This past Friday, my friend Mike asked if I wanted to burn off some Thanksgiving calories on the basketball court. I jumped at the opportunity.
In between our games of one-on-one (Mike beat me two out of three games, BTW) we discussed my recent decision to expand the focus of RonAmok! beyond “social media for marketing and PR” to include new advances in hardware, software, and networking technologies that allow individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments to accomplish things that couldn’t have been conceived of just few short years ago. In between dribbles, we discussed the ramifications of crowd-sourcing, machine-to-machine communication, and the Internet of Things.
That’s when Mike, stopped, held the ball for a moment and asked, “But, what’s the link between social media and your new direction?”
“They are one in the same,” I answered, realizing that at first blush, the statement sounded crazy.
All communications require three things: a message, a recipient, and a method to connect the two. A medium carries messages to intended recipients. It doesn’t matter if that medium comes in the form of a traditional broadcast, the press, the Internet, a social networking site, drums or even smoke signals. The ramifications of easily digitized content delivered through cheap distribution networks has blurred the media lines. Therefore, rather than caring about how the message is delivered (the medium), communicators should care more about accomplishing a specific goal by matching medium with message.
The economies of scale resulting from our ability to cheaply digitize, distribute and present messages to the right audiences have opened exciting new possibilities. However, in order to take advantage of this scale, we must determine the optimum connection between medium, message, and purpose.
Communications decisions must be driven by purpose first, followed by message and medium. Ask not what Facebook, Twitter, or crowd-sourcing can do for you. Ask how they can help fulfill your company’s purpose.