“With the dawn of social media, mobile devices and miniature cameras, society has returned to its historical nature of sharing information and opinions. This revival follows the unusual detour taken during the 20st Century, when news media consolidated because of economics and regulation of limited airwaves – or bandwidth,” Moskowitz, who is ranked as one of the 10 most influential public relations executives of the 20th Century, stated.
Before the emergence of metropolitan newspapers and broadcasting, the individual voices of the community had equal access to soapboxes, and information was primarily spread from village to village and backyard to backyard,” Moskowitz said. “The writers on cave walls and voices on soapboxes were the ancestors of voices we now know as social posters and tweeters.”
Moskowitz, managing partner and CEO of Lumentus, a New York-based strategic communications firm, presented his keynote lecture, “The Future is Back to the Past” to a series of audiences of distinguished faculty and students at the College of Communications at Penn State. Moskowitz, a 1973 graduate of the university, explained how the media platform no longer is key to communicating with other members of society. In contrast to Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 declaration, that the medium is the message, Moskowitz declared that the message, the content, the news or information, is the element of value as demonstrated in how social media, mobile devices and cable television were all needed to enable the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings.
“Technology has evolved, diminishing the power of major media – particularly the world’s major broadcasters — and offers megaphones to every member of global society,” Moskowitz stated during his lectures. “Now the entire world can look to a global digital wall instead of only a few with access to images drawn on the side of a cave. We may be witnessing a return to the past, when many voices vied to be heard, in a sea of facts, fiction, alarms, amusements, calls for action and, of course, entreaties to ‘buy this product now’.”
The 20th Century proved to be a massive aberration in the way society communicates, Moskowitz explained, particularly with the emergence of broadcast media, which led to the formation of powerful nationwide networks. “This mandatory government-controlled technological constraint in turn gave rise to the notion of ‘objective’ journalism and high-stakes, concentrated media ownership,” he said. “Today, smoke signals have gone digital in the form of tweets, posts, YouTube videos and blogs.”
“In effect, we have come full circle from where our ancestors once were two centuries ago,” stated Moskowitz. “We are still a multitude of voices, uncoordinated and undisciplined, but the method in which we hear and disseminate news continues to evolve and advance as technology evolves.”
A former journalist, esteemed communications industry veteran, entrepreneur and the youngest American to earn his class of Amateur Radio operator’s license, Moskowitz had founded four media companies during the course of his career before starting Lumentus.
Lumentus is a communications consulting firm that helps its clients manage their brands, protect their reputations and improve their perceptions across target and stakeholder audiences. Lumentus Social is the firm’s social media technology and communications solutions unit, also based in the New York office.
The firm’s principals are leading practitioners in the areas of corporate communications, public relations and public affairs, digital reputation management, social media, advertising and branding. Lumentus practices a discipline-agnostic approach that yields dynamic solutions able to continuously reflect changing business demands.