Is PR on the same channel with Social TV?

by PR Coach

Social TV is a game changer

Social TV lets viewers watch, share & interact with content

“Social TV” is another game changer for business and public relations. The breakneck pace of change and the convergence of TV, video, social media and mobile have big implications for public relations, marketing and social media.

Everyone is now a potential TV broadcast network. As PR pros know Google, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Vimeo and a host of other new video and social TV “channels” and services have turned the media landscape upside down.

It’s now the era of individuals as “broadcasters.” Each of us can produce and transmit our own content from one person to millions easily and inexpensively. And deliver it in high definition quality as far as the internet can reach.

The most exciting part is these new broadcast channels are two-way. That’s why experts call it “social TV.” And because of our inherent skill, training and social media savvy, public relations has proven it can lead when two-way communication is critical.

The new do-it-yourself tools, gear and technology for social TV are both inexpensive and broadcast quality. It’s a convergence of forces that can incite a revolution in the Middle East. Capture the devastating impact and suffering from an earthquake or tsunami. Or share the occupation of Wall Street or a college shooting instantly from a cell phone to network TV, across the city and around the world.

Social TV As Game Changer

New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott recently covered the 2012 TV and Everything Video Forum and highlighted some of these TV and video trends brilliantly. He interviewed several thought leaders and forum participants on their predictions.

Highlights of his must-read article:

  • social media lets consumers watch TV live and share comments and content instantly
  • three times as many consumers now believe TV is more effective than in a previous survey in 2010
  • second screens are a breakthrough advance; watching video and interacting while on several screens is booming
  • measurement of the “new” social TV is challenging
  • many consumers are using multiple screens while watching TV (including computers, tablets and smartphones)
  • reminder that “first” screens still have big influence and reach
  • fragmented attention is already a reality
  • “sociable TV” may replace social TV in the near future, reflecting both the sharing and interactive nature of television.

Industry opinion leaders at the conference sound excited about the future. Public relations should be energized as well.

The new direct-to-consumer and direct-to-business models are a PR and marketing dream if done well. That is, if we don’t allow marketers to use the old “push” model of information sharing and advertising. It’s now a content marketing world!

“Second screens are changing the viewer experience,” said Ralph Santana, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics. “We’ve got to continue to be brave and do a lot of experimentation,” he said. “We need to start rethinking content and how we tell stories as marketers.”

Andrew Shipp looks at social TV, who’s doing it well and how brands can get big reach through social TV.

How Does Social TV Impact Public Relations?

Here’s my take on the implications of social TV for PR pros:

  • PR can and must produce video and utilize it in social media for its huge reach, impact, influence, control of message, leadership and marketing potential.
  • If you’re not already familiar and comfortable with video, you need to go through the learning curve NOW and include video in future social media programs.
  • We must work hard to build engagement and sharing into social TV.
  • There is an insatiable appetite for high quality information, advice, learning and intelligence.
  • Remember that “first screens” are still an important influence
  • Pay close attention to the exponential growth of “second screens” such as computers, tablets, mobile used by multimedia savvy millennials in their media mix. Video can be repurposed and extended to these additional screens.

As Adobe Sytems product manager Chris Robison put it, “consumers are adopting digital video faster than we are.”

PR simply shouldn’t be afraid of video and social TV. True, it’s not the same TV we grew up with. We must recognize social TV’s advantages and be creative about how we use its power for all the right reasons. Just as PR embraced and took the lead in social media, we need to do the same with social TV.

I urge you to read Stuart Elliott’s compelling article. If you’re not already convinced social TV is a revolution, you will be after you read it.

As always, our channel is open 24 hours a day. You can get weekly posts from The PR Coach blog or see it directly in your favorite RSS reader. Thanks for tuning in and do drop us a note in the comments below.

Author: Jeff Domansky

Photo Credit: x-ray delta one via Flickr

10 Great Reads on Social TV:

12 predictions for social TV in 2012  [lost remote]
Cable TV’s Erosion is Real, It’s Just Very Slow
Social Media Helps Grammys Achieve Huge Ratings in Broadcast and Social TV  [Mashable]
Social TV: Social Marketing Practices That Translate Beyond Television  [B2C]
The Video Revolution Will Not Be Televised (On Broadcast Or Cable TV)
  [Fast Company]
Top Trends of 2011: How TV Grew More Social  [ReadWriteWeb]
What is social TV? Not Google TV or YouTube says NBC rep  [Ecoconsultancy]
YouTube’s Reach Begins to Eclipse Television  [ReadWriteWeb]

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