How have social networks like Facebook and Twitter really changed the public relations field?
I decided to find out myself through blogs, one of the most popular sources of social networking today. Through my research I found a guy named Matthew Royce. He is a Marketing Communications Manager at Forsythe Technology in Skokie, Ill. He is also a part-time student at the Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University.
Once I found out his knowledge and credibility I decided to read his blog to see his take on how social networks or media have changed public relations as a whole. While reading I found he summed up the changes in 7 main points: Two-way conversation, digital communication, research, journalism is changing, faster and more visible communications, analytics, and organizational hierarchy change.
Matthew basically believes that two-way communication is the new norm and that PR professionals don’t have to send the info about a client or brand to everyone at one time. He saw the communication is becoming more personal and time saving. He sums his views up as PR becoming more about “listening, engaging, and thought management.”
Matthew says that digital communication is now a huge part of PR because professionals are expected to understand the digital networks like Twitter and Facebook. They should also be analyzing how these social networks work in today’s society using programs like Google Analytics, which is a program that lets you observe website traffic and marketing effectiveness which is extremely useful for PR professionals to know.
Matthew describes social networks as being detrimental for PR professionals to use in order to research the latest and greatest when it comes to media trends and advertising. Social networks provide new opportunities in finding out what people want.
Journalism is Changing
Matthew talks about how media consumers don’t turn to major news corporations or traditional media for news anymore. People now can find out news anywhere online and not only that but people are now becoming news journalists as well to inform their communities. PR is affected because people in the field are also becoming journalists themselves because regular business companies are now becoming media companies.
Faster and More Visible Communications
Matthew says here that PR professionals are expected to have an organization or client online presence before a serious issue occurs. This is because info is so easy to get now. In response to the 24/7 readily obtained info PR people have to keep up and have an answer or result to a crisis just as quickly.
Matthew explains how PR people are now using math every day. They have to keep up with current investment trends as well as tracking the measurement of the traffic media drives to a company’s website.
Organizational Hierarchy Change
Matthew portrays the PR field as a career that is now way more democratized. Because of social media people in the PR field now have direct ways to communicate with people at the top of companies.
Based on these findings I have decided I really believe in Social Networking and its positive effects on not just society as a whole but on the PR field as well. I think social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, have done nothing but improve and better the public relations industry. People can get loads of information in the blink of an eye. This is pushing the PR field into a technical and more advanced direction. PR professionals are now working to keep up with today’s evolving social and media market. It’s exciting to hear that Facebook and Twitter are tools not only used to talk with people of interest but it’s also used for research and advertising a company or client as well.