Virtual Reality

Hello Bloggers and Blogettes!

This week the question given to analyse was how is your field ( or any profession that interested you) using “gamification” and/or virtual augmented reality to enhance performance in that field? How exciting! This is an awesome question that I have chosen to relate to PR and focus on how virtual augmented reality is enhancing that field.

There are millions of different weird and wacky stunts and promotions that PR practitioners come up with to gain the media and publics attention. More recently since technological innovations the PR industry has been utilising ‘virtual reality‘ as a method to their madness! This basically is the idea of taking a person to another world whether it be imaginary or through physical simulation to create an experience. This is taking PR and connecting with publics to a whole new level. Virtual reality is giving people the opportunity to experience things that they could experience in the real world but instead with just the touch of a button. For example, online shopping is a craze for women and men everywhere all around the world with an estimated 85% of the worlds population now shopping online (Turnton, 2008) whether it be for clothing, airline tickets or music. Long gone are the days where we would go to the store and by a CD, now with the click of a button we have access to all of the worlds music and usually at a cheaper price too.

There are a number of examples where PR has chosen to use the method of virtual reality as a promotion. My personal favourite is the Coke Zero’s ‘Unlock the 007 in you’ advertisement for Coca Cola’s official sponsorship of latest James Bond movie Skyfall.

After being released in October of 2012 this video has had almost 10 million views. This advertisement is a great example of virtual reality along with adding the idea of gamification. Futuristic characteristics and idea of playing a ‘game’ coincided with the ‘missions’ and ‘adventures’ theme of James Bond.

The world has dramatically changed and improved forms of communication since the internet. As flew states

“The Internet has also promoted the convergence of modes of communications from one-to-one (e.g. email), one-to-many (e.g. websites), and many-t0-many (e.g. interactive ‘real time’  online spaces) that challenges traditional hierarchies between senders and receivers of communication and between producers and consumers of media content” (Flew, 2008)

This statement cements the fact that through the internet and virtuality, communication methods have been significantly improved therefore, easier for PR practitioners to connect with publics.

After all of this research on the virtual world and how it is enhancing PR, I was left wondering if technology had taken over and left traditional PR methods to die! Personally, I think no. Technological advancements have only created more opportunities for the PR industry. Rebekah Iliff, Co-founder & CEO, talkTECH Communications identified the top five innovations that have changed PR forever and for the good. Listed below are the points that Iliff identified.

1. Email- In many ways, the jump from in-person and phone-based conversations to online correspondence has made our jobs and tasks much easier to manage: we can easily spread our stories more quickly to more people in a streamlined, organized fashion, and from pretty much anywhere on the planet for a very low cost.  Additionally, it’s much easier to track and delegate communication activities via email.  According to a recent study 75% of journalists prefer email correspondence for news releases.

2. Search engines- The direct-to-consumer model became popularized with the search engine, and created an opportunity for those willing to understand its implications. Which are? Well, simply put: learning how to communicate in key words, and understanding your constituency well enough to understand how they search for information. I like to call it “search engine psychoanalysis.”

3. Social Networks –I believe that in the final analysis this phenomenon must be embraced by communicators as a very effective tool – if utilized properly.  Although it can very quickly become an albatross if not understood within the context of an entire communications strategy, no other tool (included here are Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) has the ability to create value for any client once aligned with an overarching strategic approach.  For better or for worse, the ubiquity of social networks – like technology in general- is not going to change.

4. Self-publication platforms– From a purely PR standpoint, a recent Cision Survey estimated the 89% journalists begin their research for stories by looking at popular, niche blogs.  Furthermore, and relating back to the search engine discussion from above, these self-publication platforms can all be linked to key search terms for maximum exposure, thus creating an opportunity to be “found” if executed properly.

5.The mobile marketplace –In terms of the local breakdown, BIA/Kelsey expects U.S. mobile local advertising revenues to grow from $213 million in 2009 to $2.03 billion in 2014. This represents 44 percent of total U.S. mobile ad revenues in 2009, growing to 69 percent in 2014. BIA/Kelsey defines mobile local advertising as ads that are targeted based on a user’s location. So for those of you not quite getting what mobile advertising has to do with the communications industry I’ll spell it out: E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  When the advertising industry predicts growth like this, you can be sure that whatever revenue sources they are touting as big money makers will no doubt affect every aspect of the marketplace. (R Illiff)

So, as Illiff identified virtuality has been a huge improvement and opportunity for the PR industry. PR has now grasped the methods of gamification and virtual reality and have come up with impressive and futuristic campaigns in turn. So lets all just take a moment to thank the huge number of creative minds and the extent that these people went through to develop these technological advancements that has given us online shopping. THANK YOU!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Have a tech-riffic day!

References

Turton, S (2008). PC PRO, 85% Of the world shop online. Retrieved 18 March 2013, from http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/160155/85-of-worlds-population-shopping-online

Illiff, R. (2013). Talk Tech Communications, Is traditional PR dead? 5 ways technology has impacted the communications industry for better or worse. Retrieved 18 March 2013 from, http://talktechcomm.com/is-traditional-pr-dead-5-ways-technology-has-impacted-the-communications-industry-for-better-or-worse/

Flew, T. (2008). New Media: an introduction, 3rd edition, pg 36. Retrieved March 18 2013.

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