The “chat-ification” of our culture is now completely out-of-control.
More than 800 million people use Facebook messenger each month.
100 million people use Snapchat each day.
And people between the ages of 18-24 send, 3,200 text messages…PER MONTH.
Chatting is, without question, one of the most popular functions people use on mobile devices.
I’m not here today to question that indisputable fact.
But, I am here to talk about how all that chatting, texting and snapping will impact the PR industry in other ways.
Namely, our ability to present and persuade.
Here’s what I’m getting at.
Think about a young person growing up today, going to college right now. What’s the primary way they communicate? Texting. Chat apps. Snapchat.
What percentage of their daily communication is done this way? 50 percent? 75 percent? 90 percent? (don’t laugh–I’m probably not far off with that last one)
Point is: Young people are spending A LOT of time communicating via chat. So much so, that they’re no longer practicing communicating the old-fashioned way: Face-to-face.
Big deal, you say. It’s the evolution of communication, you say.
Sure–you might be right about that. But, it’s also coming at the expense of our public speaking and presenting skills.
And that’s a big deal.
Think about your workplace. Think about what happens during your day.
Meetings with your boss.
Meetings with your team.
Meetings with your direct reports.
Most people’s days are stuffed with meetings. All kinds of them.
And what do you do at meetings? You don’t Snapchat the person sitting next to you. You TALK to them. You DISCUSS your ideas. You BRAINSTORM…OUT LOUD.
These are things that happen in meetings.
You know what else happens in meetings?
Budgets get set.
Ideas get pitched–and moved forward.
Teammates persuade managers that their idea will make the client successful (and three months later, they’re promoted).
Point being: Professional life happens in meetings and in-person–not via chat.
I think all this time we’re spending chatting and snapping is going to come at a cost. It’s going to start impacting our presentation and persuasion skills.
Because you have to practice presenting and persuading to stay proficient–just like anything else. Fall out of practice, and you get rusty. And if you’re rusty with your presentation and persuasion skills in the PR world… well, that’s not a great place to be, my friends.
So, I’m very curious to see how this plays out. Especially among younger folks since they’re the power users of chat apps and tools right now.
As always, time will tell. But, it’s certainly going to be interesting to watch the developments.