Ghosts of Communications – Past, Present and Future

Dec 20, 2011 admin

Blogging at the end of the year – what’s a gal to do? Should I predict something? No, Beth nailed that. Reflect on something from this past year that we need to change? Sam already did that. Make an awesome top ten list? Jen and Michelle just made the most #awesome one, ever.

The only way I can write a blog post now is if I’m visited by three spirits who help me figure out...Bob Cratchit, that’s it!

In true Dickens fashion, allow me to reflect on communications this Christmas in the best way possible – being scared into it by ghosts.

The Ghost of Communications Past – Get out your typewriter and get ready to fax this. I’ll beep you when it’s ready. While it’s true that the channels through which we communicate have changed dramatically over the years, the foundation of all communications is still storytelling. As Meg so clearly outlines in her post, there’s an anatomy to every story – key elements and plot points that make a story compelling. This was true well before Dickens was penning his tales and remains the core of successful communications.

The Ghost of Communications Present – #Socialnetworks #infographics #videos #blogs (It’s technically not that simple, but the use of social channels impacts how we consume information. For the most part, you don’t have to seek out news since you’ll probably see it first in your social streams. So as communicators, we need to make sure we establish a presence in the social streams of people we want to reach.)

The Ghost of Communications Future – Only time will tell? I would never use that phrase unless it followed something like, “Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘future’ as…” But as Beth outlined in her predictions post, one of the main focuses will be creating content and utilizing whatever crazy new tools are available to put it in the social streams of folks who would find it interesting. The full title of Jack Trout and Al Ries’ Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: How to Be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace, a book written in 1969 about how brands and marketers can capture your attention still rings true today: The marketplace is overcrowded and you need to find a way to stand out. The way to do that tomorrow is by educating or entertaining.

…And as Scrooge listened intently to the words of the three Christmas spirits, reflecting on his failures and making whatever changes he could before it was too late, we as communications professionals need to use the key elements of the past, along with the tools of today to be able to reach the audiences of tomorrow.

Editor’s cut: 

If Scrooge can be open with his failures, so can I. I would like to share some of the failed ways I attempted to start this post:

Clearly, the first option was to rewrite a holiday classic and make it about my job. It seems so obvious now, right?

‘Twas the week before Christmas when all through InkHouse,

The air was full of clicks, of keyboard & of mouse.

Your content is ready to be pushed out and shared…

I was bored with that quickly. That poem is WAY longer than I remember.

Should I write about how PR is like Christmas?

We jingle bells to get reporters’ attention! We package stories, wrap them and put bows on them! Do they know it’s Christmas time at all? They sure do, after they get my email, phone call, follow up email and tweet about it!

No, that wouldn’t work.

PR is like a fruitcake. Many different elements blended together, villainized by the public yet a necessary part of all holiday spreads…

Consider yourselves lucky I went with the Christmas Carol theme. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good write!


Topics: Content, Public Relations, Writing

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