Communications underwent a dramatic transformation in the past decade. As Josh Berrnoff noted in his recent Groundswell blog post, in the past 10 years, broadband went from rare to ubiquitous, mobile phone subscriptions reached 270 million (out of 305 million people) and digital video recorders came into 31 million homes. Media became social, with reality television, blogs and social networks turning the tables and providing the audience with a veritable microphone. For public relations professionals, the new media landscape (including the real time web) offers new challenges and opportunities. As we move into 2010, we will continue to see more applications and devices that will help us navigate our way through this new world. Here are a few of the trends we will learn more about this week at the Consumer Electronics Show that I am particularly excited about.
- Consolidation My Blackberry serves as phone, camera, watch, alarm clock, and calendar in addition to being my lifeline for email, Twitter and Facebook. I have also been known to use it as a calculator. If only it could serve as a keycard and control the thermostat and lights in my house, I might stand a better chance of getting out in the morning without forgetting. Successful apps will help you to use technology in a more efficient and convenient manner. Be on the lookout for technologies such as the L5 Remote, an accessory and free app that turn any iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote control. New apps will help you to manage more media, easier and quicker than ever before.
- Mobility What is your workday like? Much of my day at BurrellesLuce is spent in meetings. And let’s face it, sometimes working is not conducive to… well work. Fortunately, as we move into the next decade media smart phones are becoming even smarter, and media will move with you. Consider Free Mobile TV, vehicles that also serve as Wi-Fi hotspots… you can’t run away from the news. Whether you are working remotely or in a traditional office setting, visiting with clients, or attending a conference, your location cannot be an excuse for missing out on important information.
- Connectivity. If you are a communications professional not being connected is simply not longer an option (with the exception of a well deserved vacation, I suppose!) When it comes to staying connected, few things are as frustrating (or frightening) as being on the road or in a meeting and seeing that the power bar on your Blackberry or laptop has dropped dangerously low. Since I hate packing numerous power cords (Okay, I don’t always remember to pack them), and have found myself in more than one meeting room with limited access to outlets, I was particularly excited to hear about YoGen, a green, universal mobile device charger that generates power with a simple pull and recharges devices in just minutes. One of my Twitter friends, Mike Schaffer, director of social media for Brotman-Winter-Fried Communications, will be helping to unveil the YoGen Charger at CES, so if you are in Las Vegas next week, be sure and stop by booth 4821 N, in the North Hall and say hello for me!
While I believe that these trends will help us to do a better job of managing our work, one of my colleagues pointed out that they may well allow work to manage us. Are these devices a leash that will keep you chained to work, or are they the keys to free you to a more flexible, productive and efficient workstyle? I vote for the latter, but I am curious to hear your thoughts!