- Commentary [2,000 words] “How Public Relations is adapting to the digital media landscape. This could be in the form of four 500-word blog posts and you will be expected to draw on insights from the lecture series, high quality blogs, books and other sources.”
“How Public Relations is adapting to the digital media landscape”
– Part 3
This is the third of a three-part commentary focusing on how Public Relations is adapting to the ever-changing Digital Media landscape. In this post I will strive to critique the current use of Digital Media platforms within Public Relations and the potential future of Public Relations and Digital Media.
Writing this blog post in 2014 it is clear that Digital Media is a part of everyday life and the Public Relations discipline has successfully adapted towards the digital movement. Whilst PR has arguably been one of the most accepting and fitting business partners to the Digital Media revolution there is always room for improvement.
The first critique comes in the form of better use of digital data collection and analysis. Public Relations practitioners have used data more effectively than in the past but the room for expansion within this field is still great.
‘It is the ability to gather, analyse and interpret this data that brings about ground-breaking opportunities for PR practitioners.’ (Collister 2013: 297).
Once more data is collected, campaigns can be further targeted and tailored to the appropriate people. Thus effectively allowing messages to be sent straight through to the appropriate potential customers, saving resources, which could be wasted on unreceptive individuals.
The second critique is that in larger companies the need to work with all divisions of in-house businesses needs to be further amplified. All campaigns must flow fluidly and create a narrative, which can then go on to create a buzz. The use of the same concrete message in billboard advertising, blogs, employee’s portrayed attitudes, viral videos, TV adverts, Facebook/Twitter posts can create mass amounts of interest and lasting memories. A great example of this is Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner Space Jump.
Finally, looking towards the future of Digital Media and Public Relations. Practitioners must not forget about traditional PR and medias; the use of convergence is vital. Harry Jenkins explains beautifully with this quote ‘Cinema did not kill theatre. Television did not kill radio. Each old medium was forced to coexist with the emerging media.’ (Jenkins 2006:14).
Whilst Digital Media has brought remarkable change to the world, many people still do not have access to it. Companies must remember this and the use of further research will allow them to decide where certain strategies are most suitable.
After considering all of this evidence I think it is fair to say that Public Relations has adapted exceptionally well to the age of Digital Media. The change has been vast and the learning curve, a large one but the benefits are now being enjoyed. The future of Digital Media is changes and grows every second so it is difficult to prepare or predict what tomorrow will bring. It seems that all a Practitioner can do is follow the Boy Scout’s motto and be prepared and ready for every situation.
Finally, something to remember whether working with modern Digital Media or elsewhere, ‘PR is about the public, not the media.’ – Alastair Campbell
Thanks for reading, you’ve made it to the end 🙂
Word count part three – 564
Total word count – 2218
Collister, S (2013), Share This Too, The Public Relations Power of “Big Data” Section, Brown and Waddington, Wiley & Sons, Page 297.
Fabretti, P (2013) Share This Too, Community Management Section, Brown and Waddington, Wiley & Sons, Page 79.
Hallam, J (2013) The Social Media Manifesto, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, Pages 83- 84
Jenkins, H (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York: New York University Press, Page 14.
Levine, R., Locke, C., Searls, D. and Weinberge,D. (1999) The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual [Online]. Available from: http://www.cluetrain.com/book/.
Macnamara, J (2014), The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices (Second edition), New York, Peter Lang, Page 297.
Macnamara, J (2014), The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices (Second edition), New York, Peter Lang, Page 311.
Miller, R (2013), Social in Corporate Communications in Share This Too, Wiley, Pages 191-193
Shirky, C (2008) Here Comes Everybody, New York, Allen Lane, Page 125.
Theaker, A (2012), The Public Relations Handbook, (Fourth edition). Oxon, Routeledge, Page 31.
Theaker, A (2012), The Public Relations Handbook, (Fourth edition), Oxon, Routeledge. Pages 411- 431.
Waddington, S and Earl, S (2012) Brand Anarchy, London: Bloomsbury, Pages
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Heath, L (2010) The Sage Handbook of Public Relations,Sage Publications
Shirky, C (2008) Here Comes Everybody, New York: Allen Lane.
Standage, T (2013) Writing on the Wall: Social Media – the first 2,000 years, London, Bloomsbury.