It’s tough to describe in a few words or even a brief article just what the change is in public information and news and what it means for those involved in it. You might expect that the best analysis or description of it would come from new media channels, but I find this description of the “news cyclone” from Time magazine one of the best I’ve ever read. Ironic, I suppose, that it comes from one of the true bastions of mainstream.
While the focus is on the Obama administration and how they are sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing at dealing with this new monster, the lessons apply to everyone with the risk of being in the center of the cyclone. It’s not a stream of information, it is a swirl, furious, intemperate, unpredictable. If I would quibble with the metaphor it is the the cyclone like a cycle goes in one direction. While losing the poetry, real events are like cyclones in cyclones with streams and flows at different speeds, with different destructive capabilities, and moving in many different directions at once.
The most important lesson for communicators–and one they must try and get their leaders to understand is this, the last paragraph of this article.
But the cyclone is the new reality, and respect must be paid. “You can’t really control it,” Pfeiffer says. “You’ve just got to sort of edge it in one direction or another.”