How often do you find yourself on the computer while watching TV? Or looking up something on your phone while in a meeting?

Even though the studies show that multitasking decreases our productivity, we simply can’t help it. The younger generations don’t even realize they are multitasking…to them it is simply the norm.

Multitasking happens in a variety of forms, but multimedia engagement is becoming the way to give a 360-degree experience. This is especially true with sporting events and reality competition shows, which are two of the few things watched live anymore. In a recent Time article on celebrity apps, they noted the following statistics about TV engagement:

According to a Yahoo Mobile and Razorfish poll last year, 94 percent admitted to multitasking on their smartphones in some form while in front of the tube, while 38 percent of respondents said browsing the web while watching TV enhanced their viewing experience.

And it’s not just TV. Sitting in meetings, conferences, or speaking engagements you’ll find many of the attendants are on their computers or phones while the presentation is going on. Nothing happens as a singular focus anymore.

Staying relevant with the multitaskers

Knowing this is to know your audience. The most impressive personal brands are the ones that remain relevant, and in the now, with respect to not only current events, but also current behavior.

Try the following to better engage the multitasker in all of us:

1. When presenting to large groups, engage with the crowd through twitter #hashtag questions that can be calculated right then and there by someone on your team an then brought into the presentation.

2. On Twitter and Facebook, reference current events and your take on them. These don’t just have to be in your realm of expertise but something that everyone is talking about. This being said, stay away from gossip topics, as they won’t help a professional business.

3. Make sure your content is easy to share and that your website is a central zone for all other feeds. i.e. a one stop shop of information about you, your company, current work, blog posts. Also take note of the times of when you post something that might link well to a current topic, event, TV show, etc. It will increase the chance of getting it shared.

4. Create an app or promotions/contests on your site that coincide with live or televised real time events. Interact with those who are watching and bring you, or your company, into the experience.


Katie Marston is a partner in VMGelement , a personal brand development company focusing on professional athletes. Follow her on Twitter at @ktmarston