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Social Media & Public Relations - Essay Example

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Social Media and Public Relations Introduction Public relations has now been closely associated with social media since the development of the Internet in late 20th century. According to Evans, Twomey, and Talan (2011, p. 1), social networking sites are considered to be “integral parts of groundbreaking public relations plans” especially during the renowned campaigns of President Barack Obama…
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Social Media & Public Relations
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Social Media & Public Relations

As the Internet has transformed into a sophisticated hub for ‘netizens’ so as to the nature of online communication and exchanges of propaganda, campaigns, and information drive (Duhe, 2007).These changes are obviously referring to the significant changes in the way Facebook, Twitter, and blogs provide means of communication outlets that are not available in the early 20th century. For this research, we will focus largely on the use of Facebook in revolutionizing the conduct of public relations in recent times. The Value of Social Media to Public Relations In the past, press releases were an integral component of public relations until online news releases agencies began to appear in the 1990s, creating a halt from too much reliance on fax machines and e-mails. As the years passed, press releases continued to exist but were also modified to fit the changes in the medium used. Press releases are now exchanged at a fast pace and in the most convenient way: using embedded multimedia. Green (2010) calls this as a creativity aspect of public relations that is driven by the swift breakthroughs in Internet programming and online software available as open source. Being creative is part of the trend in public relations, and according to Green (2010), this is an important component in being successful in public relations. According to Grunig (2009), the age of digitalization prompts a turnaround of events in the way public relations is conducted. However, with the greatest help that social media partake to the field of public relations, it is high time to shift the way things are conducted in this kind of specialization. Grunig (2009) mentioned that there is a need to “reinstitutionalize public relations as a behavioral, strategic” field rather than being an obsolete “symbolic, interpretive” field. Social media is regarded by many public relations professionals as an effective tool in “communicating with strategic publics” (Lewis, 2010, p. 1). Lewis (2010) further stated that the use of social media in public relations is also needed in teaching even college students to contribute to the growing success of the renewed public relations in the 21st century. With the latest applications and social media sites available for product branding and advertising, it is also a must to get acquainted with the wise use of social media, which is popularly known as “media literacy” (Lewis, 2010, p. 1). Even Facebook, for instance, has been widely suggested by PR instructors for their students to utilize in order to create an online community (Sutherland, 2011). Furthermore, the study conducted by Wright and Hinson (2008, p. 1) regarding the use of social media in public relations revealed that Facebook is considered the most important social media followed by “microblogging sites Twitter, search engine marketing, YouTube, electronic forums, and podcasts.” The study that started in 2005 was conducted to measure the impact of social media and other communication technologies in public relations. The results of the study show that social media “have brought dramatic changes” to the many aspects of public relations (Wright & Hinson, 2008, p. 2). The developments in terms of the ... Read More
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