The Spanish Association of Communication Professionals, Dircom, together with the Pr Noticias Agency Club, has held a discussion forum in the framework of the run-up to the World Public Relations Forum entitled “From the press release to transmedia: new challenges for communication professionals.” Discussion focused on the future and the importance of digital supports as communication vehicles and whether the press release, commonly used to date, is still needed as a work tool for communication professionals. The theme of the event #ComTransmedia was trending topic on Twitter.
The Agency Club breakfast meeting opened with contributions from Gonzalo Rodríguez and Fernando Cano from Pr Noticias and the Managing Director of Dircom, Sebastián Cebrián. The latter highlighted key aspects of directors’ attitudes towards new technologies and the leap communication has made towards being two-way between businesses and individuals. In this respect, Cebrián emphasized that communication directors must be more aware than ever of today’s reality and listen to consumers to be able to interpret this reality and help their organisation grow. As regards the press release, he stated that it could be “the beginning of the end of a tool that was useful” but now needs to adapt proactively to change and different audiences if it wants to survive.
The round table that followed, chaired by Gonzalo Rodríguez, brought together Patricia Salgado, Director of Digital Reputation at Web Loyalty; Aurora García, Director of Corporate Communication at Ketchum; Alejandro Romero, CEO of Alto-Analytics, and Diego Rivera, Director of Strategy and Creativity at Best Relations. Each of the participants gave their own definition of transmedia but all agreed on the importance of storytelling, adapting the message according to the target audience, with the aim of capturing attention and contributing to building positive corporate reputation. “Press releases should tell the story you wish to tell and how you wish tell it” stated Aurora García, adding that this format still needs to exist in today’s world as it is the way to reach the media. “Press releases are effective and necessary but only for traditional media,” Patricia Salgado commented, and she described transmedia as a strategy necessarily linked to brand positioning.
For Alejandro Romero, transmedia is an evolution stemming from the challenge that communicators face today: fragmentation, capturing the attention of the person who receives the message. In his opinion: “It affects everyone not just this profession. It is part of reality.”
Diego Rivera, introduced the concept of “personal transmedia” in which individuals personalise and adapt their own messages depending on the social media used, which is something the big companies are not doing to date and is essential in order to connect with the public. “While the intellectual property of the brand will always belong to the company, its emotional property belongs to people,” he argued.
Transmedia is the future of communication, as it activates participation, while the press release has to adapt to find its place, which is no longer clear, within communication. This discussion will also held at the upcoming World Public Relations Forum, which will be attended by more than 1,200 professionals from all over the world and will be held in Madrid on 21, 22 and 23 September.