The thing that we find when it comes to technology is the fact it evolves and changes over time.  Each medium has their own ecosystem where you see a peak of buzz and conversations emerging across the various communities and professions.  Professionals gather to discuss, share, comment, and explore varius

We are coming to the time where social will continue to have a strong presence for sure in businesses and communication professions, but we have to as scholars and practitioners look at the overarching phenomenon overseeing influence and power of social media.  What is this overarching concept?  It is about digital storytelling through universal platforms that are interconnected.

Brian Solis, who I think has clearly established himself as one of the leading professionals and thought leaders in the industry, had an interesting comment on Facebook this afternoon to one of his friends.  It was related to a video discussing how Sephora was dedicating its time and energy with its digital shopping strategies.  Several people commented on his video and said that he was the person they went to for information about social media.  What I found interesting was how Brian responded and said that he would like to be known as the go-to guy for “overall experiences.”  This concept raises the bar from social media to include all elements that are digital across platforms and devices.

This comment got me thinking – is there an end to social media?  Are we  already off to the next chapter in the digital media story?  The answer is no – not exactly.  What we are seeing is a phenomenon that has captured the attention globally and allows people to connect and form relationships instantaneous that have never been possible.  However, like all previous mediums before, communication channels and mediums change and evolve.  The key thing to note here is that we are seeing these changes happen much faster and responding to these immediately in a strategic and innovative way for your profession is the name of the game.

I made a comment to this discussion and I do agree with Brian on this point – social media is great and one piece of the converged media puzzle that will continue to evolve and become seamlessly integrated across various mediums, platforms, and devices.  This is where the technology is going for public relations professionals, so we always have to keep this in mind as we research in social media, practice and share insights related to the evolving platform with clients, and point out these changes and developments with our students.

Converged Media Model from Altimeter Group (2012)

Social media is being classified as being part of converged media (Altimeter Group), and there are some that have looked at this and say that it is nothing new except to break down silos.  However, I think we are experiencing some differences because we have to communicate, listen, monitor, and act seamlessly and consistently across all of these various platforms in real-time and make sure we cross-reference each platform extension and medium across devices (computer, tablet, smartphone, and wearable devices looking forward towards the future). Here are some pretty amazing stats to take note of when it comes to multi-device screen usage and power this brings to the table for PR professionals.

In addition, content marketing, social marketing strategies, and emerging technologies involving mobile and other devices will be explored as this continues to evolve. We are definitely moving closer to an era where we are going to be listening, monitoring, and engaging with audiences through tools and platforms like what we saw in the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report.”

In summary, this discussion is happening among the key influencers and thought leaders in the area of new media specializations within strategic communications and public relations, and professors need to be 1) aware of these conversations; 2) take notes on some of the implications these have for research, teaching, and mentoring and 3) becoming part of the community to study the impact of converged media within the profession in the academic community.  I think it is great we have professionals like Brian Solis who is generously sharing his insights and comments with others in the community.  Thank you Brian.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,