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Twitter as a Public Relations Tool



Using in-depth interviews with executive-level public relations professionals, this study explores the uses of Twitter in communications campaigns. Findings suggest that public relations practitioners consider microblogging to be a valuable asset to a campaign’s social media strategy. They believe that Twitter offers a form of communication not offered by other social media applications, and they believe microblogging will continue to be an essential part of an integrated communications campaign.
Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 2011
ISSN 1942-4604
© 2011 Public Relations Society of America
Twitter as a Public Relations Tool
Angelica Evans, MA, Jane Twomey, Ph.D., and Scott Talan, MPA
Using in-depth interviews with executive-level public relations professionals, this study
explores the uses of Twitter in communications campaigns. Findings suggest that
public relations practitioners consider microblogging to be a valuable asset to a
campaign’s social media strategy. They believe that Twitter offers a form of
communication not offered by other social media applications, and they believe
microblogging will continue to be an essential part of an integrated communications
With a New York Times journalist admitting to plagiarizing prominent blogger John
Marshall in the spring of 2009 and President Obama boasting more than 6 million
supporters on Facebook during the 2008 election, digital media are now a major
element of mainstream communication. Blogs, once the newcomers to the digital media
scene, are now a staple in contemporary communications campaigns (Porter, Trammell,
Chung & Kim, 2006). Social networking Web sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are
integral parts of groundbreaking public relations plans such as the viral strategy
President Obama used during his 2008 campaign (Williams & Gulati, 2008).
Companies and organizations have followed President Obama’s lead, with recognizable
names such as Ernst and Young, the National Institute of Health and the World Bank
using social networking Web sites to reach their target audiences. Even the
mainstream media used quotes and story leads from bloggers during the 9/11 terrorist
attacks (Gillmor, 2004). Yet, despite the fact that blogs and social networking Web sites
have clearly proved to be successful components of communications campaign
designs, some traditional media professionals label these innovative communication
tools as fads with no lasting value (Hill, 2005; Wind & Todi, 2008). Like its blog and
social networking predecessors, the microblog has found its way into the mainstream
(Wilson, 2008). In April 2007, 94,000 microbloggers logged on everyday (Java, Song,
Finin & Tseng, 2007). Today, more than two million people routinely use the most
popular microblog, Twitter (Thompson, 2008). Time magazine reported in June 2009
that the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to delay a scheduled update to its Web
site to allow Iranians to tweet about their presidential election (Grossman, 2009).
Twitter and other social media outlets became the only way for Iranian citizens to voice
their opinions about the election and their support of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein
Mousavi. Twitter allowed a large population of people a voice internationally in a
circumstance in which they otherwise would have remained silent. The voices heard on
Twitter every day raise certain questions. Will this innovative application become a part
of the contemporary communications campaign like its social media predecessors? This
research explores this question.
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
This study is for communications practitioners and audiences interested in current
communications campaign trends. Through in-depth interviews with communications
executives, I hope to provide a picture of how industry experts view the newest social
media application. The responses are specific to the public relations industry and
provide insider insight to the current use and future of Twitter in communications
campaigns. By interviewing communication experts, this study aims to discover current
strategies for using Twitter in a communications plan. Leaders in the industry
experience the campaign development process numerous times. With those
experiences comes the ability to project the value of a new tool and predict the possible
limitations for emerging applications. The respondents’ opinions offer insight for other
communication professionals regarding the current trends of Twitter as a public
relations tool, and the current plans to use that tool in the future.
Digital Public Relations Media
The Internet has created the ultimate “global village,” and completely changed news
distribution to the world, allowing people to access information at any time and stay
updated minute-by-minute (Hiebert, 2004). While newspapers and television once
dominated as medium choices for information flow, the Internet now offers equal access
for all interested in disseminating information. With equal access and the free flow of
information, the Internet supports a true democracy unlike any other medium before it.
Hiebert (2004) argued that people around the world have used cell phones and the
Internet to organize rallies and protests. He stated that the Internet offers a forum for
debate, as witnessed by the numerous opinions and political views that buzzed on the
blogosphere during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Finally, Heibert (2004) stated
that the Internet forces companies, organizations and government administrations to
approach the information flow with a new sense of transparency.
