Leads to Leeds

19 May 2011 – 12:02 pm

Leeds 1

It was with great delight to recently re-visit lecturers and students on the marketing related degrees at Leeds Business School; the new central Leeds campus pictured above. A highly engaged and diverse educational audience added to the day.

In the seminar, we covered international relations and the position of the media sector now in 2011.

They key observation highlighted, was the sector is changing at a breakneck pace, (which to a degree it always has done).

The current acceleration of change is mainly due to the Internet and associated technology.

Nowadays everyone with a camera or video phone is a potential journalist, a current example witnessed on a daily basis in Libya and other global hotspots. The once rigid editorial filters of the press and traditional broadcasters, no longer carry the same sway and influence. A member of the public is now at liberty and fully able to record and upload news in a matter of seconds.

As the media changes, so too does the communications sector. It needs to understand and work with this new world. While attempting to rigidly control a message may be an approach of the past, change is not all bad. This new world of many independent news gatherers, has benefits to professional communicators, for example many organisations now have an instant bank of brand advocates at large. This can be very positive, Apple and Waitrose in the UK, are often cited examples of this.

Attempts at traditional methods of message control are now proved to be largely flawed, note the recent run of super-injunction traffic on social sites such as Twitter, the courts said one thing, the public did another. The news gatherers found out what they wanted to know in a matter of a few keyboard clicks.

To summarise, there will always be a requirement and role for professional communicators, but the environment in which they operate is changing. To be successful, communications practitioners need to adapt and change to the times and ever moving environment.

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