When I was writing my last blog I mentioned the importance of communication professionals keeping up-to-date with the latest developments that will affect their work. I am becoming increasingly frustrated and short of patience with those working in communication roles that are solidly stuck in the 1990s or 2000s and have failed to spot the changes happening around them. How then can they hope to be able to provide the best possible service for their employer or clients?
It is not just the growth of online communication, particularly social media. We are seeing a huge change in the way news is delivered, a changing place for the newspaper and the 24 hour news channels. People are making their views about companies and products known in a way never before seen. This means you could face a crisis at the click of a mouse or the touch of a Smartphone.
We are living in a world of change. It is something that is exciting and presents a huge amount of opportunities. More opportunities than have been seen in recent years. And yet still some people are too cautious, concerned or possibly lazy to invest time to keep on top of what the developments are. I don’t underestimate the time you need to spend to keep abreast of the latest news and technological updates. But given the current challenging work environment why would anyone want to put themselves at the back of the queue because they haven’t kept up-to-date with the latest developments.
Communication is in a state of turmoil and some previously untouchable aspects are now finding their authority challenged. Just a few years ago, who would have thought that the work of the journalist would be torn apart and examined in such detail? Who would have thought that people would be raising queries and demanding answers of organisations through social networks? Who would have thought that technology would allow us to do so much in such good quality while on the move?
In a nutshell there are three things that are essential to understand and to monitor for any communication professional.
1. Social networks – some may arrive, some may stay and some may disappear. Keep in touch with what they are, what they offer, and what the norms and conventions of the networks are.
2. Journalists and the changing role of news media – check the developments that are reported in the Leveson inquiry and what the recommendations about monitoring of the media bring. Do you know where to find breaking news?
3. Technology and new devices – every month there is another upgrade or development to iPads, Smartphones and computers. Every device can make a change to the communication that takes place. Do you know what the latest devices can do and what software is available?
If there is one thing I want people to take away from this blog, it is a commitment and determination to bring themselves up-to-date with what is happening around us. Communication is changing. It isn’t all the same and it is up to us as individuals to keep our eyes open.