Technology Changes Paradigm of Strategic Communication
The success of any strategic communication endeavour is predicated on the communication team’s ability to identify issues, define problems and core objectives to be achieved, identifying and defining core target to engage, map out strategy of deployment, selecting appropriate media platforms for engagement, set out time frames, and measurement and evaluation tools of efficiency and effectiveness.
That was the submission of the Director, Planning and Strategy, SO&U Saatchi and Saatchi, Mr. Friday Okuwe, while delivering his lecture titled, ‘Strategic Communication and Its Applications in a Digital Era,’ at a Town and Gown seminar organised by the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, on Friday, October 27, 2017.
The Guest Speaker said that the ultimate goals of every strategic communication are to provide information, influence demand and sales, communicate unique selling point, reinforce and enhance corporate image and brand positioning, build equity, influence attitudes and behaviour, and increase sales and market share.
Mr. Okuwe said, with the emergence of new media, the era of integrated marketing communication being limited to just merchandising, advertising, public relations, sales promotion, personal selling, and marketing towards creating and enhancing messaging impact was over.
Technology, he noted, is changing the paradigm as it pertains to advertising and brand management, doing away with the period where organisations operated within a black box, as the essence of the present era is that of a radical transparency.
According to him, “Business used to be a black box. It was pretty hard to see what was going on inside. The brand that the business showed the world was whatever you painted on the outside of the box. People came and looked at it. They either liked it or not. The 2017 business is a glass box that outsiders can easily see inside. They can see the people and the processes. They can see the values. They can even see what the people inside the box feel about what they are doing. You already intuitively know the reason for that profound change.”
Mr. Okuwe averred that connectivity of the digital age is a key driver of this shift, with the democratisation of information and interconnectivity through digital devices. This era, he posited, is an evolution of old media into mainstream 21st century technologies for more personalized and interconnected expression and communication.
He said that traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written word are evolving with the interactive power of digital technology, computer-enabled consumer devices and most importantly, the internet. However, he stated, the success of communicating in the digital era is not about the platforms used, but what is put on the platform.
He was of the view that with traditional media embracing digital communication tools, and the digital adopting some of the traditional means of communication, it is no surprise that traditional media are now creating online presence, and as a result, an event on one platform can resonate and trend on the other speedily.
He noted that key considerations for successful strategic communication in the digital era means brands can no longer get away with making claim, but must work hard towards creating believability and evolve new means of doing things that will attract engagement. However, it will still be about effective strategic communication. In his words, “it is still about communication in a digital world, not about digital communication.”