However, it is because of this reason that there has been concern and effort to control PR efforts utilizing these methods (Yoon 2005; International Public Relations Association (IPRA) 2007). Thus, there is a for continuous and developing research on the opportunities, limitations and concerns raised regarding SEO, RSS and social communication networks in contemporary PR practice.
Major trend in information and telecommunication technologies have focused on personalizing systems for its users. According to Weber and her associates (2003) the market, pertaining to internet users, has decidedly been customer driven. SEO's are one of the obvious indications of the demand power of internet users. Queries are dependent on users' prerogative and SEO service providers model their products to suit the convenience of their users. In a similar manner, RSS feeds are based on demand or subscription based on user supplied parameters. In the case of social network communication, there are voluntary membership is often a requirements and considerable privacy clauses are implemented.
On the other hand, traditional PR initiatives have been characterized to be general in structure and composition but specifically motivated (Fall 2004). One of the major considerations has always how to get a specific message to as many audiences without alienating third parties. In the case of these technologies, PR campaigns directed through these channels are considered to be more streamlined and efficient (IPRA 2007). Moreover, feedback channels allow for improving strategies and materials. However, this also creates vulnerabilities: there is greater risk of critique, increased technological requirements to monitor reactions and greater necessity to develop social, political and cultural sensitivity (Fall 2004).
In a similar vein, Curtin and Gaither (2008) point out that there is a need to understand how these developments are changing PR audiences and communication channels. Considering the range and projected growth of these channels and internet communication in general, its significance is expected to continue to rise. One factor that has particularly supported this trend is the abundance of independent and open source technologies that have become the foundation of personal communication systems and content requirements. This has been apparent in the communication channels to be considered in this study as well.
Relevance to the Marketing Mix and Strategies
The need to understand the significance of new PR communication channels is at the core of marketing principles or concerns. One of the common realizations is that marketing fundamentals change significantly given that SEO, RSS and social networking operate digitally and often virtually. Considering the impact to the marketing mix, alone, there are significant competencies that have to become attuned to new perspectives (Pieczka 2002). One of the important realizations is that though the internet effectively eliminates traditional barriers to communication but also raised exposure, access and security threats. For the purpose of this study, the relevance of the topic to marketing professionals will be discussed based on how SEO, RSS and social networking.
There is generally no variation in marketing materials developed for traditional and