Copyright 2017

With 2017 kicking off in full swing, the PRISA JumpStart Breakfast was certainly a valuable event to attend.

Based on the topic of discussion and the interactions by all in attendance, it became evident that the communication landscape – especially Public Relations – has changed immensely. The evolution of the communication space has provided some unique challenges to industry practitioners but more importantly, it has opened the door to opportunities and new possibilities.

The way we communicate, as brands and as consumers, continues to change. This can mainly be attributed to the evolution of the digital landscape. What this evolution means is that anybody can now be a publisher of content and news. The consumption patterns and habits of the end-user has challenged how communication practitioners deliver their messages.

Social Media has now become the go-to platform for the latest news and content. This on its own has opened the door to unethical publishing.  The source is no longer measured or held liable by the same standard as authorised publishers. Yes, content platforms – especially social – have now become more vigilant of the fraudulent and false content being published and are taking steps to curb these portals. This is however reactive, due to the speed at which digital evolves. Reactive responses in general are frowned upon within the industry. But this is even more concerning when it comes to digital communication channels. By the time social media channels react to propaganda and put measures in place to stop it from being published, the publishers of this misleading content have already found loop holes to get their content viewed.

This is the biggest challenge that digital communication poses. As we become aware of the malicious use and abuse of these channels with their enormous reach, we are already on the back-foot. Unfortunately, we will always play catch-up as this digital evolution is moving at an exponential speed with no real end in sight.

If we are agile enough as communicators we will see these barriers as possibilities, instead of seeing them as challenges. These are new ways to interact and deliver messaging. More efficient and accurate forms of tracking provide us with valuable data that positions us at the cusp of this evolution. Ultimately, what, when, where and how people consume information has changed forever and will continue to do so. The quicker we understand these changes in consumer habits and consumption patterns, the better equipped we’ll be to deliver on our client’s objectives, and overachieve with unparalleled results.

Kurt Jossie
Social Media Manger
The Riverbed Agency

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