Members of the IPR Digital Media Research Center (DMRC) and Board of Trustees gathered virtually to discuss public relations in the Metaverse. The discussion was moderated by two DMRC members: IPR Trustee Heather Kernahan, CEO of Hotwire Global Communications, and Dr. Rebecca Hayes, Associate Professor at Illinois State University.
About 30 participants discussed the definition of the Metaverse, potential societal issues regarding its implementation, and the opportunities that it could present for the public relations industry.
Key themes from the discussion include:
- The Metaverse is misunderstood because it is still being built.
- Marketing and Communications have contributed to misconceptions around the Metaverse by making it seem like a “trend.”
- The Metaverse has the ability to fit into all aspects of life, including work, entertainment, and personal aspects.
- There are many concerns over whether the advancement of the digital world will invade all matters of privacy and be detrimental for mental health.
- In the Metaverse, there is access to a lot of personal information which could include age, location, and where they work.
- When people can conduct all interactions virtually and never have to leave their house, it can be extremely isolating and harmful for mental health.
- Public relations practitioners should be prepared for the future of digital media which can include issues related to AI or the Metaverse.
- There will be countless opportunities for brands and companies to capitalize on in the Metaverse, so public relations will undergo a strategic shift.
Thank you to the IPR Trustees and DMRC members who contributed to this insightful conversation.