The global reach of online media makes it particularly useful for public relations
practitioners. According to Kirat (2007), “Online is a major medium that PR practitioners
should use efficiently and rationally for effective public relations” (p. 170). Kirat (2007)
conducted a Web site analysis to assess online public relations tools and distributed a
questionnaire to 24 public relations department managers to study how public relations
departments in the UAE use the Internet to communicate directly with target publics and
the media. Kirat (2007) argued that the proper use of online applications provides
unprecedented access, but her findings showed that public relations practitioners in the
UAE do not utilize the Internet in such a way that allows target publics to connect
directly with their organization. Kirat (2007) proposed that the integration of Internet
tools into contemporary public relations practices is necessary for success.
Once public relations practitioners embrace the power of the Internet, it changes the
way practitioners do their jobs. Gregory (2004) stated that, “The advent of the Internet
and electronic communication has transformed public relations, just as it has
transformed many areas of organizational and business life” (p. 245). Organizations
conduct business almost entirely online in some cases, and rely on the ability to
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
communicate instantly to meet their goals. Gregory (2004) created a framework for the
public relations process in which the Internet exists as an important component when
implementing a communications campaign. Gregory (2004) reviewed XML (eXtensible
Mark-up Language), a language that allows computer hardware and software to
communicate regardless of the type. She focused on XPRL (the public relations
specific version of XML) and how it might benefit the industry and to support her ideas
that successful public relations follow a specific process, the author developed a
schematic that showed the communication campaign process. Among the
implementation techniques, online is considered an integral component.
After integrating Internet tools into the communications campaign, industry
professionals need to evaluate how instant and directed communication affects the
message. The Internet allows messages to travel much faster, and while the ability to
disperse information quickly offers public relations professionals faster communication
avenues, the ever-changing information stream requires constant monitoring and
response. Gregory and Hallahan (2004) argued that public relations professionals need
to coordinate with information technology professionals to protect information and
supervise the organization’s online presence. The authors explained the many threats
to client information such as hackers obtaining privileged information when public
relations firms store that information on computers and Internet software applications.
Critics or attackers have an open forum on the Internet to voice their negative opinions
and are protected under the First Amendment. Public relations practitioners and their
information technology counterparts must protect that information and the relationship
between the firm and the client. The relationship between a firm and its client is very
important, and the relationship between that client and its target publics is paramount.
The Web has changed the way organizations build relationships with their publics (Kent
& Taylor, 1998). Public relations is no longer a one-way conversation, it is a constant
dialogue between an organization and its audience. Even in the late 1990s, this article
predicted that the Internet would improve relationships between an organization and its
target publics. The authors stated that the Internet does not affect relationships one
way or the other, but how practitioners use the Internet to create a dialogue affect
important relationships.
With all of its benefits, the Internet has created some interesting challenges for
communication professionals. As discussed above, target publics are easier to reach
through the Internet, but “due to fragmentation, complexity, time constraint and
interactivity of computer communication, corporations may be unable to carefully
package their message and make it consistent across all media channels” (Ihator, 2001,
p 200). Maintaining the original message structure across the Internet is difficult with
numerous application choices and a fragmented audience. Public relations practitioners
lose the ability to target messages to a specific audience when the audience shifts and
evolves based on the daily online community. Communication professionals must
produce creative, innovative and consistent digital messages that successfully
represent the brand regardless of the intended audience.
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
Social Networking Web sites
Social networking Web sites are another innovative digital tool. Web sites such as
Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn are a common way people stay connected. In 2007,
one-third of the top 15 Web sites were social networking Web sites (Joinson, 2008). As
Dwyer, Hiltz and Passerini noted, Web sites are “the root motivation in communication
and maintaining relationships” (2007, p. 1). Since public relations is the practice of
managing relationships, social networking Web sites are an excellent way to manage
numerous relationships at once and communicate with the public. Dwyer, Hiltz and
Passerini (2007) surveyed 69 Facebook users and 48 Myspace users to ascertain their
beliefs about online privacy and trust. The authors found that respondents required
more trust when they were face-to-face with someone than they did in their online
relationship. In addition, Facebook users feel safer than Myspace users. The
discussion applies further by defining trust between the users on these Web sites. The
authors discussed that an online relationship strengthens after the use of other
communication methods such as in person or over the telephone. The results showed
that despite the lack of trust and guarantee of privacy, social networking Web site users
actively cultivate online relationships. The trust level between two people in the virtual
world is less rigid than in a real world relationship. This raises an interesting concern for
public relations firms. Do target publics trust a relationship that is built online, or do they
require face time? Social networking Web site users do not always trust the information
they get from other users, however they are willing to build online relationships with
these users in the face of that distrust.
