Social Media and the Evolution of Corporate Communications by Laura Matthews

Topics: Public relations, Communication, Social media Pages: 12 (4153 words) Published: September 6, 2010
Social Media and the Evolution of Corporate Communications by Laura Matthews — 17

Social Media and the Evolution of Corporate Communications
Laura Matthews* Senior majoring in Corporate Communications Elon University

Social media has revolutionized corporate communications, rapidly changing the way that public relations campaigns or programs are distributed and measured. Rather than the traditional method of pure output, social media has forced corporate communications to shift to a dialogue in which the stakeholders, and not just the companies, have power over the message. Social media is a revolutionary communications tool that has quickly changed the ways in which public relations is practiced, becoming an integral part of corporate communications for many companies and offering public relations practitioners new options for every aspect of the corporate communications process.

I. Introduction
Social media has revolutionized corporate communications. Social media marketing allows companies to communicate directly and instantly with their stakeholders, marking a shift from the traditional one-way output of corporate communications, to an expanded dialogue between company and consumer. This paper aims to examine the relationship between social media and corporate communications, specifically focusing on the uses of social media for public relations and analyzing the changes that have occurred within the industry as a result of social media tools. Social media marketing is an umbrella term that includes the use of social media for sales, marketing, customer service and public relations, indicating a convergence of these traditionally separate corporate departments. Social media consists of online technologies, practices or communities that people use to generate content and share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other (Television Bureau of Advertising, Inc., 2009). Examples include blogs (e.g. Blogger, Wordpress), intranets, podcasts, video sharing (e.g. YouTube), photo sharing (e.g. Flickr), social networks (e.g. Facebook, MySpace), wikis (e.g. Wikipedia), gaming sites, virtual worlds (e.g. SecondLife), micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter), videoconferencing, instant message chats, social event/calendar systems (e.g. Eventful), social bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon), and news aggregation sites, among others. In the last decade these technologies have risen in popularity and ubiquity, and are being utilized by public relations practitioners to perpetuate the ever-changing industry of corporate communications. While it represents many different technologies, social media will be referred to in the singular form throughout this paper. * Keywords: social media, public relations, corporate communications, marketing E-mail:

18 — The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications • Vol. 1, No. 1 • Winter 2010 In today’s corporate world, the success or failure of any company hinges on public perception. The opinions of key company stakeholders, such as shareholders, investors, consumers, employees or members of the community in which the organization is based, are all crucial to the long-term success of the company, and should be viewed as such by executives. Social media allows for corporate communications opportunities that a decade ago would not have been plausible. Public relations is an old industry that has relied on the same tactics and formulas for much of its history, and that has traditionally been measured by the amount of media coverage resulting from output company messages. Social media is rapidly changing the way that public relations campaigns or programs are distributed and measured. Rather than the traditional method of pure output – completely company-controlled messages being broadcast to the stakeholders – social media has forced corporate communications to shift to a dialogue in which the stakeholders, and...

References: Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. Eyrich, N., Padman, M., & Sweetser, K. (2008). PR practitioners’ use of social media tools and communication technology. Public Relations Review , 412-414. Falls, J. (2009, August 10). Public Relations Pros Must Be Social Media Ready. Retrieved November 21, 2009, from Social Media Explorer: http://www.socialmediaexplorer. com/2009/08/10/public-relations-pros-must-be-social-media-ready/ Gunderson, S., Jones, R., & Scanland, K. (2004). The Jobs Revolution: Changing How America Workds. Copywriters, Inc. Hunt, T., & Grunig, J. (1994). Public Relations Techniques. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Mallinson, B. (1996). Public Lies and Private Truths. New York: Redwood Books, Ltd. Owyang, J. (2007, May 16). Edgeworks Concept: How Social Media impacts Company Communications. Retrieved October 13, 2009, from Web Strategy: edgeworks-concept-how-social-media-impacts-company-communications-expanding-upon-brianoberkirchs-theory/ Schwartzman, E., Smith, T., Spetner, D., & McDonald, B. (2009). 2009 Digital Readiness Report. iPressroom. Stauber, J., & Rampton, S. (1995). Toxic Sludge is Good For You! Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press. Stelzner, M. (2009). Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses. Social Media Success Summit. Television Bureau of Advertising, Inc. (2009). Multiplatform Glossary. Retrieved November 11, 2009, from Television Bureau of Advertising: Turney, M. (2009, October 10). Explanatory Phase of Public Relatiosn. Retrieved November 11, 2009, from Online Readings in Public Relations: prclass/readings/3eras2.html Weiss, T. (2007, July 8). Retrieved November 1, 2009, from Trendspotting Blog: Woolf, J. (2009, September 15). Redefining Influence - Social Media Changes Communications Forever. Retrieved October 13, 2009, from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • social media Essay
  • Communication Barriers and Social media Essay
  • Social Media for Business Communication Essay
  • The Importance of Social Media in Business Essay
  • Social Media- History & Evolution Essay
  • Essay about Evolution of Social Media
  • Role of the Social Media in Corporate Reputation Essay
  • Corporate communication Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free