Communications in 2033

Posted by on February 11th, 2013

I recently saw this 1993 AT&T ad posted in my Facebook feed about what the future would look like. The campaign was called “You Will” and, aside from the Tom Selleck voice over (swoon), it got me thinking about how technology will impact PR professionals in 20 years.  If there even is such an industry in 2033!

The traditional practice of PR largely meant employing a “one-to-many” communications strategy. But that type of mass communications hasn’t existed for, arguably, the last two decades.  Cable has spliced network so much that even the most watched shows garner only a few million viewers. Super Bowls (and live events in general) aside, the final episode of M.A.S.H. (“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”) was the last time that broadcast saw over 50 million people tune in to one particular show. That was in 1983.

The Internet has impacted all traditional forms of media. Now, there are people who “make news” by Tweets or in some cases, texts. For example, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, upon rampant speculation that he would run for John Kerry’s newly opened Senate seat, eventually texted (!) the Boston Globe: “U are the first to know. Not running.” No press conference, no press release, no statement, not even a full sentence (or proper grammar, but that’s for another blog), but it was picked up by nearly every major news outlet.

Clearly, the way in which we get our message across will have to become tighter as our audience becomes even more whittled down – and MUCH savvier.  Gone will be the all-mighty, one-size-fits-all –press-release (in its current form – we still love you PRNewswire!) and the earnings conference call (for public companies). Instead, wire services will be used for SEO and SEM strategy and earnings calls will become earnings videos and apps.

Once Vine can figure out its porn problem , it could one day be the next big tool in the Social/PR tool kit.Who knows. If I’m here for my 30th anniversary at KCSA, you can be sure I WON’T be blogging about it! I’ll be communicating in a way that no one has even thought up yet!