images, words and emotions are driving content; uptake in different media and over what timescales.

The complexities of modern communication are presented in a way that the mind can comprehend. 

Off to the right, high up, is a cluster showing the outputs of the Media Office. It interacts with the practitioner. 

In a second the practitioner and Prime Minister are transported to a command centre with a number of experts. 

Here, she can add content and will see its impact in almost the same instant among the other actors in this scenario. Interactive PR is a big part of what happens in this studio. In a virtual workshop, members of the team create content that can be inserted into the Brexit media universe. In addition some of the messaging can be for different interaction. Leaflets are produced with embedded monitors to see if they are read and events and meetings with lapel badges for attendees equally fitted out with Internet of Things sensors. These too can be displayed in the VR studio. As can the information apps offered by the PR team to download to phones, watches and other devices.

Of course, the practitioner needs to be sure that the material she provides is not hacked or changed between her office and the medium involved.

Behind her screen is a sentinel, unblinking and making sure that the activity is securely recorded and implemented. This is the PR blockchain solution. Safe, secure and unhackable. Trusted by journalists as well as Twitter and Wikipedia to mention a few.

The Virtual Reality studio is only part of the activity in her office of which more at another time.

What is key here is being able to understand what is happening across the media today. At present we cannot comprehend it in its complexity.

At best we get a feeling for what is being said and felt by the public. In my circles there is a mass view of Donald Trump. I hear almost nothing from his supporters. I need my virtual studio to be able to evaluate and effectively impact the public view.

We need good PR tools and they can be available soon. 

It is not hard, it is not new technology. Everything offered here is already used in other applications.

A brave new media world.

This then is my view of PR at the end of the dec.ade