Bob Dylan's famous song talked about social and political upheaval and I want to talk about birth notices, but stay with me because there is a connection.
My 5th grandchild was born this week (welcome young Harry). This was the first birth that I didn't place the traditional birth notice in the daily newspaper(s). There were heaps of family and friends waiting anxiously on news so was I neglecting my responsibility to them and to Harry? In fact, instead of a newspaper notice, I facebooked, SMS'd, and emailed family and friends within 2 hours of the birth. It would have been earlier but I needed approval from the parents before proceeding.
Within 2 hours and 5 minutes I had received my first responses and within 8 hours that had built to over 30 responses. All that happened before my newspaper notice would have even hit the newsstands. By the time 24 hours had passed I was receiving congratulations from family friends that I hadn't seen for years and you could say the news had gone viral.
The difference between the old way of sharing information and the new way wasn't just reflected in time. The modern communication network invites sharing. Emails are copied, Facebook postings go out to each participants group of friends, and a real community involvement is established that newspaper notices struggle to achieve. Marketing communication on social networks is unlikely to reach the impact of important family news, at least at present, but, "The times they are a-changin", and we would be silly to ignore the new communication trends in all aspects of our lives including business.