The talk of town at the opening of the #SXSW blogger lounge: #realtime. While reporters are under tremendous pressure to cover news quicker and quicker, they fight a losing battle with the social media networks. Lines blur. Who gets the breaking news, who piggybacks on it? Who can get the flavor of authenticity and authority on top of the need for lightning speed? Who detects opportunities and threats at the speeds of petabytes of information a day?
#realtime is the ability to stick your story on trending news in a smart way. Like Velcro, but less intrusive. How do you get in the second paragraph of the breaking news story, as a witness, expert, commenter? How can you sneak your way into the story, claiming an ubiquitous right to be part of the story? Which stories could harm your brand? How can you keep them away from you? Poker playing on a racing track.
Real time communication, the ability to stick to the news as glue. Can we do it? Where is your real time mindset? How will you turn your organization upside down, so that you can deal with life as it happens now.
Basically, every company that wants to stay successful has to find somebody competent who will be in charge of instant communication. What is happening now, and how can we use it as a Trojan horse to bring in your companies messaging to the table? How can you link your brand, your people, your products to the news rolling by on the ticker? Moreover, what is being said about your brand? Who is moving to your turf? Are they hostile? Friendly?
Such communication speed requires in-depth changes to a traditional organization. Are your C-level executives compatible with quicker communication? Is your legal department up to the task? Do you have the right communication agency that can give you real-time, balanced information? Are your consultants ready to analyze the fire hose of news, tweets and posts, and bring you the little gems that you can stick to? The little fires that you have to extinguish before it burns down the building?
#realtime communication is like guerrilla warfare versus traditional cavalry movements. It requires a different type of agile army. Real time is the art of finding the related topic to the news at hand. Can you outsmart your own brand? Take no prisoners, act fast and relentless. Above all: act smart.