Social Media and the Future
As part of the second edition of the Business Week at AUBG, on Tuesday, March 29, the AUBG Business Club invited one of the well-known PR specialists in Europe – Maxim Behar. With more than 20 years in the field of Public Relations, he revealed insights from the industry and made predictions for its future.
Behar is the founder and the CEO of the Board of M3 Communications Group, Inc. He is also the President of the International Communications Consultancy Organization as well as the Chairman of the Board of World Communications Forum in Davos.
The lecture he presented at AUBG was called “World in the Social Media House.” Behar clarified that his secretary made a typo in the title and that his real intention was to talk about “World in the Social Media Chaos.” He said that there are several big changes in the sphere of communication business nowadays, which influence the business worldwide and create the so-called “chaos.”
The first is the changing ownership of media. According to him, 20 years ago the media was owned by publishers and media owners, while nowadays everyone possesses their own share. Giving an example from his personal business experience, Behar said that several years ago clients would go to his office asking for help on promoting their goods and services in the media sector. Today they say that they own media but do not know how to use it properly.
The journalism industry is not the same, according to Behar, as well.
“Today every taxi driver with a second-hand laptop might become much more popular than any media person,” Behar said.
Years ago journalists were required to attend specific schools and trainings in order to be ready for their job. Now, you only need to open an account in a social media platform and you can freely talk to people. Even though this has both advantages and disadvantages, according to Behar, it mostly means that businesses have less control over the information that becomes public. Also, there is an increase in the overall level of transparency between the public and the companies.
The third big change that Behar talked about was the opportunity that almost everyone nowadays might be a PR specialist. According to him, today social media members promote themselves on their own. Behar said that his clients believe that their secretaries can handle their business social media profiles. He, on the other side, believes that social media PR is a job for the specialists and not the clients themselves. This is why, his PR company has a social media department, which started with one person 17 years ago and which has expanded to 17 people, being the biggest one in the firm.
In the second part of his speech, Behar presented several predictions about the future of social media and the world itself under the form of a Q&A session. Using US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s social media campaign as an example, Behar supposed that through the development of social media, the whole political system will transform its structure in the near future. According to Behar, Trump, being a successful businessman, would most probably be the breakthrough in that democratic system. His prediction for the next 10-20 years is that countries would not be led by politicians anymore, but by a board of trustees formed from successful businessmen and that they would be operated as big companies.
Behar concluded that social media platforms are the future of the free speech world and that noticeable changes are yet to come.