Over at our Facebook site, we invited people in the industry to shed some light on using Twitter as a tool to manage media relations. It seems like there is a consensus amongst those who participated that what determines a suitable medium of communication is individual preference – if a certain journalist prefers to be pitched to via 140 characters or less with Twitter, PR professionals should comply; after all, as Belinda said, technology would continue to shift and evolve business cultures. They raised that it social media tools made it easier to understand individuals better, thus messages should be more relevant and targeted; conversations should also continue beyond the business context to strengthen relations. On the flip side, some still valued building relations offline – and that might echo true with many out there as well.
"We have evolved from the days of written, telegraph, fax, email and now micro-blogging. Technology will continue to evolve and shift business cultures. Local media should stop trying to differentiate so-called "traditional" and "digital" and see it simply as a form of natural evolution in the way we work." –@Belindaang
"Medium is not important here – you can leave a comment in blog, send a shout-out in Facebook, send an 'Inmail' in LinkedIn, send @ mention in Twitter, or even send an email based on your specific need. What is important is that you do your background research through social platforms and keep your message relevant." – @B2Bento
"As always you use the best tool for the job. That maybe twitter for some. It maybe email for others. It maybe twitter today and email tomorrow. That said, social media is all about community, communication and connection…to truly take advantage of the social media tools you need to bring them into your circle as well…Strike up a relationship and then you're not pitching to a journalist. You're pitching to a mate.” – @skribe
(Kudos to @B2Bento, @skribe, @socialpr, @arienvalo, @EFDixon and @BelindaAng for taking the time off to share your thoughts; the topic’s still up for discussion here http://bit.ly/dBOGJa
Zooming out to a more macroscopic stance prompts the next question – in a world where technology is growing exponentially in complexity and expanding globally, how relevant are traditional mediums of communication?
In our industry – with the vast amounts of information available on the World Wide Web, would print, radio and television slowly be rendered irrelevant? E-books, smartphones, netbooks, laptops and now tablet PCs now make content ultra-targeted, utlra-mobile. This shift in consumption has already seen e-books outselling hardbacks over at Amazon
, and the rapid decline of the newspaper industry in the U.S.
Does a physical, flip-through magazine still have its place in the future?
In a business sense, as conversations are taken online, would face-to-face meetings still be important? Or would there be a complete paradigm shift to embrace technology entirely, in both the way we communicate and the way we consume information?
At SPH Magazines we’re coming to terms with technology. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve included social media tabs in our corporate website to facilitate communication and transparency – go ahead, add us and engage us; we’re happy to listen to what you have to say, even if it’s a simple hello.
Personally, we think nothing beats enjoying relationships in physical settings – that’s the reasoning behind organizing events to get to know you better. Websites, forums and social media serve as tools complementing the effort; as another means for us to remain social and relevant. Magazines do the job of aggregating information based on your interests and compiling it into a handy paperback you can read whenever and wherever – without having to wait for it to boot up or worry about battery life. Technology may be driving new ways of communicating online, but we don’t see traditional mediums being ousted from the face of the earth anytime soon.
Is there a possibility though? I’m throwing it up for discussion – would definitely like to hear your two cents’ worth. Are you spending more time communicating and consuming via the latest tools?