Last November, when the New York Times sent readers a virtual reality viewer and access to a 10-minute video with one of its Sunday papers, it showed how the technology was beginning to change journalism. Simply defined, virtual reality (VR) is “an artificial world that consists of images and sounds created by a computer.” Google-Cardboard

In an article in the recent issue of Tactics, Kara Alaimo addresses VR and gives six suggestions about  how it will transform the PR industry:

  1. Revolutionizing the way we tell stories
  2. Putting audiences in other people’s shoes
  3. Delivering captive audiences
  4. Changing how we pitch reporters
  5. Upending physical meetings
  6. Posting brands as innovative and connecting with tech-savvy audiences

Looking to learn more about how VR would affect broadcast journalism, we reached out to KGO’s Business and Tech reporter Jason Middleton for his thoughts on the topic. In Middleton’s opinion, VR “will add another relevant element to telling a story, because radio stations need to start thinking more like media stations.” When asked if radio stations will be able to incorporate it, Middleton believes it’s similar to social media, and feels stations will be able to pick it up quickly.

In his own reporting, Middleton explains that VR could help him air his stories faster and allow him to monitor financial markets in real time. Additionally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s investment and interest in the technology promotes Middleton’s beliefs that VR is one of the next big things.

As new technologies like VR continue to become more mainstream, how important do you think it is for the PR industry to adopt them? Is VR something your company uses in PR campaigns, if so, have they been successful? If you need a real of example of VR, check out this granny trying it for the first time.

Stay tuned…

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