Online communications
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Online communications






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Online communications Online communications Presentation Transcript

    David Phillips FCIPR FSNCR
  • What we aim to achieve today
    This module will provide
    An overview of the development and use of internet mediation in communications
    Include political and public communication elements.
    Examine current developments such as strategic planning,
    Look at the place of tactical implementation
    Explore the significance of monitoring measuring and evaluation
    Wewill also evaluate the implications for democracy, strategic communication and strategic management of organisations
  • In this session
    The internet mediated society
    How it changes the role of PR
    Semantic PR, PR and the Internet of Things,
    The Internet in-laws – a co-joined reality
  • In Just 5000 days – in 2007
    Kevin Kelly set the scene in 2007
    How much has happened in the last 5000 hours
    YouTube, Facebook and Google all offered major new capabilities.
    IPadwas launched as were many new types of smart phone.
    The Microsoft Kindle came to market.
    Egypt tried and failed to shut off the internet.
    We discovered the UK internet economy was worth £100billion. 
    Wikileaks exploded into the public arena.
    Ministry of Defense technical error meant blacked out parts of the report could be read by "copying and pasting" its contents into another document.
  • Beyond the now
    The internet is no longer a separate PR discipline
    This is not ‘just another channel’
    All human life is mediated by the internet
    A world beyond the PC, words and pictures
    Difference between platforms and channels
    The Internet of Things
    The Internet of Knowledge
  • The internet is available through a range of platforms.
    PC’s, Mobiles, Games, and the Internet of Things.
    Interesting ideas may include
    A visiting card
    An interactive mirror
    Using platforms for new communication applications
    Using games consoles for communication
    The range of platforms will grow very fast from this year forward
    If you think its a game.... Think again! ... And again...
    AR is ‘another medium’
    The Platforms
  • Channels
    Many indivisible channels working together
    Yes... Yes ... Yes I have heard of Twitter and Facebook. Now lets move from our comfort zone.
    Data has a role in PR
    Your Google map in a blog
    Your new press release is an application programming interface (API)
    Your information systems can be automated ‘mashups’
    How you will re-enact The Wedding, service the emergency services and local media at the same time, get the community to re-build the museum....
  • Google Maps Mania blog is a popular blog that lists news and examples of websites integrated with Google Maps.
    It reports a multitude of services ranging from mapping popular fish species, to finding and rating local nightclubs, to sharing GPS bike trails information.
    The people offering such services are not employed by Google but they do use something called an API (application programming interface) and the products/services they provide called ‘Mashups’ which, it seems, are everywhere.
    Re-purposing Knowledge adds to value
  • In groups of three
    Use an organisation you know
    Find out what knowledge assets are available that can be re-purposed in an API
    Create a PR proposal to release the API in such a way that it will benefit the company.
    Explain how the company will benefit both short term and long term
    A challenge!
  • Where, for example, newspapers once distributed news to a mass readership, today there is an alternative form of news distribution.
    It is the network of interlinked people passing on information in their network of friends and acquaintances whose members also have a network of additional friends and acquaintances.
    The news passes through this network, sometimes fast and unadulterated and sometimes both slowly and often much changed.
    The network adds its own values to the news and in doing so contributes to alternatives in public understanding.
    This process often has greater reach than traditional broadcast news distribution and all too often is faster.
    This network process, is not instead of broadcast news distribution they are systems that work side by side. Sometimes they complement each other and sometimes they present different perspectives.
    Here Comes Everybody, Shirkey C, 2008, Penguin Press.
    The new news distribution channel
  • We all understand communication between two people as one-to-one communication.
    This is a chat with a mate in the pub and online instant messaging and email.
    Great orators, newspaper editors and web masters can address and publish to mass audiences, which we understand as one-to-many communication.
    More difficult is a process of communication when many speak to many. But with the internet this is possible.