Social networking Web sites also provide numerous options for targeting specific
individuals (Chester & Montgomery, 2008). As social networks begin to hyper target
consumers for advertising firms by providing a comprehensive profile of each user,
public relations professionals may choose to access this information and target
campaigns to specific demographics. Not only do social networks help organizations
focus only on their target audience, but they also provide a powerful tool word of
mouth. The messages from a person’s social network are more effective than a
message directly from an organization.
Some scholars question why people blog. Nardi, Schiano, Gumbrecht & Swartz (2004)
conducted in-depth interviews with 23 bloggers in California and New York. After a
minimum of two sessions with each interviewee, the researchers found that people
usually blog with one of five main motivations: to document life, as a form of catharsis,
as a muse, as a community forum or as a commentary. Regardless of the motivation,
the interviews exposed that bloggers have little difficulty posting a simple diary-like entry
one day and expressing a profound opinion the next. Bloggers admitted that the lack of
structure is what they liked the most about posting a blog entry. Surprisingly, bloggers
confessed their motivation for posting a blog was not selfish, but a form of personal
expression that required the author to be sensitive to his or her readers.
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Digital public relations media such as blogs allow public relations professionals to
connect with their publics in an unprecedented way. “Blogs can provide an entrée for
organizations into previously private realms” directly connected to targeted publics
(Kent, 2008, p. 35). Kent’s (2008) analysis of blogs showed their value in research and
issue framing. With research as an essential component in public relations, blogs offer
an opportunity for information collection from a targeted demographic or like-minded
audience. Public relations professionals use blogs’ dialogic structure to sway the
opinions of targeted demographic groups toward their client. They can take advantage
of the blogosphere’s reaction to a certain message prior to that message reaching the
mainstream media and use that as an opportunity to re-frame a concept if needed.
Blogs also work well to create an open-book persona for large corporations. They
“afford organizations another route for sharing their positions in a somewhat controlled
fashion and many mainstream organizations have taken advantage of the medium” (p.
36), but they are also open discussions with little regulation (2008). One comment on a
blog post may or may not be the opinion of the public, and should not be trusted as a
general population view.
Just as blogs offered a new communication method for organizations, tools that
followed such as Facebook and RSS expanded communication abilities. Godwin-Jones
(2003) described different Web generations. First generation Web consisted of email,
text-based chat and chat rooms. Second generation Web consists of RSS, wiki and
blogs. Just as one generation built on another, recent applications continue to build on
their predecessors. This paper attempts to discover whether Twitter will build on tools
such as email and blogs.
The newest way to stay in touch is microblogging (Java, Song, Finin & Tseng, 2007).
Java et al. (2007) stated that, “Microblogging is a new form of communication in which
users describe their current status in short posts distributed by instant messages,
mobile phones, email or the Web” (p. 118). While other microblogging applications
exist, Twitter is the most popular, with more than two million users (Grosseck &
Holotescu, 2008). Twitter allows users to post short messages, up to 140 characters,
called tweets, which provide quick updates, opinions or information. The process allows
real-time communication between members. Longer forms of communication such as
blogs and social networking pages require more time and effort. Microblogs allow for
rapid communication with little time commitment for a single post.
As McFedries (2007) noted, “the goal of all this twittering seems to be to enhance one’s
cyberspace presence, an elusive concept that seems to refer to being “out there”
(wherever “there” is) as much as possible (p. 84).” Twitter users often maintain an
Internet presence on numerous social networking sites with the goal of being ultimately
connected. Currently, applications across the Internet offer the option to synch social
networking sites to optimize connectivity.
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
Although scholarly research regarding Twitter is scant, the mainstream media are taking
notice. Steven Johnson (2009) of Time magazine stated that, “The one thing you can
say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression.” McFedries
(2007) points out that the general public does not understand why one would need to
know what a friend had for dinner. However, Hobsbawm (2009) argued that people turn
to Twitter for firsthand accounts of breaking news, reviews and opinions. The author
noted that Google searches are no longer the way to pick a restaurant or a movie.
Users now search Twitter for that information. Reisner (2009) pointed out that Twitter is
a tool with minimal overhead that offers the option to provide frequent updates, offers a
place for companies to sell discounted products through tweets and local businesses to
inform consumers of deals and theme nights.
From social networking Web sites to blogs to microblogs, social media is an important
component of any integrated communications campaign. These tools provide valuable
communication methods that previously did not exist for communication professionals.
