News being gathered through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and news sharing sites is fundamentally altering how we are receiving information to guide decisions we make in our lives.
The protests in Iran and the death of Michael Jackson are just two recent examples of how the internet’s latest social technologies helped to break and share these developments.
Jeff Jarvis who blogs at Buzzmachine is again at the forefront of discussions on this subject. Arguably one of the world’s foremost web thinkers, Jarvis has put forward the fascinating notion that news is no longer a product but it is in fact now a process.
To support his view, he highlights the emergence of sites like Globalvoices which has developed an infrastructure which curates constant streams of news and information from around the web. So people can be kept up-to-date.
So what implications do these developments have for business media in the social age? Clearly the days of just putting together a polished press release; getting it signed off; and sending it out are over. Of course you still have to do that, but chances are the story will have moved on rapidly as soon as you have issued it or people will be commenting on it, changing it in effect, so it becomes redundant in seconds.
Business media professionals need to develop fresh methods for distributing content in real-time and responding to responses about their content in real-time.
And this all needs to be curated and presented for their interested audiences to be able to read.
Conversations which went on with journalists on the phone are now taking place online and business media communications professionals need to be participating online in order to listen, manage and protect – as far as is possible – how the organisations they represent are being reported.
This requires new skills. But I am sure leading corporate communications teams will get the hang of it pretty quickly. After all, who wants to spend most of their working time chasing after a blog story which could have been nipped in the virtual bud early on in the cycle?