Information Overload and the Private Realm
By Arieh Levi, Intern
Before I start my first blog post, I believe some introductions are in order.
Hi! My name is Arieh Levi. I am currently a senior at the SAR High School in Riverdale. I am interning at Fusion PR for my Senior Exploration, which is basically a chance for seniors to study a field, industry, or general topic that interests them for a couple of weeks. Having had no prior experience in, or knowledge of, Public Relations as a general industry, I thought it might be a welcome challenge to intern at a PR firm.
One thing that really shocked me when I first started working was the sheer amount of information that goes into PR. With so many media options – websites, print publications, social networking, magazines, tradeshows, awards – it really is quite a feat for any PR firm to manage and track all this data for a given client – much less thirty or forty clients. Fusion has this job doubly difficult specializing in high-tech, as the tech industry booms in size at a breakneck pace. Even further, much of high-tech is no longer generated from Silicon Valley or other American cities, but from the international stage – from countries such as India, China, Japan, and Israel, to mention a few.
From what I’ve gathered, the newest avenue of media integral to PR is social networking. Twitter, Facebook, even YouTube, are all new ways for a company to get themselves out there. At Fusion PR, I’ve noticed that these new avenues of coverage have been addressed and fully utilized. Still, business in social networking begs the question: does one really want business alongside one’s personal life? Twitter I can understand, as it was built as a tool to get the word out and not particularly to communicate one-on-one and is, therefore, suitable for the modern business. Facebook, though, was built as a communications tool for multiple people to connect. Talking with classmates, reconnecting with old friends – Facebook is a part of my private life.
Now, I personally don’t mind seeing businesses in my news feed. But is Facebook undergoing a fundamental shift from communication to a general marketplace/giant billboard? It would seem that Facebook has addressed this idea, relegating businesses to the secondary tier of Facebook, i.e. ‘Groups’ and ‘Fan Pages’ (example). But still, with the speed and volatility of Social Networking UIs and development, it will be interesting to see going forward how this pans out (perhaps in favor of the highest bidder).