This literature review shows that academic research specifically relating to Twitter is
scant. However, social media research is abundant. Studies in this review argue that
social media is an integral part of communication campaigns and a necessary tool for
public relations practitioners. Publics use social media to obtain information,
communicate with one another and disseminate information to friends, family, co-
workers and their global network. With this in mind, the literature indicates that public
relations practitioners can use social media to reach their target audience and create a
virtual dialogue with their publics.
Based on existing literature, I developed the following research question to further
understand the role Twitter in public relations campaigns
RQ1: What do public relations executives think about the current use of Twitter?
RQ2: How are public relations executives using Twitter in contemporary public
relations campaigns, and what are the costs associated with the application?
RQ3: What do public relations executives see as the future of Twitter in public
relations in these campaigns?
This study employed in-depth interviews with a sample of executive-level public
relations practitioners to discover:
1) how public relations professionals currently use Twitter in communications
campaigns, and what cost is associated with the tool;
2) how public relations professionals plan to use Twitter in communications campaigns
in the future; and
3) what public relations professionals think of Twitter as a communications tool.
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
In-depth interviews provide a unique research opportunity unlike other qualitative
methods. Interviews allow respondents to openly discuss their opinions, choices and
motivations (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). For this study, in-depth interviews provided the
opportunity for public relations executives to express their opinion on the current state of
Twitter in communication campaigns and offer their predictions of the application for the
future. Also, this method provided the opportunity to uncover the uses for Twitter that
previously were not obvious to the public relations industry. The in-depth and open
structure offered respondents the opportunity to expand on each question and discuss
emerging trends.
Participants and Procedure
I conducted 12 interviews with executive-level public relations practitioners at the level
of managing director or above from the top 50 public relations firms as identified by
O’Dwyers (See Appendix A). I collected contact information for the executives through
Internet searches, contact information provided on firm Web sites and personal
contacts. I sent the initial email inquiry to approximately 200 public relations
practitioners. After initial contact, I scheduled interviews at the public relations
executive’s convenience and forwarded the electronic consent form for approval. Each
interviewee had the option to interview via phone or email. Each phone interview took
approximately 25 minutes and was recorded with the permission of the interviewee. All
respondents interviewed by phone gave their permission to be recorded. When
respondents replied by e-mail, I printed and saved the email interviews in a locked
drawer to assure anonymity.
I sent interview questions in advance if requested by the interviewee. The questions
focused on whether top public relations executives use Twitter for their campaigns and
whether they think it is a valid component of a successful public relations campaign.
The questions also explored how companies and organizations use Twitter in
contemporary communications campaigns, and how they plan to use the tool in the
Interview Process
Four participants chose to participate by phone for the interview, and were called
between September 11, 2009, and February 25, 2010. The remaining eight respondents
completed the interview questionnaire by email between September 1, 2009, and March
8, 2010. If requested, respondents were given the nine-question interview guide by
email, but occasionally chose not to answer all the questions or stated that a specific
question did not apply to their public relations firm. Upon completion of the phone
interviews, participants were asked to elaborate on any of the information that arose
during the interview process. The emailed interview guide included an opening
statement that asked respondents to elaborate as they saw fit. After reading the
electronic consent form, some respondents agreed to the terms of general attribution;
however, some respondents requested that they be quoted directly. Nine of the
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
respondents asked for a copy of the final thesis project to obtain the opinions of other
industry leaders.
After I completed the interviews, I transcribed the phone interviews and printed the
email responses and read over them several times to discover any trends and patterns
regarding the respondents’ uses of Twitter, opinions about the application’s present
state, and predictions for Twitter use in the future. I grouped specific answers by theme
words such as real-time, instant, media, time and by similar responses. Occasionally, a
respondent offered significant insight that fell outside of the theme categories, but the
researcher included the information based on importance and relevance to the research
RQ1: What Do Public Relations Executives Think About the Current Use of Twitter?
Results revealed that industry leaders in public relations view Twitter as a valuable
asset to their daily practice. Although some practitioners believe the popularity of
Twitter itself may diminish, they agree that microblogging will continue as a significant
communications campaign component. Twitter allows practitioners to micro-target
communications to specific communities and opens a one-on-one line of communication
with members of the media. Words such as “real-time” and “instant” produced a theme
describing the value of immediate communication for public relations practitioners.
