Thursday, April 20, 2017

What is 'The Media' - A job for the universities

"Much power is media generated. Historically, only certain groups could produce and publish content through media platforms due to the lack of technology. Now, anyone can produce and share content, especially within our own social networks, however small or large that may be. Verčič warns that the public relations industry must think about media relations differently—not just the paid, earned, shared, owned model—but everything generating communications today. “Mediatization” is everything. So said Dr. Dejan Verčič , Professor and Head of Centre for Marketing and Public Relations at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The game changers are staggering.

The announcement by Facebook this week that it wants to get to a point where its system can read the brain five times faster than an individual can type on a smartphone is awesome. It offers new forms of communication. It will, says Facebook, also enable other new technologies such as artificial intelligence-powered augmented reality to offer alternative insights into the authors' thoughts.

Meanwhile, Facebook is also focused on is turning the camera into a mainstream augmented reality platform.

But then, in the corner of your office is a 'virtual assistant'. These devices access a lot of information some of which is provided by the Marketing and Public Relations industies. Virtual Assistants are very chatty and are getting better at it too. Further-more, they morph into your mobile phone to give you the same service on the move. They have become in-house companions for housebound senior citizens too.

These developments and many more reflect a growing number of media channels that are now available for the PR industry to use in affecting and influencing relationships.

The problem is that such media pops up in many forms. 

The car is now the equivalent of the Daily News of yesteryear. It provides information about the car and journey, directions to take, nearest McDonalds and a vast array of entertainment. It is a platform for news and opinion as well as augmented reality adding to the driver and passenger experience.

We still have 'print media', radio and TV, the web and social media and we have the many new media. 

This means there are serious challenges for practitioners when it comes to media selection.

Lots of people are currently touting their ability to communicate one on one through social media.  Sentiment analysis and emotion tracking are also now possible. It is marketing nirvana.

But is it?

How can one identify the environment (e.g. housebound home, car, mobile phone on the bus) and its influence on the moment? What about the nature of opinion changing social media bots and trolls and their impact of the AI programmes that seem to offer such wonderful insights?

Communication that changes the nature of genes in the human body so it can receive and act on mobile phone communication is not as far-fetched as it would seem.

What are the questions we need to ask if we are going to be equipped with knowledge and capability to use the media that is needed in relationship change?


We now have to turn to the universities to offer a solution. They are beyond the capability of the individual practitioner or PR agency.