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Apple and other tech brands are likely to introduce augmented reality eyewear next year that will provide a data-rich overlay on the real world. Picture: 123/RF
Apple and other tech brands are likely to introduce augmented reality eyewear next year that will provide a data-rich overlay on the real world. Picture: 123/RF

The potential disruption of the public relations profession caused by the metaverse is the focus in this edition of the Business Day Spotlight. 

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Danni Pinch, executive creative director for Atmosphere Communications, a brand and corporate communications consultancy, and co-founder of King James Digital. 

Late last year, Nike paid a rumoured $33m (just under R500m to acquire a sneaker company that makes sneakers you can’t wear. A few months later, Microsoft made a bid buy gaming giant Activision Blizzard for an eye-watering $68.7bn, slightly north of R1-trillion. 

Pinch says both deals were made with an eye on “how the metaverse is set to change our future”.

Join the discussion: 

Metaverse refers to a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. A number of big companies, including Facebook’s parent company — which has changed its name to Meta Platforms — are betting that the metaverse or a series of metaverses will be the future of the internet. 

How could the public relations industry be disrupted by this new concept?

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

Pinch says: “As the adoption of the metaverse expands, I think we’re going to see opportunities to have more immersive experiences and get closer to customers in the kind of way we only used to be able to do at events or in stores.

“With that said, it is a little difficult to accurately gauge just how disruptive the metaverse will be, because it is still being built and we don’t know its full capabilities yet.”

Topics of discussion include how is the metaverse going to disrupt the PR industry and why do PR professionals need to start paying attention to the metaverse space; why the metaverse could provide a more focused and strategic approach to clients building businesses and offerings; and what strategies PR professionals can employ with the rise of the metaverse. 

Pinch also discusses the risks involved in positioning brands as trustworthy partners in these virtual worlds when it comes to marketing products and delivering experiences; why thorough crisis communications, planning and protocols will be even more important for brands who want to explore the metaverse as part of their communications strategy?

Engage on Twitter at #BDSpotlight

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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