Social Media: PR's Double-Edged Sword
The advent of the internet age and the social media that sprang to life with it has caused some dramatic shifts in the world of public relations.
It has changed the way organizations reach their audiences, and perhaps changed the audiences themselves. Social media make it much easier – and cheaper – to reach people on the social networking sites that they use everyday. It allows organizations to not just push information out at people, but to receive and interact with their publics.
Social media has also changed the way the way publics view their organizations. Social media, along with Google and the 24-hour news cycle, has created a necessity for immediate gratification in people. This requires organizations to stay on top of their social media accounts, constantly monitoring and interacting with audiences who expect a prompt response.
The time element of social media also plays into a third major game-changer – that being in times of crisis. Social media create transparency, and with transparency it creates a general loss of control on part of the organizations. This can be very scary. If organizations don’t monitor and respond accordingly, a small problem can become a viral crisis in seconds. That being said, when monitored and used correctly, social media can also be a great tool for stopping a crisis in its tracks through spreading the organization’s message in a timely and wide-reaching manner.
Is your organization keeping up with this high-speed internet culture?
For more on social media in public relations: