From Shorthand to Broadband

For those of you with an interest in technology, public relations, marketing and the media, my agency, Brands2Life, has done a really interesting piece of research looking at how journalists’ jobs have changed in the 15 or so years the Internet has been around. The headlines on point to journalists across all media types (not just technology or online) working harder and having to manage multimedia content and reader communities — a very different brief to what “traditional” journalism usually entails on a day-to-day basis. You can read the story in depth by downloading the research report from here. There are some graphs up on Flickr if anyone wants them.

The name – “From Shorthand to Broadband” – inspired this video which summarises the development of the media story. Have we got the whole story in? Is there something else you would have included / subbed out?

My personal view? From a business perspective, we’re at a really interesting point; one business model (traditional, ad-sponsored, print and broadcast media) is struggling in the wake of having to share its revenue with the online world, and the online world hasn’t yet developed a business model more substantive than relying on Google adwords. From a consumer perspective, broadband and web technologies are available and accessible to the point where the way everyone interacts with media has changed, whether they realise it or not. Not everyone’s there yet, of course, but where a few years ago you wouldn’t have been that surprised if someone from a different generation didn’t know how to Google something, today I’m having conversations with my mother about Facebook, and helping her organise to deliver a plenary speech at a conference via Skype video conferencing.

From a PR perspective — with journalists having to work differently, is it surprising that PRs will have to as well? Conversations in the industry — even with technology companies traditionally on the edge of new things — indicate how early on we are with this part of the story. A lot has changed since the ‘Martini lunches’ of legend, and even more is set to.

Be interested to hear from people who’ve been in one side and out the other — whilst there’s a lot of “web 2.0” that’s hype, I have a feeling that where we are with “social” media today is a pale, pale precursor to the way we’ll interact online in the future.