    It can be achieved using email and the writable web, notably wikis, where (in theory at least) anyone can initiate, write, read, change and comment on any content.
    The internet facilitates many-to-many communication.
    There is growing use of many to one communication.
    RSS feeds, by which immediate alerts wing through cyberspace as soon as the author publishes an article
    Tweetdeck is many o one too.
    In the case of the latter, developments such as service called “Alert Thingy” (|) continually feed information written by friends on Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, Friendfeed and other social media directly to the individual.
    Many can and do communicate to one.
    Many-to-one communication is a reality and is popular.
    Many to one?
  • In groups of three
    How many channels for communication does the team use?
    How many are one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, and Many-to-one?
    Tell class what you have found out.
    A survey
  • In this session:
    Key elements of internet mediation,
    A world beyond the PC, words and pictures
    Communication development
  • Key elements
    Key elements of internet mediation
    Reach (Phillips & Young 2009)
  • A message is made electronic...
    It goes into a network
    All networks are connected
    Control over the message is lost
  • Phillips 1999 The changed Information Value Chain
  • Information can be valuable in its own right.
    One may not access products in a shop without having that valuable information needed to open the building.
    This makes such information valuable.
    It also tells us that a thing loses value when it is not associated with relevant information.
    By making inter-firm collaboration easy and inexpensive, eCommerce allows intangible assets to be leveraged across a much larger buyer base.
    e.g. Buying music online with a credit card
    Time and space constraints no longer apply, so they no longer have to be co-located with the tangible means of production.
    • Amazon, its warehouse and the book delivery company is an example.
    Making things valuable using information
  • In the communication field, we see newspapers publishing their news online often well ahead of the print version.
    They get extra value from publication on the web site, citations in blogs, inclusion in television programmes (on and off line) and so on.
    The newspaper (a thing) is now separate from the news (intangible asset).
    Public Relations benefits from this new environment when it provides the means by which people access information assets and can use them to benefit from both knowledge and things.
    A PR example
  • When an organisation sells ownership of inventory (a thing) it belongs to the customer.
    Ownership of information when shared, does not deplete the store of corporate information inventory or, necessarily, its worth.
    It remains, and can (mostly) be used again.
    Offline, when we publish a brochure, it only has a life as long as stock lasts.
    Online, there is one web site that can be used many times for the same, a comparatively low, cost at any time by thousands of customers sequentially or at the same time.
    Information assets (mostly) do not deplete
  • Many companies use the exposure of information in web sites and through other Internet enabled devices to lever up added value.
    By making information available to all, that is, by exposing corporate information inventory, the company can share its information assets with most of its stakeholders.
    In this way the cost of moving information inventory is reduced. Instead of having to tell each public or each stakeholder group about information in turn, the company can provide information to all stakeholders in one go.
    The publication of CSR activities on corporate web sites is a classic example (this is how Tesco do it).
    To be able to inform the wide range of publics likely to have an interest in ethical purchasing practices, environmental policies, charitable giving, employment practice and the like would be impossible without the internet.
    Today all these stakeholders can find this information at the click of a mouse and can share the information with others of a like mind
    Reducing the cost of information inventory
  • For some organisations, inherent knowledge is considered a considerable asset because itsnature is to change something or somebody.
    As the internet becomes more pervasive we see wider evidence of exchanges of experience, ideas, insights, values and judgments and widespread collaboration within organisational intranets and beyond into the internet.
    The use by organisations of this phenomena using what is called ‘open source collaboration’ is becoming a major driver in many businesses.
    Tapscott, D and Williams A. D., (2006) Wikinomics Atlantic Books
    Drucker P.F. ‘The New Realities’ "Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody -- either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action." --
  • If information is valuable, losing it can be harmful.
    At what point ownership of information’s value changes hands and its value as copyright changes or passes into the value network is a matter for wide debate.
    The extent to which any data, information or knowledge can be protected from inadvertent, accidental, careless or malicious distribution in an internet enabled society, irrespective of the rule of law is not in doubt.