Themes concerning the negative aspects of Twitter centered on issues such as time
and reputation management
Valuable Tool, Not A Passing Fad
Respondents agreed that Twitter is not a passing fad; however their opinions varied
regarding the value of Twitter. Tim Wheatcroft, general manager at Allison & Partners,
thinks that Twitter’s popularity will change over time:
I think that Twitter’s popularity in the mainstream will tail off a little as time passes and
hype wanes; however, it will continue to be a useful PR and communications tool. I
expect it to broadly follow Second Life: huge uptake of public use to see what it’s all
about and then when the mainstream public gets bored of it, the buzz will diminish but
uses of it will become more distinct. Likewise with Second Life, there are many
organizations using it for real world applications these days, although the rate of sign-
ups had diminished from its heyday.
Lynne Doll, president of The Rogers Group, put Twitter into the larger social media
Social networking and instant, brief communications opportunities are very valuable
communications tools. I was in a bakery the other day and overheard the owner
wondering out loud if he should start twittering. After I told him the word was tweeting, I
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
asked him if he had loyal customers. He does and I told him he could use Twitter to
keep his bakery top of mind, with sweet tweets about new products, fun facts, etc.
Many respondents claimed that Twitter’s ability to provide information in a quick,
succinct and directed manner makes the application valuable. A vice president put it
plainly by stating, “Twitter is a valuable tool because it allows for instant communication
to a wide audience.” A director agreed with this and said, “Twitter is incredibly valuable
for public relations professionals for the real-time insights they provide and the direct
interactions they enable with consumers, media and anyone who wants to participate in
the conversation.” Another vice president expanded on the idea by saying, “It is a key
channel to create social connections, listen to conversations and engage where
relevant. It provides a real-time temperature check on what topics are resonating at that
moment in time.”
Direct Connection To The Media
Numerous respondents discussed the relationship-building and connection
opportunities Twitter offers to public relations practitioners and the media. A vice
president pointed out this idea when asked how her firm uses microblogging. “It has
helped us identify and create relationships with key influencers both on the client and
media side.” She also mentioned that members of the media were the first to use
Twitter as a mainstream tool.
Laura Baldwin, senior director at Qorvis Communications, stated that the media
responds almost instantaneously to a tweet while they ignore other contact attempts.
It is interesting, following some reporters who you might not get to respond to an email
or phone call, but then you’ll see, you know on Twitter, that they are looking for sources
to talk about “x” or ‘I am writing a story about “x”’ and it gives you that in to reach out to
them and engage them. It is more relationship building.
Matthew LeVeque, senior vice president of The Rogers Group, also held this opinion
regarding targeted groups and their response rates on Twitter. “Media has definitely
been important, both traditional media and people from the blogosphere have been an
important channel.”
Melissa Zandman, manager from Text 100 stated that her firm searches for members of
the media on Twitter.
The people that respond the most are the media. One, because that is our goal. Those
are the people we are really trying to go after. Also, because they are the ones that are
putting out the articles. They are putting out things saying hey I’m working on this
article, who has a reference for me? If the media is [sic] linking to more of a
sensationalist, more negative article, then they will receive more of a response from my
team because we want to set the record straight. The biggest rate of response is when
the media posts a question. It is about getting included in their story.
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Negative Aspects Of Twitter
Opinions were split among respondents on whether Twitter possesses any negative
qualities. Two respondents pointed out that Twitter poses a time management issue in
their personal lives but not in the business arena. A vice president provided a clear
viewpoint, “I think the challenge today is sifting out the conversations that are relevant
across any channel. The creation of lists has allowed for a more sophisticated
approach.” Laura Baldwin of Qorvis added:
Twitter is a huge time suck especially as you follow more and more people. There is
such a deluge of information, it’s so easy to get pulled into what’s going on in the
Buffalo Bills locker room as opposed to what Apple’s new announcement really means,
and how we should react to it.
Three respondents commented on the destructive outcomes of Twitter when the tool is
not utilized properly, and an organization chooses not to engage in the conversation.
Lynne Doll of The Rogers Group stated:
If companies don’t actively listen to online conversations about their audiences, then
there is a huge opportunity for problems. Also, companies that use language or a tone
that is too corporate come across as fake. Like in any medium, you need to adapt your
content, tone and style to be relevant to your audience.
Similarly, Tim Wheatcroft of Allison & Partners pointed out:
It can be a negative if a company abuses Twitter (either on a corporate level, or through
a rogue employee), and also, reputations can be damage by third parties talking about
an organization in a negative light. However, in the instances where this does happen,
it’s essential for organizations to be on the front foot and be a part of the conversation.
