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Everything is digital, but is digital everything?

18.11.16

Following a visit to the digicities conference, Jammer, Vikki McCrindle, offers insight to the ever-changing digital landscape.

This week the team at JAM attended the digitcities one-day conference at Media City to hear about our ever-changing digital landscape.
The North of England – particularly Manchester and Leeds – has become a vibrant digital hub over the past few years.
Having worked in PR for over a decade, I remember the days before the tech era kicked in. I have memories of stuffing press material into envelopes and lugging huge stacks to the post office. Ah, the days of snail mail.

Today we’re at the centre of a digital revolution, with 50,000 people working in the creative and media industry in the North.

Digital isn’t something you just do; it’s become part of us. It’s expected. You’ll never hear children and young people talking about the ‘digital age’ because it’s inherent.

The digitcities conference was enlightening, and in parts, mind blowing.

We heard that the BBC is moving towards immersive storytelling using virtual reality and 360 degree broadcasts. The audience is increasingly being invited into the story.

One panellist from the BBC raised the shrewd point that we are now so in control of our notifications and news streams that we exist in our own media bubbles, only selecting topics, groups and conversations that we are interested in. So really, broadcasting has become narrowcasting. Media consumption is more personalised than ever.

But, one worry for me is the belief that digital is everything and that ‘traditional’ media (particularly print journalism) is old hat or even obsolete.

The dramatic advances in the digital media landscape means that it is more important than ever for communications professionals to identify what and how client news will work for the different platforms. News must be relevant to the platform’s readers and meet their expectations.

The well documented shrinking newsrooms and declining readerships in print journalism presents us with opportunities to create relevant and useful content to support over-stretched journalists.

Fundamentally, authenticity is the path to the audience’s heart and results in the delivery of powerful content that works for both digital and traditional media.

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