One key theme seems to be at the core of the material delivered in Saturday’s class- individualize the message. People want to have contact with companies, projects, and stories in a way that engages them as it resonates with their own understanding of who they are. With the disruption in the current age of communication, where delivery methods are so varied and widely accessible, it more important to create a message that captures the attention of a key few who will take amplify your message through their own activities. Naturally this requires the release of some control of the message which can be a struggle for those who are entrenched in a more traditional communication model.
With every company, and really every individual now having the opportunity to become their own media company the audience is more important as a participant than ever. In fact, the building of community around your product or idea can be the key to long-term success. Whether it is Starbucks’s mission statement being about more than just coffee or a health insurance company offering content that helps individuals behave in healthier ways, the SAM trying to reinvent their image in the community or even a flash mob to support a child’s creativity. The content of the message needs to respect audience’s connection to their content in a way that is personal enough to engage at a level deeper than a passing interest.
None of this is especially surprising but it is interesting that the field seems to be refocusing on this direct engagement after having been so broadly cast for so much of recent history. This transformation of the media to a set highly personalized and narrowly targetable channels sets new challenges for those who wish to communicate and drive behavior or understanding of others.