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Approaching digital


Part of the CIPR Social Media Summer Special …

Part of the CIPR Social Media Summer Special

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  • 1. Approaching digital
    9 September 2010
    David Phillips FCIPR
  • 2. Why is it important?
    Online public relations and social media isnot technology it is evolutionary physiology
    Its about being human
    The internet is a thing of human need not digital development
    We love the internet because it satisfies what people want in life.
    It is the temple of human values
    PR is its priesthood, social media expertise is its handmaiden
  • 3. Our objectives today
    Perhaps it will help to discover why people like the internet so much.
    We can look at human evolution and psychology.
    Understand what drives people to use social media
    See why this revolution is about public relations
    Recognisethe techniques that are common to all online activity
    Translate that into strategies
    Examine tactical approaches
  • 4. Human evolution and the internet
    We have big brains, a pre-requisite for inventiveness
    Inventiveness , a function of complex language, communication and culture , led to cutting tools, bows and arrows – very complicated technology to make life easier and support the species.
    38000 years ago the big leap in language development… made us modern man
  • 5. The trick is not to wait for the DNA catch-up
    Humans are the only known species to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves, and use numerous other technologies.
    We speak to each other read and write across the world, across generations and to accumulate knowledge.
    We have evolved so that we don’t need to change our DNA to adopt new survival techniques
    As a result, we are completely dependant on tools and machines for survival.
  • 6. Clever, cultured communicative animal
    Having evolved a large and complex brain, our species has a facility to think, imagine, create, and learn from experience that far exceeds that of any other species.
    We have evolved to be dependant on this ability to create technologies, literary and artistic works on a vast scale, and to develop a scientific understanding of ourselves and the world.
  • 7. We are ‘hard wired’ to adapt
    The claim that there is an adaptationist explanation for specifically human intelligence rests on two ideas: firstly, that human intelligence is a complex adaptive trait, and secondly, that natural selection is the major source of complex adaptive traits.
  • 8. We don’t know everything
    Human intelligence is not a general-purpose capacity for rational thought but is instead a ‘tool box’ consisting of a very large number of task-specific tools, each of which has the evolved function of producing an adaptive response to some specific adaptive problem that our hominid ancestors faced in the Pleistocene. 
    How does an African populate the arctic? By being pre-programmed to be adaptive.
  • 9. The ‘tool box’ is past to the next generation in books!
    Because many complex skills and behaviors are being passed on through culture, the species has escaped the need to encode them rigidly in its genome. "Of course the mechanisms of selection are operating," says AjitVarki,
    “We don't necessarily fix our behaviors, and we are letting some previously fixed behaviors deteriorate, because we can rely on cultural transmission", he adds.
  • 10. We can invent our way out bad mutations
    GileanMcVean: the human ability to learn and adapt has eased the selection pressure .
    A modern example, he points out, might be the ability of humans to make spectacles to counteract poor vision – we have cheated the evolutionary norm of natural selection to weed out the human strain likely to have poor eyesight.
    What we have done is to learn how to extend our physiology.
    We like to travel (early man evolved to run longer than most other animals as the means to wear down his prey, to travel to places where adaptive behaviour can flourish and thus we populated most of the world).
    Is it then a surprise we extended our physiology by inventing a bike, train or plane?
  • 11. The cumulative effect
    Human culture, has the distinctive characteristic that it accumulates modifications over time (called the ‘ratchet effect’).
    This difference results from the facts that
    human social learning is more oriented towards process than product
    unique forms of human cooperation lead to active teaching, social motivations for conformity and normative sanctions against non-conformity.
    Together, these unique processes of social learning and cooperation lead to humans’ unique form of cumulative cultural evolution.
    The result: We can ‘evolve faster and fast at an accelerating pace
  • 12. What does this mean today
    This gives us a human line that can be more social (using letters, books, telephones , Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter
    We can access more information using the internet – Google is part of the evolution of our mental physiology because it gives us a bigger ‘memory’.
    We can develop more technologies, arts and interfaces (even better than bows and arrows) faster and to serve not just a minority but all people.
  • 13. The internet scratches the evolutionary itch
    This human species is programmed to be adaptive and create adaptionist tools.
    This is not for a ‘techie elite’ it is part of what makes everyone of us ‘human.’
    The internet (and social media) is made in the image of mankind, by mankind for mankind
  • 14. Why is this important for PR
    PR, being about the spread of values, knowledge and the development of relationships round values and knowledge
    Modern Humans have created the internet which above everything else exposes values and knowledge and opens channels to build relationships
    The internet and social media has evolved to be the symbiotic partner for PR (as long as PR can keep up).
  • 15. Lets get comfortable
    The internet is not technology it is the tool of human evolution
    The internet is about being human.
    We have evolved to create the internet
    The internet is part of our DNA driven development
    That is why peoples like it, use it, develop it and make it evolve at an ever growing pace so that humans don’t have to wait for our DNA to change.
  • 16. OK... So what is PR’s role
    Take out of the evolution of the internet the things that evolution says is important for human survival
    Develop the internet to help us deliver what our destiny (our DNA) needs
    Believe that our profession is EXACTLY designed to do this
    Get on with it!
  • 17. Where have we got to?
    We now know enough about the internet to know what the present level of internet evolution can deliver.
    Lets no longer wonder at the stars and, instead navigate by them.
    Lets look at the strategic and tactical developments that are within our (evolved) and the internet (evolved) capabilities in this generation.
  • 18. Priestly Strategies
    We know that there are some strategies we need to consider (because we are human).
    Monitor to get a good view of the landscape we inhabit. Use monitoring as a tool to see the present.
    Examine the values of our organisations and the values of the communities that affect our organisations
    Find symbiotic drivers to aid community building and understanding (which does lead to closer imperatives such as sales, votes, recruitment, vendor relations etc)
    ... Cont...
  • 19. More Priestly Strategies
    Strategies cont...
    Look to protect us and ours and have good defensive strategies (Humanid evolution included defences for everything from disease to psychological responses to threats)
    Re-define the culture of our organisation and its the culture of relationships with publics (Aristotle would be proud)
    Restate strategies into (SMART?) objectives
  • 20. Why do we know this is the right way?
    Mostly because it panders to the evolved human
    We have 30 years experience of success and failure in using social media
  • 21. The handmaiden’s tactics
    Be very broad in what you consider
    You will follow the crowd and still have space to be intriguing (e.g. Creative)
    Poke around in other people’s territory (web site building, SEO, widgets, games, search and monitoring etc).
    Look for integration
  • 22. Is it Twitter of Facebook?
    Get over it..... It may not be either
    Use the best tools to deliver on your strategic objectives
    Mix-n-match – humans are all over the world, are individual and have many ‘selves’ such as child, mother, sibling, friend, colleague and even mate down the pub....
    Txt is not Twitter and mom may never have a Linkedin profile
  • 23. At the end of the day
    Now be convinced – this is fundamentally about PR and how PR represents the Priesthood of Modern Man
    Online public relations and social media is not technology it is evolutionary physiology
    Its about being human
    The internet is a thing of human need not digital development
    We love the internet because it satisfies what people want in life.
    It is the temple of human values
    PR is its priesthood, social media expertise is its handmaiden