As global technology continues to evolve, how important is it for PR practitioners to stay up to date with new media and technology? For the most part, understanding and using these tools are basic skills for practitioners. However, there are those who may feel the technological evolution is too fast, as we progress from one social network to the next. This becomes even more complicated when we think about using these tools on a global scale.
I read an interesting article discussing Facebook users around the world. Obviously, the country with the most Facebook users is the US. Surprisingly, Indonesia is the country with the second largest number of Facebook users. There are a lot of differences among Internet users in different countries. China has the largest internet population, and Japan and Korea ranked high. I have heard that smart phones work as an Internet infrastructure, so there are a lot of Facebook users in Indonesia.
However, new media changes are not only based on the amount of users, but also on the regulations and culture. For example, there are a lot of regulations in China. And also many new social networks have popped up in Japan and Korea, specific to these countries and their cultures.
As I mentioned, it’s very important to keep up new media and technology, but if we consider the cultural value at the same time, it can make things very complicated. It is virtually impossible to keep up with every country's individual social networks as a practitioner.
Even though there are a lot of differences, there are a lot of common understandings.
We laugh when we are enjoying and cry when we are sad. These are universal behaviors.
I think the area of global PR is the place where we can consider universal PR activities based on new media and technologies without culture or each country’s regulatory conditions. Then, we should break them down to each country’s PR based on cultural values.
By Tetsuro Otsuka