Are you monitoring the Now Media environment?

Ah, the days when your public affairs or public relations department could sit back and watch the wire for potentially adverse headlines that you could formulate a response after several meetings over the next day. The world isn’t so simple or, more to the point, so slow.

Simply put, you can’t ignore new media just like you can’t ignore old media as both intermingle in each other’s world amplifying “news” (quotes intentional), creating reach as information shoots around the world through radio (even on the back of motorcycle), television, in print, SMS, let alone Twitter. That same information is persistent, hanging around and available on YouTube and through Google.

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The White House, Social Media, and Public Diplomacy

Be sure to read the interesting op-ed by Jim Hoagland in The Washington Post titled A President Goes Friending. It’s pretty clear Mr. Hoagland doesn’t quite know what to make of the new-fangled means of communication. To his credit, he admits it:

My reaction no doubt resembles that of a blacksmith at the turn of the last century catching his first thrilling, then horrifying, glimpse of a motorcar.

Mr. Hoagland is not alone. The media, many public affairs officers, and governments in general, tend to view “now media” as a distinct world and not another channel of communication. Of course with any new medium of engagement there’s a fear. The first “fast” media of the 20th Century, television, was not allowed to cover the US Senate in favor of the “slower” and more comfortable print journalists for decades.

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