Mobile Future

The 21st century spokesperson needs a message… and a mobile phone




More
than ninety percent of Americans are within three feet of their cell phones
twenty-four hours a day. This is especially true if you’re a communications
director, spokesperson, or press secretary.

But
communications professionals aren’t just using their ever-present mobile
devices to call reporters. They’re also using these devices to bypass reporters. Today, the most
successful communicators are harnessing the power of mobile technology to
directly reach consumers, constituents, and key audiences.

Mobile is expected to
redefine mass media and communications outreach. Already, it’s removing the
barriers that separate communications officers and targeted audiences.  Reporters are no longer the gatekeepers of
information. New technologies are allowing more direct contact, engagement, and
information sharing.

According
to recent survey of chief communications officers, the function most frequently
added to their departments last year was social media. Now that social
networking is an integral part of communications outreach, many are wondering
what’s next. How can up-to-the-minute information and key messages be delivered
even more quickly, clearly, and conveniently? How can communications teams
reach people who aren’t in front of a computer or television? The answer is
already in the hands of 270 million Americans.

Here’s just one example of
how mobile technology is changing the media landscape: a few years ago Chamath
Airyadasa, a Sri Lankan journalist, set up Jasmine News Wire (JNW) – a news
organization that delivers information via text messages. As of mid-2008, JNW
had approximately 100,000 subscribers paying 30 cents a month across Sri
Lanka’s four mobile phone networks. Clearly, mobile is allowing for the
creation of innovative, low-cost information-sharing services. Successful
communications teams will capitalize on the new outreach opportunities the
mobile platform provides.

While the combined use of
phone calls, email, social networks, websites and online video has proved
enormously effective and remains important, bringing all communications to a
mobile platform will bolster this success. It will also transform the way
communications professionals and press teams work. As we move forward, it’s
likely that communicators will be busier than ever…but at least they won’t be
chained to their desks.