What Public Relations can learn from Transmedia storytelling

Public Relations needs to adjust to survive.

For those not familiar with the expression, «Transmedia storytelling» I’ll refer to my favorite explanation found in Henry Jenkins book: Convergence Culture. Jenkins describes transmedia storytelling as «storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan’s understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia creates “entry points” through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.» In the Public Relations universe, efforts have been made to harness the digital word or the social media scene with new iterations of the proverbial press release generally called «Social Media Release». This social release adds multimedia elements and makes it easier to share information on Twitter and Facebook amongst others. But the delivery of the news itself hasn’t evolved. It is still a written text of about 600 to 800 words accompanied with images, links, and videos. In other words, it has only been slightly adapted for the digital realm without taking into account how people use the web to share the news and the strength of various social media platforms. Hence, I would suggest that Transmedia storytelling can teach Public Relations professionals new and more effective ways to reach bloggers and the social crowd.

Offering different entry points to a story that best suits the media needs to be in the PR toolbox.

– Gaven Dumont

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