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Communicators remember: not everyone wants to be digital

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMS, texting, YouTube videos, forums – all these things can be great to watch and participate in, but a little survey from the USA reminds us that professional communicators should always remember that not everyone wants to be digital – and it would be foolish to ignore them.

The Ars Technica article makes some good reading and it points out that while 26% think broadband connectivity is too expensive, there’s a further 38% who just don’t want it. Now yes, some of them will be happy with dial-up and others will be happy with 3G connectivity (if that’s what they have) and some just plain don’t want to be there.

Now that’s always important to remember because many a communicator – especially the younger digerati – think that if it’s on a blog, a tweet and a Facebook profile then surely the whole world will see it (many still fall for the Kevin Costner mantra of ‘if you build it (or in this case, post it) they will come (or in this case read)’ which is a fallacy I’ve often argued against at presentations and events.

And it’s not the case. There are many generations – and many people – who don’t necessarily see the benefits of digital (this is an issue in Scotland as well as many areas of the Scottish countryside cannot get connected while others see no reason). And we should not – as the majority of that comments section does – berate them for this. We should respect them.

But as communicators, you have an obligation to your message (never mind your client, you have obligations beyond that. In this case, the message) to make sure everyone who should see it does see it. The internet has not replaced TV, radio or print (despite what some say) and the good, professional comms operator will know that and not only make sure that all of the bases are covered, but that they have something to offer all the different mediums.

UPDATE ONE: Hello to PR Daily Readers – there’s a blog post just for you elsewhere on this wonderful Scottish social media site.

UPDATE TWO: Lilly Hunter disagrees to an extent and points out that in Sweden you more or less have to go digital (haven’t had time to read the PDF in the link but it looks like a fascinating societal case study)

  1. […] So it will be interesting to see if Clarke’s speech makes any difference. I doubt it. And that means everyone in Scotland misses out because the less pushing there is of digital by those in a decent position to make it interesting, the less take up/incentive to take up will be seen by average people or people who don’t want to go online (not that they should be forced to). […]

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