Like many professionals, public relations practitioners (PRSA staff included) struggle with implementing new technology to make the user experience of their customers more worthwhile. It’s a problem that seemingly never goes away yet gnaws at any professional who wishes to stay abreast of trends in an ever-changing marketplace.
There are hot technologies that never quite become as ubiquitous as people predict. It seems like just yesterday that Second Life was being featured on the cover of magazines, bringing in an era of changed platforms and virtual reality. In truth, it was eons ago (OK, 2006) and we are no nearer to conducting all of our earthly transactions in a virtual world then we were then.
I bring this up because some institutions, at the behest of their PR and communications departments, pursued aggressive engagement strategies on the platform, often to the detriment of other mediums like Facebook or the blogosphere, whose proliferation continues relatively unabated.
This isn’t to excoriate those institutions or campaigns. Maybe for their audiences, utilizing those platforms made sense. Maybe they were bowing to the pressures of a CEO whose entire knowledge of the digital world was based on a magazine cover they saw in an airport (it’s happened to all of us.)
The point is, most PR and corporate comms departments are small and resources are limited. A prudent institution with limited means should be thinking very carefully before dipping its toes into a new platform or technology.
Which brings me back to my original point: when a shiny new technology comes out, we here at PRSA give serious consideration to its application and utility to our members. As I’m sure you guessed Pinterest is the buzz around here at present, as it is throughout much of the PR industry.