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  • Writer's pictureDeclan Waters

What Do Glass Blowing and Public Relations Have in Common?

By Debbie Huggett

Imagine you are watching an artist blow glass. It is a mesmerizing choreographic sequence of steps and movement, fire and passion, shaped by breath and the right tools. The payoff can be a work of art. Public relations, and media relations in particular, can be similar – a sequence of actions conveying ardent messaging shaped by breath, skill, and the right tools. Now imagine if that piece of glass shatters and breaks form in an instant. We find ourselves in just such a moment, where the media landscape is about to shatter.

The Coming Social Audio Wave

Clubhouse, an exclusive platform for real-time conversations, emerged from the flame of innovation in March 2020. Developed by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co., the platform launched as an invite-only social media app, initially attracting venture capitalists, the tech community, and celebrities. It has quickly garnered attention, securing Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz partner Andrew Chen, and recently closing a Series B round of $100 million for a valuation of $1 billion. The platform is touted as a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen, and learn from each other in real-time. A bit of relief for all those suffering from Zoom fatigue, while offering a more intimate and live experience than text-based social media. The platform provides a new opening to expand PR thought leadership campaigns, offering the chance to create more awareness and credibility. Audio-only platforms could well be the beginning of a new way to engage live with others, creating more dynamic engagement, instant interaction, and the sharing of ideas. And, just like glass blowing, things are getting hot in here.

Not to be outdone, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced Slack will be adding audio features to its business message app – apparently announcing the news in a Clubhouse room of all places. Others are quickly following suit. According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn confirmed “it’s testing a social audio experience for its own app.” The New York Times reported that Facebook is working on an audio chat product. And, Spotify said it has acquired live sports audio app Locker Room.

Like all platforms, there are factors to weigh when considering an audio-based social media app, such as limited availability, lack of metrics, privacy, security, and potential for abuse and bad actors, to name a few. However, this social audio wave provides an entirely new social channel for PR teams, as well as business leaders and creators. It’s still too early to determine if the social audio wave will become an important component of strategic communications plans, providing an outlet for live compelling thought leadership. But the time may be right to jump into the fire and start blowing some hot air – not the empty sort of course, but the kind that transforms molten glass into art.

Waters Agency Client Rides the Podcast & Video Engagement Waves

Waters Agency client Telstra Ventures, a strategic growth investor, is no newcomer to the first-mover advantages conferred upon trendsetters. The company recently partnered with us to capitalize on the growing popularity of audience engagement via podcasts and video. Jenna Dobkin, VP of Influencer Marketing at Waters Agency spearheaded the conceptualization, creation, and complete production of a new VC podcast and video series The Path, hosted by Gurpreet Ghuiliani, Operating Partner at Telstra Ventures. The series masterfully achieves its goal of sharing honest advice and practical insights from the global entrepreneurial community. To directly connect with those who will most benefit from the series, and to influence and stimulate conversation around it, Waters Agency moreover helped develop a creative and social campaign comprising highly targeted, timely and relevant social content that captures attention and compels the audience to like, share, comment and convert.

Waters Agency is poised to capitalize on proven strategies in all realms of content creation – delivering content that hooks audiences, draws them in and tells tales of disruption in ways people will remember and want to share. 

For more information about how to integrate the changing media landscape into your PR goals contact us today for a consultation.


About the author

Debbie Huggett is an Account Manager at Waters Agency with 15+ years’ PR experience and an exceptional track record in needs analysis, strategy development, and plan execution. She’s a graduate of the University of Texas (Hook ‘em Horns!), received private pilot instruction at Bode Aviation in New Mexico and studied glassblowing at the Pratt School of Fine Art in Seattle.



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