Posted on February 24, 2017 by staff

We really did exist before social media


Do you remember how you used to network in 2000?

This was one of the questions posed at a PR and marketing masterclass I hosted this week with the very talented Anna Heyes, managing director of PR, marketing and digital communications consultancy Active Profile.

The audience was made up of members of Professional Liverpool and the point of the question was to illustrate how technology has changed the landscape by which business gets done.

For example LinkedIn wasn’t launched until 2003; Facebook arrived in 2004; and Twitter didn’t land until 2006. It’s hard to believe that the world even existed before the advent of social media, but it did.

“How many people in the room have checked their Facebook profile or Twitter account today?” asked Anna, to which most hands in the room went up.

“Now how many people have bought a newspaper today?” she continued. Not a single hand went up – and it was deeply thought-provoking.

That same evening I was talking to my 16-year-old daughter about an article she read on BuzzFeed about how people’s grandparents met.

There were some great tales. One reader’s grandmother met her grandfather by joining the school choir so she could be closer to him. Another couple met at a protest.

Imagine if a child asked her nan that question 50 years from now. “I met your grandfather when he swiped right on Tinder,” she might reply. Talk about romance being dead.

The point that came out of the PR and marketing masterclass was that although the platforms which people consume their news have changed, the need for great content has never been stronger.

I’m amazed when I watch funny videos on YouTube and see they’ve had 14 million views. It’s just great content.

Editors like me need well written and relevant content more than ever and PR and marketing companies still want to raise the profile of their clients. It’s a win-win.

Technology has changed all aspects of society. Can you remember the last advert you saw on the television? I, for one can’t – and that’s because I use Sky+ to speed up all the adverts because I watch virtually no TV in real-time.

Advertisers have cottoned on to this and they now sponsor specific programmes so their advert is sandwiched either side of the show so it’s harder to speed through.

Too many PRs and marketing agencies are lazy and haven’t moved with the times, which is an accusation that could be made of some journalists who never get out the office.

Technology is an irresistible force and can’t be stopped. If you don’t embrace technology and move with the times you’ll be crushed – but don’t see it as the enemy, either.