    In principle there is no protection (once online, content cannot be destroyed and can be accessed moments and decades later) and the law of copyright is both inadequate and largely irrelevant to the new paradigm.
    IP is not impossible to protect but provision needs to be made for the inevitable day when security is breeched.
    Protecting IP – is it impossible?
  • The wider implications
    Political campaigning is always on
    Control is not an option – must have issues and crisis management programmes in place
    Have to consider the options for transparency
    Proactively developing hygiene content is the best defence
    Privacy is now a luxury – can you afford it when the State can’t? Loss of privacy has to be managed.
  • In this session
    Strategy planning and implementation,
    The use of tactical tools
  • Structuring online interactions
    The solution is not a blog, Twitter or Facebook. They are tactical channels.
    Having a structured approach is critical
    We follow the well worn trail of Smart Objectives, Effective strategies and relevant tactics.
  • Five elements for developing objectives
    Because of Internet mediated transparency,
    porosity and agency scanning the organisation’s
    environment is critical (Gregory 2010)
    Being structured about vision, mission and values is essential (Hudson 2005)
    Sustainability, ethics, environment, diversity
    The communicative organization issues
    Situational research (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological)
    Not forgetting the ‘campaign’ imperatives
  • Vision, mission and values
    Social media is interactive and ‘conversational’
    Many people in an organisation use social media
    They need to know about the organisation’s Vision, mission and values
    If there are different interpretation internet agency will expose the difference – usually at a very inconvenient moment
    Can you articulate your organisations’ vision, mission and values?
  • Sustainability
    What ever you do and say online is there for ever (Phillips 1999)
    Objectives need to consider the effects in 5000 days time!
    Most online activities are not ‘campaigns’ they are a conversation and will continue as long as the internet constituencies wish to indulge.
    Objectives need sustainability built-in
    The communicative organization assumes leadership by interpreting sustainability as a transformational opportunity to improve its position within, and contribution to, society by pursuing and constantly reporting on the achievement of its  policies and actions across the economic, social and environmental “triple bottom line”. (Stockholm Accords 2010)
  • ethics
    Ethics is not about being nice it is hard headed subject.
    Actions have to be defensible from a robust perspective.
    The online community will have someone who is a professor of ethics – or John Humphries!
    Lack of proactive and reactive response to ethical issues is a ticking bomb online.
    Some of us have had fun on Wikipedia:
    Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action: “how ought one act, morally speaking?” 
    Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations:   three theories:
    utilitarianism, where the practical consequences of various policies are evaluated on the assumption that the right policy will be the one which results in the greatest happiness.  The right policy will be the one which results in the greatest happiness (greatest good for largest number of people)
    deontological ethics, notions based on 'rules' i.e. that there is an obligation to perform the 'right' action, regardless of actual consequences (epitomized by Kant's notion of the Categorical Imperative). The rightness of an action is determined by its consequences.
    virtue ethics, derived from Aristotle's and Confucius's notions, which asserts that the right action will be that chosen by a suitably 'virtuous' agent.
    Moral psychology, about how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is.
    Descriptive ethics, about what moral values people actually abide by.
    Within each of these branches are many different schools of thought and still further sub-fields of study.
  • Environment
    Both the physical and operational environments are drivers of political friction
    Online they are referenced and are the centre of discussion, debate and interaction more than any other subject
    They are also issues of our time and should be considered when setting objectives.
  • Diversity
    It is a truism that there will be a 16 year old who bunked off school and is the local expert on hacking – It is also true that a ton of experienced managers are still not sure what Facebook is.
    Diversity really matters online in all its forms
    There is a need to engage a complete society online – even the old, infirm and internet ‘have nots’ – internet mediation touches everyone.
