Part of my job as Director of Communication is to help the offices in our area be successful in communicating with their audiences. So one thing I need to do is stay current with communication trends — NOT an easy thing to do in today’s world. I mean, think about it — I toddled off to college for the first time in 1973.
I remember taking a class on audio/visual production during which we learned how to synchronize an audio cassette tape with two slide projectors to produce a seamless visual phenomenon called a “slide/tape show”. We thought we were so cool. (Well, actually, we were pretty cool.)
Contrast that with today’s communication phenomenon called social media. Students studying communications today don’t learn how to use a machine. The profs have wised up — today’s machine is tomorrow’s landfill. So today’s students learn how to shape a message, because today, it’s not about technology. It’s about saying what you want to say in the most appropriate form and the most strategic place to connect with the greatest number of people who might care.
“One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ” Source
From Twitter’s own blog: “today (March 21, 2012) we see 340 million Tweets a day. That’s more than 1 billion every 3 days.”
So what does this mean to me? This means that I pass off the social media research and training to a 20-something staff member. Somehow that generation just gets it. They live in that world as comfortably as I live in Levi’s and tennis shoes (yes, tennis shoes. That’s what we called them for many years before they became hip and pricey and needed new names like “high tops,” or “keds” or “chucks.” Tennis shoes. And they were cool.)
I’m on facebook. I’m even on Twitter (I found it interesting that the Twitter blog capitalized the word Tweets. Did you notice that?) I have a LinkedIn account and I recently was accepted into the exclusive, invitation-only world of Pinterest. My problem is… as noted in the first sentence, I am Director of Communication, which means I have a job, which means I have things to do which means I don’t have time to to read a billion Tweets or a million fb posts, or …whatever. Then again, reading them is my job, if I want to understand today’s communication world.
Just out of curiosity — how many of you still own an audio cassette tape player?