Beyond Text – Disruptive Communication

 Wayne MacPhail Leading his "Beyond Text" Workshop
Wayne MacPhail Leading his “Beyond Text” Workshop

Yesterday I attended Wayne MacPhail’s Workshop, Beyond Text – (a description – http://socialinnovation.ca/community/buzz/beyond-text-intensive-one-day-course-help-you-imagine-develop-launch-rich-media-commu ) and it answered something I’ve long wondered about. Communications in general have been disrupted by the advent of the web and the development of increasingly easy-to-use applications and/or apps. The ubiquity of smart phones has been bringing this change increasingly into focus

What I’ve taken from the Beyond Text workshop is the Wayne is advocating for more and sensible use of the popular, “easy” apps to create what I think of as a middle level of communication.

There’s the legacy, high-end material, made using designers, graphic designers, writers, photographers and videographers, using high-end, complex applications and equipment. These are for creating communication deliverables made for some degree of permanency and/or formal use and/or high distribution. Then there’s the unskilled amateurs using easy apps on phones etc. to create individual fun pieces for immediate audiences.

What I took away from the workshop is that it’s time for skilled, knowledgeable professionals to use those same apps and phones to create “good” though perhaps not “great”, just-in-time materials quickly for audiences who can benefit from and/or enjoy a level of immediacy. Communication deliverables created by professionals who know how communication works, how and when to use text, how and when to record and/or video, and how to get good sound and/or well-lit, well-framed images and video and, especially, how to tell stories – these are the new space in professional communications.

Wayne is also advocating for communication teams that are not service people, in hierarchical structures, but people who respect each other for their individual skills, and can negotiate what the appropriate communication deliverable is that’s suitable for particular circumstances. In order for the kind of rich media environment that is not just possible, but in demand, only people who know what is possible and have the imaginations to envision it can produce it.

It was a fabulous workshop – I highly recommend it, if he gives it again.

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