#RTSPECTRA – The Evolution of Storytelling in a Digital World

Over three days and more celebrating and spreading memorable and reputation focused content with 80+ international and national speakers, SPECTRA – unique reputation management virtual conference came to an end on 9th January 2021. In the last day of SPECTRA, Rick Murray, Managing Partner at SHIFT Communication talked about ‘The Evolution of Storytelling in a Digital World’. 

He kicks started the session by giving a brief history of the evolution of social media. The very first thing that happened in the world got social. It was more a community build with organic communication. In that organic community we used to trust each other conversations, we were more civil, and it was a different face of social media, he shared. Rick thinks that today the way we share the content shows the way we are consuming content. We are absolutely using a ton of it. He feels that the transformation of the world from a wired community to a wireless community made things real faster. As things get faster and powerful, they become more affordable to us. Every single day, we are creating and sharing more data than ever before, it also changing the consumer behaviour radically. “The reality is that not everything is growing” states Rick Murray. 

As a community we have transformed from being organic to paid and started targeting those audiences who wanted to hear us. We have become digital storytellers, in the truest sense of the word. The economic model driving all of this, having us to think through the advertising lens, has taken the authenticity of so much going on in social media. He believes that we are finding niche audience and targeting those audiences with messaging that they want to hear. 

Rick thinks that the recent pandemic crisis is forcing us to reconsider business decisions about how we go to market, what we do and what we say. Pandemic has taken front setter of our news, of our lives. He believes that by next year, we will see the return of things to normalcy, of living to a degree with the pandemic that will not be controlled until there is a vaccine. “Our business as communicators has not changed in forever. It is an art, it is a science, but our business remains fundamentally the same. We are here to change how people think, they feel and how they act”, states Murray. He thinks as comms professionals we need to use our analytical mind in thinking and fuse it with our creative mind and deliver a message that breaks through the clutter to connect with ones. He further added that our job is to figure out what is important to consumers and how to find them. He believes that comms professionals need to get out the data which allows them to tell a story with passion, empathy, and emotion. 

Companies whose actions and behaviours are truly designed to benefit the world will move powerfully forward and ultimately do better for the world. He stated that we need to design programs with the intent of moving needles that matter to the business. Now is the time to prove the value that comms professionals can create, not just during the crisis but daily. We need to get familiar with the data. It helps in telling a story, shaping a story and the value you add to the business. 

The keynote address was followed by an engaging conversation with Atipriya Sarawat, Fiserv, During the discussion, he commented that there is no formula for an optimal balance between new age and traditional media. “Fundamentally your audience and their media habits dictate what your pick should be, it is always the consumer’s preference”, shares Rick Murray. 

How is the customer experience being impacted in a connected world was the next question? He answered that customer experience is getting better with technology and brands are more focusing on customer-centric behaviour today. In an engaging Q&A session, Rick Murray gave such an enriching insight to each question. He commented that people will have a different point of opinion on the tipping point of social media as some of them have already reached there. New technologies are being tested all the time; you cannot substitute technology with humans. We must drive communication from top to down. Executives need to use tools to collaborate and encourage the teams to do that.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Vani Krishna
She is a part of the Class of 2021 of PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe, Mumbai. She pursued her bachelor’s degree from St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) Mangalore, affiliated to Mangalore University in Journalism, English Major and Computer Animation in 2019.
As an aspiring PR Professional, she regards the PR profession as a social function as it should be a concerning social responsibility to channelize a brand’s empathy and action for the public goodness. She did her internship training with a Kerala based PR firm- Davidson PR & Communications in Cochin. She also worked as a graduate trainee in the Department of Information and Public Relations (I &PRD) – Kerala State, Trivandrum. She is passionate about Sports and Arts.

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