  • The communicative organization issues
    The Stockholm Accords talk of and about the ‘Communicative Organisation’
    Because of internet transparency, porosity and agency, organisations have no option but to be ‘a communicative organisation’
    ‘My organisation does not use Twitter – so we have no need to monitor it’ is like ignoring a hurricane warning.
  • Situational research
    The elements in all PR as well as management and marketing planning have to include considerations of:
    The communicative organization is managed on the principle that it in the organization’s interest  to be sensitive to the wider expectations of society and to the legitimate claims of all its stakeholders. This task involves complex prioritization,  decision making and requires detailed research and listening before strategic and operational decisions are made.
    Insensitivity these elements brought about Wikileaks and the disclosure of national secrets as well as a host of business scandals that beset some of the biggest brands in the world.
  • The ‘campaign brief’
    This is the reason you are working on a PR programme and are setting objectives.
    This will dictate a large part of being SMART
    Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.
    Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.
    Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?
    Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?
    Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives?
  • In summary
    Vision, mission and values
    communicative organization
    Campaign brief
  • Strategies
    To deliver the objective there will be a number of strategies in place to assure success.
    Some strategies are mandatory, some optional and some operational.
    Mandatory strategies such as issues and risk management; monitoring, measuring and evaluation; reporting and escalation; brand identity; copyright and IP protection/permissions are needed to provide security for the organization's future
    Optional strategies may include registration of social media and web presence; language and style; languages and many more.
    Operational strategies will be much more about the aims and of the programme and will include platforms and channel strategies; resource acquisition and timing.
  • The elements of strategies
    Strategies need to be articulated and understood by internal publics.
    Statement of intent
    Implementation requirements/brief
    Specification of tactics (who, what ,why, when, how and to what anticipated effect)
    Lines of reporting (action taken, when, by whom and to what effect)
    Fail to safe (if it did not achieve the task, what is plan B)
  • Strategy example 1
    Statement of intent
    The programme will have a mandatory monitoring, measuring and evaluation element
    Implementation requirements/brief
    Regular and sustained monitoring measurement and evaluation
    Specification of tactics (what, who ,why, when, how and to what anticipated effect)
    Daily monitoring of all social media, activity count, sentiment of content with trend analysis,
    Undertaken by the PR executive who is the responsible employee (or when not available by ano)
    To ensure that content is published (number of items, anticipated media/channel/platforms to meet programme strategy)
    daily, weekly and monthly
    Using an online service
    To provide a committed and sentient appreciation of the programme against the agreed programme strategic outcomes and the corporate vision, mission values.
    Named service vendor is preferred supplier with named back-up supplier (who owns the password, where is it – securely – held; price and access to T’s and C’s/contract.
    • Lines of reporting (action taken, when, by whom and to what effect)
    Reporting to Head of Department no less than daily by PR executive delivered by email and via a secure dashboard
    Highlighting over and under performance in a timely manner
    Implementing the escalation policy (see issues and crisis management strategy)
    Fail to safe (if it did not achieve the task, what is plan B)
    Ensure that a trained deputy is available for implementation (ANO). If not, report to line manager
    Clear understanding of escalation policy for higher/lower performance, sentiment change, high influential participants in the conversation and report immediately to line manager
    Sustained delivery of monitoring service and if not report to line manager and implement alternative vendor service.
  • Strategy v Tactics
    It will have become evident that the strategy did not identify a specific vendor.
    Tactically, there are a number of alternatives and one or more can be deployed (perhaps with one as a reserve)
    For example the actual vendor may be Glerts or Radian6 both would provide a service but they are different and have different service deliverables (and cost implications).
  • Using tactical tools
    If you have a need – there is somewhere online to help
    The obvious is obvious (Twitter Facebook, YouTube, newspapers & magazines Google and blogs)
    Not the only solutions
    Website based
    Third party communities
    Think offline as well
  • In this session
    Why the internet will always be with us.
    How practitioners can see there is life after Facebook.
    What a world beyond Twitter looks like.
  • For More information
    David Phillips:
    david.g.h.phillips at