Last night, I had the prvivilege of moderating a panel discussion on rich media at the Microsoft NERD Center in Kendall Square. (See: The New PR – How to Use Rich Media to Create Winning Campaigns)
Worst part of the evening: Getting hopelessly lost in Kendall Square. Kendall Square is like Hogwarts, except that instead of shifting staircases, there are shifting streets. One expects little gnomes from Google and Microsoft to leap out and demand passwords. I circled the Square for three quarters of an hour, narrowly avoiding one traffic accident, almost hitting one runner (would we really miss one less smug runner in Cambridge?) and incurring the wrath of one driver who invited me to perform a physically impossible act of auto-eroticism.
Best part of the evening: The practical insights of the panelists themselves. In summary:
- Lisa Kilborn of Zmags showed us how her company turned a simple survey about consumers’ use of tablets for holiday shopping into an infographic that landed 80 million hits plus favorable plugs from Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin. Nice!
- Nick Barber of IDG played a couple of clips from CES that demonstrated the new reality of video: today, editorial and production are a Zen-like one. Got a camera, got a laptop? Then you got everything you need to make compelling videos on the spot, fast. No need to drag out crews of cameramen, audio techs, post-production gangs, etc.
- Rob Ciampa of Pixability delivered some of the most memorable soundbites of the evening, including an exhortation that we should no more “outsource our social media than outsource sex.” (To each his or her own, I say.) With three videos at very different levels of production value, Rob demonstrated that video is NOT one kind of rich media, but actually covers many kinds of communications tactics (viral, “personal,” brand-oriented, etc.), each with its own virtues depending on audience and context.
All in all, a great evening and I deeply appreciated the warm welcome and hospitality I recieved from the PRSA’s Jackie Lustig and Denise Hutchins!