The Relationship Between Social Media and Public Relations

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This article examines the important role of social media to public relations practitioners. The researcher wants to investigate the innovation of social media through the case study of Obama presidential campaign and public health issue. Moreover social media can bring destruction to the organization, if the user misuses the social media. Social media has brought a new challenge to the society. The researcher use intensive interview and focus group toward public relations practitioners to explore how important the social media did to them and the negative outcome of social media. The researcher use quantitative method – survey to examine the appetency of the social media among different size of community.

Organization seek to enhance their reputation through a variety of self-presentation activities, which express the organization’ identity and promote a particular image. In 21 century, many organizations decided to choose social networking as their channel to communicate to their stakeholder. Today’s social media such as blogging and micro blogging (Twitter, Facebook) offer organization a platform to post tradition news releases, corporate blog that contribute to image building. With social media, an increasingly popular means through which companies can communication in online communities. (Sweetser, 2010) We can’t deny the effort of the social media held much promise for facilitating the development of relationship between organization and public. Some herald social media as bringing public relations full circle to its original foundation of building relationship. (Avery, Lariscy, Amador, Ickowitz, Primm, & Taylor, 2010) It indicates that social media are inherently interactive, communicative, and social and it play an important role on online image construction. This study emphasizes the effort of social media to public relations practitioners and how to social media changing interplay between journalists and public relations practitioners. Social media are both personal and political, it help the public relations practitioners diffuse their message efficiently when dealing with health issue and political issue. Because, people tend to want immediate information that is immediately available online when faced with a challenging health condition. In political domain, social media manage a good relationship between the stakeholder and organization; there is a case study that Obama presidential campaign’s use of the participatory Internet to manage its grassroots campaign. ( Levenshus 2010) They use the social media to empower supporters to do traditional grassroots activities like hosting event, fundraising, and registering voters. The tool and strategies have grown more sophisticated. The study also state that social media tool has the potential to strengthening relationship-building effort and play an importance role in a strategic management level related to political campaign. Social media has many advantages to the organizations, but organization may misuse the concept of social media. Result indicates that unethical behaviour such as nondisclosure in social media will degrade the organization-public relationship within several relational maintenance strategies. (Sweetser, 2010) However, many companies choose unethical behaviour to destroy their competitors’ reputation because company can more easily create content and post it online, represent as user-created content, as opposed to corporate production.

Research Question
Based on the literature review, research questions were developed to guide data collection. RQ1: Why PR practitioners willing to rely on social media?
RQ2: How did the PR campaign use social media strategically to manage a good relationship with their stakeholders? These two research question help understand the efforts provided by social media to practitioners and how PR practitioner integrated social media into their strategy to benefit their relationship building....
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