Monthly Archives: June 2011

The watercooler show

Watercooler shows are the shows people talk about in a social situation. The emergence of social media has taken the phenomenon of watercooler shows to a whole new level. Social media provides people a platform to talk about the shows. Every day millions of viewers are joining the conversation on social networks and they are using Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and other platforms to share opinions and convert a normal show into a watercooler show.

What is essential for a show to become a watercooler show on social media? Apart from great show creating a captive audience, it needs a few key influencers to stir the pot on social media, to talk about the show, love it when something great happens, hate it when the things are not as they would like it to be, but irrespective of anything happening just keep participating in conversations about it.

Millions of people spending hours online on social networks and talking about these shows also leads to an interesting side effect. It creates a rich source of data to find insights about these shows. By intelligent mining and analysis of these conversations, marketers can find what key themes and characters are sticking with the audience to develop promos and advertisements for the shows, advertisers can find what demographic and psychographic segments are associating themselves with the shows to better target their products, and producers can get a sense of what is working and what is not working in their shows. Social media sets new standards for audience analysis and measurement for the shows which are much more realistic and practical as compared to traditional methods of measurement.

The evolution of social media has impacted a lot of industries. In-home entertainment industry is one of them. Every television channel wants its show to be the watercooler show with captive customers and eager advertisers. In today’s connected world, that “watercooler” is replaced by something that is much bigger, scalable and measurable.  Social media is the new watercooler!

Social Media: PR

Social media has impacted public relations in a profound way. It has made PR more real-time than ever before. Whether out of necessity or compulsion, PR needs to be managed in real-time in the world enabled by social media. A few hours of delay in managing the communication can lead a small otherwise ignorable thing to go viral on the web with the help of social media. At the same time, a real-time update containing an apology for bad customer service or a new product feature release can convert consumers into lifelong fans.

PR is now direct. Companies don’t have to go through press authorities to release a PR statement. They can now put it on their blog and spread the word through twitter and facebook.

Social media has made PR more interactive and engaging. It’s no longer a one-way street where companies can make announcements to the consumers. It’s interactive where consumers can react to the release and share their opinion with the company. In the world of social media, every individual has a “press pass” to ask questions and share opinions, whether you asked for it or not.

Social media is a  channel of communication which has provided public relation professionals will the capability to learn and understand what’s on consumers’ mind, what questions are they looking for the company to answer, what’s the perception of the consumers on different issues and how the public relation communications are impacting those perception.

It’s true that social media has made PR more real-time and interactive as far as communicating with customer is concerned, but biggest asset social media has provided PR professionals is the power to learn about their consumers and what they think about the company. PR professionals can use this knowledge and insights from the consumers’ world to better communicate with them, measure the impact and build a strong relationship with them, in turn enhancing the R in PR.