Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
In chapter two of The Content Code author Mark Schaefer states that today’s society deals with a “Formula One-fast digital world.” Being a fan of Formula One and a creative fan I find the connection to be funny and ironic all at one. Why? The answer is simple. For starters let me explain what Formula One is. Formula One, or F1, is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The comparison between F1 and the digital world is funny because I’ve seen just how fast an F1 car can drive and I also know that in just the click of ONE button, the digital world is at the hands of anyone who choses to engage in it. Additionally, it is ironic just because although F1 races rarely end in crashes, the digital world we’ve chosen to create is full of flaws that can lead to a crash at any time. A crash? One spelling error, promotional error, or timing error can make or break you within the digital world within minutes.
Take the soup story that Schaefer shares as the perfect example. Although the story has no digital aspect to it, it demonstrates how, in a matter of seconds, anyone can crash. And in this digital world, a couple of seconds is enough to reach a quarter of your intended audience. In the soup story, Schaefer explains how a soup restaurant owner partnered with a car dealership to provide customers with soup every Souper Thursday. This in turn filled the car dealership with potential customers, but when a competing car dealership caught on to the gains of free lunch, Souper Thursday visits went down because the other dealership offered more than just good soup. Although the digital age is different from soup, as a society we created the digital world to be able to advertise events like Souper Thursday to all audiences. One audience retention goes down, so will your motivation to continue fighting and that will eventually lead to a crash.
Although being in a “Formula One-fast digital world” has its perks, we must be careful to watch where we are driving before we find ourselves crashing or spinning out in the middle of the race.