How is communication changing?



Communication in the 21st century is no more about a one-way delivery of texts or speeches; it is about an interactive delivery of content!



The development of multimedia, the higher penetration of Internet and the increased number of mobile devices that allow us to stay connected anywhere and anytime have significantly changed the way we communicate. And this change is not just about the channels we use for sending our message. It is true that now there are several ways in which we can exchange information, ways that could not have been even imagined few years ago. Still, the big change is a different one: by experiencing these new channels of communication people have started to reject information presented in a linear, traditional way. They don’t just want to read about something; they want to experience what they are reading about. And this can only be done through photos, video, interactive applications or even multi-sensorial experiences.

Given the abundance of information that we can now access via Internet, a simple text has great chances of being ignored if not accompanied by a representative photo, a video or some kind of interaction. Newspapers are losing a great amount of readers that are now more interested in reading the information on the Internet, where they can find an enriched, interactive content, that is easily accessible anywhere.

Moreover, the Internet and social media are offering virtually anyone the possibility of communicating to the masses information that is not filtered anymore by the editors of different mass-media companies or, sometimes, by the interests that were hidden behind them. Not only that this has put pressure on communicators to be more transparent and honest, but it also allowed small entities to be more public about their work, extend their reach to a higher number of people and even to initiate structural changes in their society. It can now be observed that almost each behavioural revolution, big demonstrations and even uprisings around the globe have now a social media component.

This higher reach of a message brings also a different element to the equation. The target group is more heterogeneous, more diverse. As a consequence, messages conveyed through these new media now have to be formulated as simple as possible so that they can be understood by anyone, no matter their background. Moreover, videos, photographs, info graphics, animations, are useless if they don’t connect to the viewer by offering authenticity. We should no longer share information, we should share a story.

The same accessibility of mass media has also another important effect: it allows stakeholders to be more vocal. What was before a small group of people that were unhappy with a project, turned into large masses of people fighting for what is right and defending that group. It is not uncommon now that even huge projects are being cancelled because of not properly engaging their stakeholders.

In professional communication, more often than not, in the competition between two different projects, it happens that the one with a better presentation and with a better communication strategy is winning the support, even if the other would have had a better outcome. This occurs because this outcome of the better project was not presented to decision makers in a way in which they can understand its value. Moreover, referring to the same environment, given the globalized world in which we live now, team communication has to take into account not just the message but also the cultural differences that exist between members.

What can be a short conclusion of the above findings? “Communication in the 21st century is no more about a one-way delivery of texts or speeches; it is about an interactive delivery content!”. This could be of the simplest ways to express it. For doing an effective work we need to use as much of the technologies existing at this point, to integrate video, audio and interactive features into it and to communicate in an authentic, transparent and honest way, with a strong emphasize on the emotional aspects!


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