Transmedia Storytelling & UGC

Hello Bloggers and Blogettes,

The subject this week asks the question of how likely is it that your profession will be changed through the growth of UGC and/or transmedia story-telling?

As previously mentioned I am a Bond University student studying a Bachelor of Communications with a Major in Public Relations. I have chosen to relate the question this week to the Public Relations profession and how it will be changed. In a nutshell Public Relations is how a company, organisation, person etc chooses to communicate with their publics whether it be through advertising, social media, promotions and many more. The main idea of PR is to gain support and exposure.

Now, I am sure you are all curious as to what UGC is right? Well it stands for User Generated Content, basically it is information and content produced by users. For example, social media.

Moving onto what transmedia storytelling is.

In Henry Jenkins article Transmedia Storytelling 101 he identified 10 points that sum up what user generated content is. For the purpose of relating this weeks question to PR, Jenkins 5th point particularly stood out to me. The point states:

“Transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments. So, for example, Marvel produces comic books which tell the Spider-man story in ways that they think will be particularly attractive to female (a romance comic, Mary Jane Loves Spiderman) or younger readers (coloring book or picture book versions of the classic comicbook stories ). Similarly, the strategy may work to draw viewers who are comfortable in a particular medium to experiment with alternative media platforms (as in the development of a Desperate Housewives game designed to attract older female consumers into gaming)” (Jenkins, 2007)

The point Jenkins makes is very relevant to the changes PR will go through, especially PR in the 21st century. As Jenkins says, transmedia storytelling will expand the potential market for a property, this suggest that this tactic will allow PR clients to expand their communication methods to their audiences. Once upon a time PR methods were simple and would have to be designed to satisfy the broad range of audiences, nowadays, with the help of transmedia storytelling it can be distributed in multiple different ways. By utilising this method, companies will be able to cater to their diverse range of audiences and publics and tailor their content to suit the needs of their client.

UGC and PR are very much related in the now techno-relient world we live in. PR is all about giving the clients audiences what they want and telling them what they can offer. The UGC method is a brilliant way of combining what the company can offer and what the audiences want. This is most commonly done through social media. Social Media has been a major game changer for the PR industry recently and will only continue to be more beneficial as it improves. As people can now easily and more freely express their opinions and ideas it has given companies the opportunity to implement what the people want. Audiences are no longer passive, they are active which in turn has a huge positive influence on the change of PR for companies as they have the opportunity to give people what they want instead of making assumptions. Time is rapidly changing at a fast pace that is hard to keep up with, but the fast and evolving world is exciting and productive. Below is a quick video on how important social media is nowadays for Public Relations.

So before you press send or click upload, remember that YOU now have the chance to decide how you want to be viewed by other through your social media or technological footprint. PR has taken the use of UGC and transmedia storytelling by the reins and is steering it directly to success through providing consumers with what they want. The way that UGC and transmedia storytelling has changed PR and is continuing to change it is one of the most beneficial things to happen to the Public Relations industry and it is only onwards and upwards from here!

Thanks for reading, have a tech-riffic day!

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