New media has already reminded up that PR stands for public relations and not just media relations. This is still something that many organizations are navigating at the moment. Now Google is giving us yet another Wave of innovation and showing us what is possible in the browser. It was developed by the team that gave us Google Maps. From the site:
A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.
Note that Wave is an open protocol that will allow third party developers to make their own Wave servers - just like they did with email. What seems nice about it is that it treats media as a process, where truth could emerge from many voices and forms. Is this going to spell the age of news in the cloud?
I was reading a post by Jeff Jarvis on the possibilities of Wave and news and noticing how resistant to proposed changes people are in the discussion that ensued in the comments. We don't have to like it, we can however admit that things are and have changed. As a reminder, I encourage critics to propose an alternative, to build it, to champion it. It's way too easy to just say "I don't like it," and "you suck".
Rather than resisting to the idea that this is happening, I'd like to think with you about the opportunities - and changes - that such a tool brings to the fore. When media becomes fluid this way, does the public relations profession need a digital tune up?
Where will the public relations professional and publicist fit in? Is it time for the transition to true communicator and conversation agents vs. merely passing along information, in some cases pushing it onto people who do not want your news? Will press announcements be streamed real time through the wave? What will be the long term changes?
- the content - what value components will allow your publics to derive self-worth and interest?
- the multimedia - this goes way beyond the social media release to access and potential community involvement
- the conversation - what's the story from the point of view of the community?
- the social aspect - this is where the information generates engagement
Would we use other software with the Wave? What kind of changes will this bring to the ability of small businesses to compete with larger ones? Will Google Wave eliminate the need for PR as media relations? How about listening tools? You should be thinking about the implications. Wherever there are changes, there is opportunity.
The future belongs to those who make it happen.