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We recently invited several PR students from Berry College to visit our Atlanta office and spend some time with our account executives to learn about what we do for our clients.

We asked them to draft a blog post answering the question: What technologies impact PR and how can they be used effectively?

Here is what Jamie Collier had to say.

Would FDR use Instagram? What we can learn from fireside chats and the innovative use of new technologies.

Do you remember “Fireside Chats”? You might have learned about them in 4th grade U.S history. In these talks, President Franklin D. Roosevelt distributed a series of radio broadcasts from the White House to the American public. His informal radio addresses were set around an imaginary fire and explained White House policies to the American people. In a time when radio was still a developing technology, “Fireside Chats” broadcast owned media straight from the president himself to the American people. The public loved these talks and found credibility in what their president had to say through radio broadcasts. It was a brilliant PR move and gave the president a strong pull with the public in a time when confidence in the government was very low.

As PR professionals, we need to understand how to better utilize technology in today’s changing market. So how do you define what technologies impact PR and how use them effectively? Here are my three top tips:

1) Simple. FDR knew everyone could use a radio. It was a broad platform that many could access and FDR used the medium to tell stories. When looking at new technologies and whether or not they will stick, it is important to look at the user-friendliness of the platform. Technologies that are easy and simple will positively impact the way businesses interact with the public. Social media has risen as an essential PR asset because it is so simple to use. Anyone and everyone can tell their story and connect with friends and family online. Businesses can use social media platforms to deliver information straight to the audience. However, you have to earn the right to be heard on social media by consistently posting worthwhile content.

2) Unexpected. One reason fireside chats were so popular with the American public is because people were hearing from the president directly. Listening to a message directly from the president was something special and having access to what FDR said was intriguing to most people. A technology that has given the PR industry the ability to develop unexpected messages is the Adobe Creative Suite. This technology allows professionals to design appealing messages and tell uncommon stories through graphics and video. However, it is important to balance ethics and entertainment when using technologies that allow you to alter photos and video.

3) Concrete. Information FDR broadcast was in simple terms and easy to understand by an uneducated American public. He appealed to the masses. Concepts were not dumbed-down, but the core of the message was communicated thoroughly through the airwaves. Social media channels and the adobe suite are great assets to designing PR campaigns, however, it is important to remember the basics. The ability to write press releases, cold-call journalists and manage a crisis will always be useful in the PR industry regardless of what changes new technologies bring. These skills are essential and adaptable to new technologies. PR professionals are utilizing media by following journalists on twitter so they can be the first to pitch stories when journalists ask for news.

By incorporating new technologies and implementing their use in campaigns, PR professionals are better able to connect to their audience and industry. We are able to design dynamic and moving messages that can focus on specific audiences or target a wide array of people. Using up-and-coming technology is always tricky because it is new and unknown, however, by looking at how people have successfully used new concepts in the past we can be better prepared to succeed in the future.


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