Calling Time on the Digital Experts

27 08 2010

So I wrote a book about digital PR but I’m not a social web expert, I know fair bit about it but if my expertise is in anything, it is in PR.  Full stop.  I worked in PR before the web existed.

The time has come to stop drawing a distinction between on-line and off-line, between digital and analogue.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter that much if the message is carried by pixels or ink.  The reason that the web, and now mobile is so important is because of the surge in consumption of information via those  channels.  That doesn’t mean that they exist in isolation.   There’s an interesting letter in Campaign this week from Tess Alps about the power of TV (just in the print version I’m afraid) but it almost shouldn’t need saying.  Niche channels will never replace broadcast, although the platforms will change as they have always done.  We need to integrate channels based on reach, consumption and characteristics.

So if you are in a digital communications expert your days are numbered.  It is time for PR agencies and communications businesses of every hue to close their digital departments and reassign their experts.  They need to ensure that everybody advising on communications knows about and embraces digital channels. With apologies to Marshall McLuhan but the message is the medium now.

Twitter Talks Big Brother Jo Walks

26 08 2010

Social media has become an essential companion to event television and the Big Brother swan song the Ultimate Big Brother is a case in point. 

Within minutes of Josie Gibson quitting the goldfish bowl the official twitter feed for the show broke the news and a few minutes later the information was trending.  Over at PR Media Blog we broke the news just over 18 months ago of the first ever TV twitter companions. In those heady days (so very long ago) the number of followers for even the biggest ratings busters was in the dozens.  Coronation Street had just 41 followers.  The Official Big Brother feed today has touching on 100,000 TV addicts hanging on its every character.

Let’s also not forget the importance of the hastag to prime time tv.  At the time of writing, and the programme isn’t on right now, the Big Brother tag #UBB is being tweeted approximately every two seconds.  No self-respecting show should be without one.

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