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The impact of social media on public relations practice - Research Paper Example

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The impact of social media on public relations practice

Introduction There has been a significant change in the media landscape during the past couple of decades particularly due to the advent of social media which has singlehandedly revolutionized the concept of communication. The world of media and communications has taken giant strides towards development from its humble beginnings dominated largely by print media and radio broadcasts to the use of state-of-the art technological gadgets such as tablets, iPhones, digital recorders, and web enabled tools such as social networking services including blogs, webcasts, video blogs, YouTube and the likes (Breakenridge, 2008; Busy, 2004). Considering the vast outreach of technology and the unlimited access it offers, the gap between the public and the marketers has narrowed significantly. It would not be a far cry to claim that the generation of this era travels with technology in their pockets, thus enabling the public relations practitioners to smoothly and effectively deliver their messages to the targeted audiences, at a mere click of a button (Hazelton, Harrison-Rexrode, & Keenan, 2007). The revolutionary changes in the field of technology has also completely changed the manner in which the average consumers connect, access, interpret, and use the information made available to them. The change in the social media landscape has triggered off simultaneous changes in the practice of public relations as is evident from the growing amount of literature substantiating the claim. As these fields grow and evolve in response to the changes in the technology, the delivery of strategic information to the public is likely to change as well (Kelleher, 2009; Macnamara, 2010). 1.1. Definitions This section offers definition to key terms used in the paper, which includes – Public relations and Social media. Public Relations: The term ‘public relation’ is defined differently by different authors. In general terms it is used to describe the 'management functions' performed by a group of professionals with a pre-defined outcome in mind. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (UK) has defined the term as "the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics" (qtd. in Watson & Noble, 2007: 6) Griswold defines public relations as "the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance" (qtd. in Heath & Vasquez, 2001: 192). The Public Relations Society of America (1999) states that "Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other" (qtd. in Health & Vasquez, 2001: 192). Social Media: According to Jue, Marr, & Kassotakis (2009: 4) the term social media refers to "the many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, or build relationships". 1.2. Key objectives of the study The fundamental objectives underlying this research study are listed below: To identify various social media tools used by public relations practitioners and assess the manner in which such tools are used to manipulate the perceptions of the target consumers To examine and understand the manner in and extent to which the development and introduction of social media tools ...Show more

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The impact of social media on public relations practice Contents Sr. # Topic Pg. # 1. Introduction 2 1.1. Definitions 4 1.2. Key objectives of the study 4 2. Literature review 5 2.1. The relationship between PR, social media, and the concept of media relations 6 2.2…
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