Communicators, how much technology is too much?

A new Ketchum study found that most people want their gadgets to make life simpler, but 76 percent say their gizmos do anything but. Do PR and communications pros rely too much on them?

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Ketchum’s 2012 Digital Living Index affirms that. A survey of 6,000 people in six countries found that most respondents want technology to be easy to use and/or simplify their lives. More than three-fourths of respondents said they don’t think technology is simplifying anything.

“There is a 25 percentage point gap—one of the biggest in the study—between what consumers expect from personal technology and what they feel they are getting in the area of simplification,” the report’s executive summary states.

So does that mean all the PR and communications hype for smartphones, social media, and other tech over the past few years has been for naught? No, says Esty Pujadas, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Technology Practice. It just means that the trend toward the new and shiny isn’t an end in itself.

“Focus on the experience and not just the object,” she says.

Pujadas and other communicators offered up advice on how to do so.

‘Anthropological view’

Pujadas says communicators should take an “anthropological view” to talking about and using technology to connect with the public.

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