Communications in the Web 2.0 World — Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire

The influence of new media on communications has been a main focus of many discussions this week. Michael Pranikoff, Director of Emerging Media at PR Newswire, took the theme to a different level by demonstrating how to communicate through Web 2.0. His charismatic attitude and informal gestures caught the audience’s attention this morning in Old Main 320.

“I hate lecturing, so I will be asking questions,” said Pranikoff.

He described PR Newswire as the conduit between media and people’s word, and explained that he would discuss other topics than his company. Students have been taught many tricks to the trade in the field of public relations, advertising and journalism. Something that Pranikoff professed was the five C’s of Web information: collaborate, content, coverage, services, community and conversation. Pranikoff illustrated each point through interactive Web by engaging students with a Youtube collaboration video of George Bush “singing” U2’s song “Bloody Sunday.” The video was a prime example of how quality content can generate a community and start online conversation and interaction.
According to statistics Pranikoff discovered, the largest social media users are between the ages of 12 and 24. Social media is delving its way into professional communication while one in four jobs has disappeared since 2002. 60% of press articles and 34% of broadcasts come from pre-packaged sources
“Everything is moving online and we have to do more with less,” Pranikoff said.
Numerous business networks have developed impressive Web sites, but many have not explored Web accessibility on cell phones. Pranikoff offered advice for communicating a message effectively in our fast-paced world. The content must be accessible, easy to view and easy to use.
He talked about ‘search engine optimization,’ which is the process of making sure information on the Web is displayed in a topic search. There is an entire industry behind search results, and Pranikoff stressed the need to make sure content will be discovered by stating three to four key words for every 400 word text block of content.
RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content, and many news-related sites, blogs and normal Web users syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to any viewer. He described RSS as “one of the most important recent technologies.” It makes more information available for consumption at a given time, rather than combing through portions that are uninteresting to the user.
“Information is power. A person who holds more information holds more power, and RSS is a way to constantly consume,” said Pranikoff.
Pranikoff uses a number of online communication tools and demonstrated his personal sites to the audience. A site that allows him to pick and choose topics and information to be displayed is through NetVibes. Another site that uses RSS is Technorati which is the largest blog on the Web and issues out information faster than Google. A Delicious page lets a user post sites they find interesting on one page that is accessible to any viewer. All of these site lead back to a form of search.
Pranikoff highlighted innovative social media tools that are available online for free, and emphasized how crucial it is to become a part of Web 2.0.

Written by Mairin Heard

Photography by Sam Ladach-Bark

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