There’s no disputing that innovations in technology, and specifically those surrounding the Internet, have driven seismic shifts in the business of public relations. So who better to address the 2010 Member Dinner of the Council of Public Relations Firms than Vinton (Vint) Cerf, popularly known as one of the ‘fathers’ of the Internet?
Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols used to develop the underlying architecture of the Internet (distinct from Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web), is currently known for his role at Google as VP and Chief Internet Evangelist. In a discussion moderated by former Los Angeles Times editor and trustee at the Newseum, Shelby Coffee III, Cerf covered a lot of ground, to say the least. PR agency executives in attendance heard a brief history lesson of how the ‘net as we know it came to be, why packets are metaphorically akin to postcards and even work Cerf is tackling to help NASA establish an interplanetary network to support real-time communications between far-flung equipment and space missions.
Heady stuff, this. But a few points stood out to me as both a member of the public relations industry and a citizen of this specific moment in time (it’s Google’s world after all, we just live in it…).