As we get ready to meet at the end of the month in New York for the Digital Impact Conference, I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on what I think is the biggest challenge for public relations professionals regarding digital communications today. Of course, this naming of “biggest” is a judgment call at best, and therefore open to debate, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway!
I have been active in the world of digital communications for years, focusing most recently on how organizations can successfully use emerging social media tools such as blogs, social networks, communities and so on. I guess you could call me fluent in the language of digital communications. And yet, I often feel as if I am drowning in that selfsame world. There are so many tools, and so many ways of using them, that the complexities of it all can be overwhelming. And this is what leads me to claim that the biggest challenge facing us in digital communications is simply keeping up with it all.
The challenge I am describing here is many-layered.
First, we must teach ourselves about the tools themselves: what they are and how they work. But it goes much further than that. It has become common for the various social media platforms to interact with each other, giving us the ability to aggregate all of our different digital personas, activities, etc., into one “lifestream,” visible to all, should we choose to make it so. This is also true for brands. So not only do we need to understand each of the tools themselves, we need to understand what happens at the intersection points of the tools. With new tools being introduced all the time, simply keeping up with the technology is a major challenge.