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


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