PALO ALTO, CA: A distinguished litany of international PR experts are throwing their weight behind a new think tank focusing on new media, the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR).
Founded by Jennifer McClure, a 20-year communications industry veteran and editor of the New Communications website, SNCR will study the impact of blogs, wikis, RSS, and podcasts.
McClure said she recognized a need for more dialogue and research on new communications tools after attending the New Communications Forum in Napa, CA, in January. She co-founded the conference with PR blogger Elizabeth Albrycht.
"Throughout the blogosphere and even beyond that, people have been looking for how to successfully use these tools," McClure said. "The more that we are out there using these tools, the more opportunities we have to develop best practices and standards."
She added that she wants SNCR to supplement research conducted by such groups as the International Association of Business Communicators and the International Association of Online Communicators.
SNCR will have an advisory board composed of about 25 research fellows, including Albrycht; Phil Gomes, senior counsel for online communications at Edelman; and Phillip Young, senior lecturer in journalism and PR at the University of Sunderland, UK.
Dan Farber, VP of editorial at CNET Networks and editor-in-chief of ZDNet, and Steve King, senior adviser for the Institute for the Future, will serve as senior fellows.
Dan Forbush, founder and president of PR Newswire's ProfNet, will serve on SNCR's Best Practices and Standards committee. He noted that the organization will examine the role and credibility of bloggers, something that he said is important to his own business.
"That's a question we have to address," he said. "To whom do we open the door?"
Forbush added that the organization would also look for guidance from the academic community.
"We'll be in a good position to bring involvement by colleges and universities," he said.
Other committees include Research and Publications, Membership and Online Community Development, Events, Development, and PR.
McClure said she is still looking for participation from key journalists, people in media management, and academics.