Everywhere you look it seems there’s iPads, iPods, laptop computers and all sorts of high-tech gadgetry. The advancement of technology has changed the interface of how people connect with one another, as well as businesses. The fields of Advertising and Public Relations have had to roll with the punches and change to fit the current dynamic.
Remember when television consisted of the three major’s and PBS? All the commercial breaks it took to get through your favorite show or movie seemed endless. The hard push at the end of the year to try and get holiday sales. Those spots worked. Companies like Ronco sold millions of thing-a-magigs every year by flooding the screen that was faithfully watched each evening.
The advent of Smartphones and all sorts of Wi-Fi devices has advertisers scrambling to find new ways to tap into your money. Sites like YouTube have you wait through a commercial before being able to see the video of your choice. This is one way advertisers hold a captive audience. Most websites have advertising here and there, but it seems to go unnoticed. Who’s to say how effective passive advertising is. It’s not as if anyone can truly remember what nudged them to buy this or that if it was in a passive-suggestive manner.
The important thing is that advertisers think this flood of ads work, so you’ll see more, not less of it in the future. Longer waits for videos and larger chunks of shows missing due to the time needed for advertising should be expected. What was once an hour long show has already been trimmed by 20 minutes or more over the last 2 decades?
At some point the advertisers are going to have to start giving something back to John Q. Public. It seems it might be coming in the form of discounts on tech-ware and devices that are riddled with advertisements. You might be able to save money, but can you save your sanity from being assaulted by the amount of ads needed to offer discounts on these types of items? The answer to that will be an interesting one. No doubt there are some people tolerant enough to save money.
Advertising is still about the money
Your money to be exact though the playing field has changed; the game is still played by the same rules. They will do whatever they need to do to keep up with technology and get you to spend your money on the products and services they support.
Public Relations (or PR) have always been about putting on a good persona to the public about a business. Hasn’t it? The Public Relations Society of America defines Public Relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.” This suggests that there is a little more to PR than a pretty face.
If the goal of good PR in a company is to create an actual relationship between the public and itself, then it must create an outlet for this to happen. This is where Web 2.0 sites are beneficial. Sites like Facebook allow the general public to interact with businesses by bringing holiday postings, contests and money saving opportunities right to the potential consumer.
The sheer number of businesses offering online job application forms shows that technology wins on the PR front. Some businesses only allow online applicants. They do offer a kiosk where you can access a computer to submit the application. It should be a big warning to people that the way of doing business has changed for good. It’s a win for PR when they find a way to make things faster, easier and instantaneous.
Technology is a double-edged sword for company PR. The speed of information, whether good or bad, is instant these days. Bad information can flare up against a company and turn into a roaring forest fire if experienced PR personnel aren’t able to quash it fast. The challenge of working in this field is immense.