Public Relations and Social Media


In Chapter Eight of Media Work, Professor Deuze discusses “a runaway world, a world where letting go of control, history, and tradition are advertised as the new necessary survival skills” (233). Well, the public relations community is doing just that. They are embracing the new world of social media to redefine themselves.

The article, “Redefining Public Relations in the Age of Social Media,” was in the New York Times on Sunday. The last time the leading organization in the industry (the Public Relations Society of America) updated its definition was in 1982! As we have discussed in class, the digital age and social networks have redefined how we communicate, straying from the top-down styles it recently was. Instead of talking to or supplying information for people, it is now a two-way conversation.

In order to adapt to the digital age, the Public Relations Society of American other public relations organizations are asking the public for help. “…[V]isitors [can submit suggestions to their website] through this template: ‘Public relations (does what) with or for (whom) to (do what) for (what purpose)” (Elliott). The submissions will be generated into “word clouds” that will be reviewed by a panel. The top three will be up by December 6th for voting.

“…[I]t is interesting to note that research among media workers directly involved with two-way interactivity and a more empowered role for the consumer suggests that they are often reluctant and at times outright hostile towards exploring ways to share control with members of the audience” (Deuze, 236). More and more industries are figuring out that they have to adapt to survive. It is exciting to see how different media organizations are acknowledging the rise of social media and user-generated content.

Deuze, Mark. “Chapter 8: Conclusion: Liquid Media Work.” Media Work. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007. 233-242. Print.

Elliott, Stuart. “Redefining Public Relations in the Age of Social Media.” New York Times. 20 Sept. 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

Kathryn Rudolph

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