The impact of new media on public relations
Every once in a long while, the way that people receive and distribute news is majorly impacted by times and technology. The 20th century brought TV, radio, and the Internet. Just as these media channels defined their times, so the rise of new media will also define the 21st century. In modern society, all public relation practitioners are confronted with a startling series of new communications channels and struggle with the impact of new media. The "new media" gives rise to a new style of marketing that is characterized by conversation and community. Internet-based social media tools include blogs (WordPress www.wordpress.com), podcasts, online video (YouTube) and social networks like facebook (www.facebook.com) which is the most widely used, free-access social networking sites and now has 400 million users worldwide - and MySpace (www.myspace.com) which has about 200 million users. The Internet affords a particular chance for public relation practitioners to gain information, monitor the publics' opinion, and directly enter into dialogue with the public about various issues. This indicates that public relation practitioners need to realize the importance of the mainstream, new media in the dissemination of information.
This essay aims to draw attention to the rising influence of new media on the process of public relations, and to discuss what extent the media influences the publis. The following will be divided into three parts, the first discusses what "new media" is, and how it differs from traditional media. The second part focuses on new media's impact on current conventional thinking in public relations. Finally, it will briefly introduce how new media affects the public.
Reading many books on literature, we can conclude there is no single accurate definition to describe what new media is, because the definition changes every few years. One book on new media is used in a very general way, it combines some traditional media with new media, for example movies, pictures and written language, with interactive computer and communication technology, some consumer devices using computer, and concluding that the Internet is the most important communication vehicle. There are many promises linked to these terms. For instance, people can access information at any location or time by using electronic devices, along with exchange of consumers feedback, and create and engage in the forming process of a community centered on the media content. Another pivotal promise is that of the creation of a democratitive space where people can freely create, publish, distribute and consume media content. New media distinguishes from traditional media for the digitizing of content rather than keeping it analogue. There is also a dynamic factor in the content production, which can be done in real time. (Wikipedia, 2010) Another definition emphasized new media to be focused on a train of media practices, and takes advantage of digital technologies and the computer in one way or another. (Dewdney & Ride, 2006) By these two different definitions, we can surmise that new media is not just a kind of technology used in our daily life, but can also change the way of today's PR practice ways.
What are the fundamental differences that warrant such distinction? there are four to be aware of, the most significant difference in new media is that it is dynamic and can be changed, for example Facebook, MicroBlog (Twitter) and web sites can be updated rapidly when events happen or unfold. A good example is that today, more and more companies use micro-blogging to establish awareness and expertise for a company, they present their company logo and branding in the micro-blog page and use micro-blog updates to customer service, and even add value by using micro-blogs to post on events in the community and their company topics as well.（Baruch New Media, 2009）By contrast, traditional media...
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