Thursday, October 26, 2006

PR and the Innovation Communication System

Here is an essay I wrote for PR people attending the 10th SKOJ conference in Slovenia.

The (non-academic) essay introduces the concept of the Innovation Communication System. The innovation system approach stresses that the innovation process is driven by the flow of technology and information between the actors in the innovation (eco)system. The innovation communication system approach suggests that the flow of attention is key to what gets done or gets dropped in the innovation system. There is a class of attention workers who are the key actors of the innovation communication system: journalists, PR & communication people, marketers, lobbyists, and others who have as they main job to create or broker attention. Intuitively, it is a quite well defined subsystem, as the attention workers very often interact between each other.

The main part of the essay pushes the point that public relations in innovation companies can strengthen brand value by communicating innovation processes and add value to innovation by developing narratives for new products and services in parallel with technological and business development. The development of innovation communication and PR will benefit from the emergence of independent innovation journalism. Such issues are being studied by the Innovation Communication group in Germany (see Ansgar Zerfass and Simone Huck, for example)

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