Author, broadcaster and advertising doyen, Jane Caro, is the keynote at Communication Innovation – PRIA’s 2016 National Conference on the 14th of November (check out the full list of speakers here.) However, today she tells B&T how the internet is taking power from the powerful and what that means for the rest of us…
Should social media managers be on a constant lookout for ‘the next big thing’?
Yes, but I think that’s where we get ourselves lost. The technology and the method of delivery are forever expanding. I was listening to ABC Radio last week to people, I think it was Future Tens, talking about people having chips inserted into their brains. So goodness knows where we’re going to end up. In fact, human beings, haven’t changed. What engages us, what excites us, what moves us, what frightens us – what gets us involved and energised, is the same now as it was a hundred thousand years ago. Yes, new platforms shape the design of content, the shape of content, the length of content – but what they should never influence is the substance of content.
Critics see social media as graveyard for real action – where ‘slacktivism’ makes us click a Facebook ‘like’ rather than actually doing something. How then can it affect democracy?
I don’t think that’s any different to how it used to be. In fact, the only difference now is that people are able to register likes, they are able to sign petitions, they are able to donate to causes. Crowd funding is a really interesting example of that, and Getup! is an interesting example, as well. In a way, we’ve made it easier for people to, if not themselves take action, give other people a sense of being supported in the action that they are taking.
How has social media changed our democracy?
We had a form of democracy prior to social media which was about privilege. There were certain groups that had more access to democratic power than other groups – and that is changing, and changing fast. But of course, no one gives up power without a fight. The invention of the printing press had exactly the same effect on the powers that be in the 15th and 16th centuries. Which basically, in the western world, was the Catholic Church. We saw the Protestant reformation, then we see all the reactions to that, the Spanish Inquisition, the burning of witches, the wars that followed, while the Catholic Church tried to hold onto power. The internet is the next, and more revolutionary stage, after the printing press, not just of the democratisation of information, but of share of voice. Yes, it’s quite exciting, but it’s going to be as dramatic, volatile and as dangerous as after the printing press, because no one gives up power without a fight.
What lessons did you personally learn as a woman in the world of advertising that would benefit the women in the (still) largely female world of PR and Communications?
I think outsiders are always more powerful communicators. Insiders don’t know what they don’t know. Insiders think the world looks like them. If you’re a white privately educated man, you may be able to overcome this, but you’ve lived in a very sheltered world. You don’t know what it’s like to be outside that world. If you’re an outsider, you can see what it’s like inside that world, but you know what it’s like outside that world, therefore you’re better at communicating. Because you’ve got a wider view.
So if outsiders can affect real change, how do you see the future?
We’ve seen it in dribs and drabs, but it’s never going to be a smooth as we would like. I think the Trump phenomenon is fascinating – terrifying, but fascinating. I think the reason why he has such a presence amongst white male voters than any other group, is that they didn’t think that they were outsiders. You don’t get that level of fury if people don’t fear they’re about to lose something. The problem is, after the printing press, we took four or five hundred years to get our shit together. But because of climate change, we don’t have that kind of time. We’re going to have to sort this out fast. We really are in a sticky situation and I can’t predict what’s going to happen – I don’t know. I have some idea why things are the way they are, but how they’re going to work out? I see trouble ahead, real trouble ahead.
Communication Innovation PRIA’s National Conference, November 14-15, Sheraton Four Points, Sydney. Check out the full details here.
me&u, Australia’s first and leading mobile ordering and payment platform, has appointed Clementine Churchill as Head of Marketing as they continue to drive rapid growth and expansion in Australia and new international markets. A highly experienced marketing leader and recognised industry thought leader, Churchill joins me&u from My Muscle Chef, one of Australia’s top rated […]
MILO is on the search for Australia’s best made MILO, calling on fans to share their creations for the chance to win #TheMILOCup, via Ogilvy Sydney. This integrated campaign follows on from the success of last year’s ‘Hot v Cold’ campaign, which encouraged Aussies to settle the debate on whether MILO is best enjoyed hot […]
New research from Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has found that LGBTQ+ representation in ANZ remains low and stereotypical. It’s 2021 – this needs to change – especially in marketing and advertising. In partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation, Getty Images has launched a full-spectrum Guidebook in direct response to […]
Natural historian Sir David Attenborough is one of the most commanding and respected storytellers in the world and now the iconic series, David Attenborough Life Stories, is available on LiSTNR as part of SCA’s recently announced partnership with the BBC. David Attenborough Life Stories is a series of talks on the natural histories of creatures and […]
Menulog has doubled down on its marketing support for restaurant partners, with the promotion of Senior Marketing Manager, Rami Tamer, to a newly created role of ‘Head of Partner Marketing’, as well as the promotion of former-Blue 449 Performance Manager, Jaryd Buggins. In the new Head of Partner Marketing role, Rami will lead a team […]
ARN has announced Barry Drinkwater will be handing over his content director reins at 97.3FM and 4KQ to respected radio executive, Alisson Longhurst. Drinkwater has had a stellar career in radio spanning more than four decades, and was acknowledged as one of Australia’s Top 20 Content Directors by Radio Today in 2020. He began his radio career […]
Australia’s largest social enterprise is turning 25. On the anniversary of Australia’s first Big Issue magazine being sold on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station in June 1996, Town Square has created a campaign to mark the occasion. 25 Years Big is a celebratory statement of pride, rendered in the iconic Big Issue logo […]
The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive. Android Automotive is Google’s infotainment operating system which is being built into new connected cars. Industry body Commercial Radio Australia is part of the working group, led by the […]
For the third consecutive year, Triple M’s No Talk Day will return on Thursday July 1 to raise awareness around men’s mental health and encourage courageous conversations on Triple M’s 45 stations across the country with support from partner Beyond Blue. From 6:00am – 6:00pm on July 1, Triple M is encouraging listeners to clear […]
Consumer shifts in how and where people buy products evolved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfilment strategies and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out today from BigCommerce and PayPal. While a majority of the 3,000 consumers surveyed from the United States, United Kingdom […]
Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about contextual advertising bar the curling wand and the hot pink leg warmers.
The brainchild of co-founders Gina Williams-Folau (main photo) and Greer Bland, the talent agency Liquorice was born out of a desire to make things easier for brand managers. Liquorice offers social talent for brands wanting to hit the sweet spot with Kiwi audiences. Launching with a roster of big names on board including Millie Elder-Holmes, Athena […]