Check out my blogroll!

Just a quick post to let you know I’ve added some links to some fantastic PR blogs in my blogroll (sidebar).

Due to my dominant focus on social media and PR throughout my studies and throughout my time working on this blog, I have decided to share with you some of my personal favourites. These blogs that I have provided links are great in the sense that they all have a part of their blog that focusses on the integration of PR and social media, and shares with readers how this change in landscape is positive. Each blogs shares with us how to utilise social media in our chosen profession.


This Weeks Highlight: The changing landscape of PR due to social media

With the rise of social media, public relations has adapted and changed. Technology and social media are always changing and people are always finding more ways to utilize platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This week I’ve focused quite a lot on the changing landscape of public relations in terms of social media as a whole but I specifically found the change in internationalism in public relations due to social media quite interesting. Anyone who uses social media knows that almost any post from anywhere in the world can end up on your newsfeed due to someone liking it, commenting on it or sharing it. In terms of the use of social media for public relations, technology essentially gives you easier access and opens you up to international audiences. The aspects of public relations that this changes is that it provides PR practitioners with greater coverage in terms of publicity for a person or a public relations campaign. Social media provides much greater coverage than has been available in the past, as it can bring any organisation, person or band a large amount of publicity and recognition from just one post through the use of liking, commenting and sharing.

What I focused on from this week’s slides and readings is how internationalism due to social media has a prominent affect on story angles. A story can quickly reach the other side of the world via social media, giving thousands of people the opportunity to look at the story from various angles and share the parts of a story that are most important and relevant to them and their culture. I think this aspect of advanced internationalism in PR is fantastic. While I realize that fast advancing internationalism can pose a few challenges in PR such as causing conflicting views on what PR is about and introduces many other cultural contexts, what internationalism can do in terms of sharing an important story and introducing certain elements of it to different cultures is worth it.

Another key aspect of the PR landscape that has changed due to social media is our publics and their changing expectations. These changing expectations include immediacy and time expectations and seeing everything on the Internet as “free”. But, one aspect of our changing publics that I find interesting is the fact that, due to social media, they expect to have a say in everything. This is just because it is so incredibly simple to have your say in today’s day and age via social media. This ultimately affects our public’s style of communication as this change in the PR landscape initiates a shift in power.

From what I have gathered from studying in the field of communication, I understand that this habit of change in the PR landscape due to social media won’t stop anytime soon. People will most likely never stop using it and utilizing it. It will continue to bring internationalism to the forefront of our chosen field and has cemented a major change in the relationships between an organisations and it’s publics and has given just one story a worlds worth of context.

Reference: Quinn-Allan, D, Bennet, E 2014, Public Relations Theory and Practice, Social Media, pg. 163-185, Allen & Unwin

Photo credit: Blue Fountain Media

This Weeks Highlight: Issues and Crisis Management in Relation to Repetitional Damage via Social Media

As I am studying a degree in Communication and Media with a minor in Journalism, though-out my studies I have learnt a lot about social media in relation to public relations and journalism. I find this aspect of today’s society quite interesting and I have noticed that social media has many positive and negative effects in these professions and have noticed how it affects public relations procedures. From this weeks readings I have specifically looked at how social media affects issues and crisis management, especially in terms of a specific crises type called “reputational”. Reputational damage refers to “events that threaten the reputation of the organisation” (McLean, 2014, p. 319). McLean (2014, p. 319) explains that this type of reputational damage may not have an immediate affect on production and business but not many organisations can survive when their reputation has been damaged.

An organisations reputation can literally be damaged with the click of a button. If someone posts about a negative experience with an organisation, it can essentially be seen by millions of people around the globe and just one post can influence and shape a persons opinion on the organisation. This reputational damage can occur online via “viral videos, rumours, mis-information and gossip” (McLean, 2014, 316). I have seen this occur many times when I am just simply scrolling through my Facebook news feed. An example of an incident of reputational damage I have seen online is when an unhappy customer sent a public message (a “wall post” if you will) to the Facebook page of a large supermarket chain. The post included text describing what the supermarket chain had done to severely displease the customer and was accompanied by a photo of the product that the customer had an issue with. So, not only did this post allow quite a few thousand people to see what the supermarket chain had done to displease the customer, social media platforms allow people to “like”, “comment” and “share” such content. This allows people to voice their negative opinion of the organisation and enables the damaging post to appear on the newsfeeds of thousands of other people. Negative talk about an organisation on social media can be extremely damaging as McLean (2014, p. 323) says, “Twitter has emerged as one of the leading threats to corporate reputations”. An angry customer posting online can be more damaging than an angry mob of protestors.

I find it interesting that a complaint via social media can be so damaging to a reputation and how one post has the power to put an organisation out of business. Other crises types include sudden, emerging and bizarre or unusual, and any of these crises threaten the survival of an organisation, but social media has a prominent affect on reputational damage. I enjoyed this week’s readings and truly look forward to researching and learning more about the effects that social media has on crisis management and Public Relations in general. From the beginning of the social media craze to now, public relations and journalism has been affected in prominent areas of the professions. I think it will be interesting to see how much else about these professions will change and grow within the next ten years due to social media because, as McLean (2014, p. 323) says, “social media platforms breathe life into issues” and I could not agree more.

