Society for New Communications Research Blog


Trump Is Right, Communication Is Everything Today: The Sean Spicer Focus

By Gary WexlerPress_secretary_Sean_Spicer

Despite everything else, I believe that Donald Trump  is one-hundred percent correct in underscoring and boldly demonstrating that in this new era everything is about communication. Clearly, the nation believes in the priority of communication as well. Just look how riveted the entire population has been upon the Sean Spicer story, more so than they have been upon the debacles of all the other administration advisors. That’s because in this communication-driven era, everyone relates to and experiences strong feelings towards the communication person. Who hasn’t had an overwhelming opinion, one way or the other, about Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders?

And how can we not? Our mobile phone addiction and all our personal branding efforts on social media are evidence that the communication business is now everyone’s business. While many of us may not understand what the Attorney General does, everyone understands what the Communication Director does.

No one can disagree that Donald Trump understands the power of communication. Yet, few corporations and nonprofits have grabbed or invested in the centrality of communication towards their goals, as has Donald Trump.

The profession of today and the future

Teaching in the Masters program at the number one communication school in the world, USC Annenberg, I have come to believe that communication, in all its forms, will soon be among of the most critical and sought-after professions in the world.

The New Communication, as I like to view it, must be in collaboration with every aspect of a corporation, a nonprofit and as we now have proof—a government.

This is not the old communication profession or practice of the past, which most companies and nonprofits are still invested in. The “New Communication” has come to the forefront because of a world changed by technology. At the heart of this technological change is the internet. The internet is the democratization that has put technology in reach of billions of people. And the internet is at its core, a communication tool, which means that a communication tool plays a central role in world change.

So, what is the “New Communication?”

All this calls into question: Given this reality, what now is the role of communication? Communication represents all the new pervasive technological formats that are evolving every day. New Communication professionals are masters of those formats.

Communication is the collaborating profession with everything that happens now. It is a thread of DNA that is woven into product development, and passes all the way through accounting and maintenance. Communication professionals are the big ideas people, challenging everyone to create ideas of engagement, so people pay attention. Creativity sits at the center point of the New Communication.

Communication is no longer a set of side skills that gets brought in, as pieces, when needed. Communication is now the hub influencing every corner of a business, NGO or government.

Still about human interaction

Even with all the influence of technology, communication is still about human interaction first and foremost, and always will be. No technology is more powerful than human interchange. This we are learning from our experience with the Red Table, which is bringing back for corporations and nonprofits, the human side of this very tech-driven communications practice.

The lesson

There are two conflicting lessons here that we can learn from Donald Trump:

  • On the positive side, the President is paving the way for us to understand the critical necessity of communication in all we do today.
  • On the other hand, he, Sean Spicer and all his former and present communications professionals are unaware how they are emphasizing, against their own wills, the critical necessity for communication to be driven by ethics and values. This business, because it is so public, is also very transparent.

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