Reference: McLean, H 2014, Public Relations Theory and Practice, Crisis and Issues Management, chapter 13, pp. 315-344, 4th edition, Allen and Unwin

This Weeks Highlights: Positives and negatives of online presence for PR and the power of Instagram

The first thing from this weeks textbook reading which I found interesting was the discussion about web 1.0, which is basically the earlier version of the internet, compared to the internet now and what benefits it has presented for public relations and how these benefits have evolved. What I gained from this section of the reading is that with many positive aspects of social media for PR, such as having a platform for engaging social campaigns and giving an organisation the chance to strengthen its relationship with its publics, it also has a possible downfall which was not at first realised. In the early stages of this chapter, Quinn-Allan and Bennett (2014) have said “In this multi-voiced, multi-participant environment, it is potentially more difficult for public relations to be noticed and attended to, and greater scrutiny of organisations by their target publics is possible”. This tells us that with this positive social evolvement in PR, there comes a risk, which must be watched out for and monitored. This is also a negative thing for PR as it may blur the line between professional/organisation and audience/consumer, therefore putting stress on factors such as public image and relationship.

In terms of the benefits of an online presence, Quinn-Allan and Bennett (2014) have discussed the fact that with public relations practitioners following audiences into social media, they have actually developed a whole new set of skills, which can bring extreme social benefits to an organisation. From this section of the reading, I learnt that social media really does allow opportunity for development and preservation of the organisation and publics relationship. Additionally this reading tells me that, as well as having the chance to maintain existing relationships with publics, social media allows an organisation to engage new publics. Social media based advertisement is like the new word-of-mouth form of advertisement but better because you can simply give a person a link that takes them directly to the website of an organisation/brand.

Another interesting section of this reading was about how Instagram can benefit public relations. Quinn-Allan and Bennett (2014) say this is done by the use of hash tags and “@Mentions” to share things such as campaigns, content and organisations with fellow Instagram users. Some instances where I have witnessed Instagram being used for PR purposes is when a person or organisation has raised awareness about a campaign on a social issue, advertised an event, shared recent successes which appeal to its publics and strengthen their public image and also to create a more personal relationship with publics by sharing things about specific employees. This weeks reading made me realize how, for PR purposes, social media is kind of like a double-edged sword. It allows organisations to create greater relationships with its publics but may be blurring certain lines by doing so.

This weeks Highlights: Media relations, convergence and citizen journalism

This weeks readings really highlighted the prominence of the public relations and media relationship. I additionally found information on the convergence of media systems quite interesting. In chapter 6 of Public Relations Theory and Practice (4th edition), Jane Johnston (2014) describes how important public relations practitioners are to journalists. I obviously, being a journalism student, knew to an extent how reliant journalists are on things such as media releases but I was not fully aware of the extent of the dependence until I embarked upon this weeks readings. The study discussed on page 137 of the textbook definitely made me realise the relationship between public relations and the media. In this study, “55 percent of news stories were driven by some form of public relations­­­” (Johnston, 2014). These forms include media releases and some form of promotion. But, that doesn’t mean that public relations practitioners don’t, in turn, rely on journalists also. There are many things that journalists do that benefit a public relations practitioner such as carrying stories to readers and also acting as an “information source from around the world”.

Now looking more closely at the concept of convergence in the media. In my day-to-day life, I have absent-mindedly recognised the convergence of media systems but have not recognised it AS convergence of media systems. This basically means that I was not really aware that it was happening, but now that I really think about it, I see many examples of media convergence in todays technologically obsessed and advanced society. This concept is present in my life as I read articles from my favourite magazines online instead of in print and I watch television shows online instead of on the television. These are examples of print and television converging with the Internet, which Cunningham and Turner (2010) have titled as “converging industries”. I find it interesting that I can learn about a public relations concept and relate it to my own life, which I think is a great thing because it deepens my understanding of it.

Another aspect of this weeks reading that I found interesting is from pages 136 and 154 of the textbook where Johnston (2014) briefly discusses citizen journalism. I am fascinated by the power and growth of citizen journalism due to social media. I’ve learned that citizen journalism has propelled professional journalism into the Internet stratosphere, which I personally think is for everyone’s benefit. This has provided the world with an instantaneous circulation of information and has made news much more assessable therefore resulting in more consumers. My understanding of public relations has grown tremendously due to readings such as this one as it points out all the different layers to public relations and makes me excited to deepen my knowledge of the profession.

My personal intro to PR

I intend to use this blog as a platform for discussion of public relations topics such as media management and agenda, content management and issues and crisis communication but I will also use it to share my views on course readings on these topics. I will share what I find most striking and interesting about the course readings on such topics and discuss what I am finding most appealing about public relations as a profession.

I was only introduced to public relations for the first time this semester (my second semester of my second year at university) and I will admit it is quite different than I thought it may be. This profession entails many theories and elements that I was unaware of. My lecturer for this course, Kim Burley, said during the first or second lecture for this course that there is a major misconception of what PR really is and she is definitely right. Television shows such as Sex and the City portray public relations as a glamorous career, and while it apparently has its perks, it does involve major professionalism and thourough understanding of key concepts and theories.

I am enjoying my PR studies and look forward to posting.