The ostrich approach never succeeds.
A vice president added that simple mistakes damage the effectiveness of Twitter. “I do
know that the worst thing anyone can do is to put up a Twitter feed and then ignore it,
not customize the page, etc.”
Finally, a senior vice president offered an opinion on how her firm has avoided negative
We have not encountered a time when Twitter has negatively impacted communication
with the intended audience but it is important that we spend a lot of time with our clients
before launching Twitter campaigns to strategically think through the goals of using
Twitter, the messages that will be communicated and our collective expectations.
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RQ2: How Are Public Relations Executives Using Twitter In Contemporary Public
Relations Campaigns, And What Are The Costs Related To The application?
Many respondents agree that Twitter is a relatively new, but valuable component in a
balanced communications campaign. Numerous respondents used the word
“integrated” to describe the necessity for a well-rounded social media strategy, and the
word “time” to describe the cost of Twitter for a public relations firm. Respondents
noted that the time spent researching and cultivating conversations on Twitter is an
expense as it relates to the salaries of the individual practitioners performing the duties
and the time necessary to build a successful campaign. Thus, a common theme that
emerged from the interviews was the tensions between the cost and benefit of Twitter in
contemporary public relations campaigns.
Integrated Communications Campaigns
Almost all the respondents pointed out that Twitter is only successful when it is a part of
a larger communications strategy. A vice president stated simply, “Twitter has to be
part of an integrated communications campaign.” A president also held this view,
noting, “Twitter is merely a tactic in an overall communications effort.” Another
president agreed: “We use blogging and microblogging as parts of our communications
campaigns.” Matthew LeVeque of The Rogers Group elaborated on this idea:
First of all, any of these social media/Web 2.0 applications are always approached from
a very strategic communication perspective. But, if it is something where it’s going to
work and it’s going to be strategic and it’s going to drive the client’s organizational goals
and the communication goals then we will recommend that they incorporate it into a
campaign or include it as part of our new planning activities for them. We utilize Twitter
as part of a broader integrated approach. It complements and works in harmony and
synergy with other activities whether those are promotional, media, relationship building
or grassroots activities. It all works together.
One director expanded the idea even further:
Twitter should be integrated in any communications initiative that wishes to connect with
audiences in a highly targeted, authentic and personal way. PR professionals should
view Twitter not as a component of a campaign, but as a powerful, new way to build
relationships that extends beyond defined time periods or promotion.
Melissa Zandman of Text 100 summed it up by saying, “Twitter alone isn’t what we are
striving to do with our clients, but along with other social media elements it supports a
larger thing we are doing.”
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Communicating To A Target Audience
Respondents agreed that Twitter offers a new way to communicate with target
audiences. A senior vice president pointed out that, “Twitter gives you the ability to
react to and promote news and developments in real-time to a targeted group of
people.” A director agreed, “Twitter should be integrated in any communications
initiative that wishes to connect with audiences in a highly targeted, authentic and
personal way.” A director added that using Twitter will “enable hyper-targeting
engagement,” and a president continued, “Twitter and other social networking platforms
allow you to micro-target communications to communities of interest.”
Monetary Cost In Communications Campaigns
Firms differ widely on how they choose to charge clients for Twitter as a component of a
campaign. A senior director pointed out that her firm charges monthly for a complete
We don’t do billable hours and we don’t really do a la carte pricing either, really how we
do it with most client relationships is, here is a problem you are looking to solve through
communications, here’s what we recommend doing and how much we think you should
pay us a month, so social media can be included in there.
A vice president uses a similar pricing structure for her firm, “We bill our clients, so the
cost of using Twitter is built into our client contracts. This is an agreed-upon service.” A
director pointed out that the cost for a client varies depending on the intensity of the
campaign. “Costs for client projects involving Twitter vary based on the level of real-
time engagement, monitoring and conversation pursued on any given day.”
A few respondents commented on the cost of Twitter in relationship to staff time and
effort. They described the actual time needed to create a successful Twitter campaign,
and how that translated into practitioners’ salaries. A manager stated, “For managers
and below, people probably spend at least 15 minutes using Twitter a day. In North
America, we probably have 100 people. It is a good amount of people really spending
some time on it.” A senior director added:
It takes a lot of time really. If you are looking at promoting a brand, company or a client,
you need to be constantly tracking people, making sure you’re covering the right
bloggers, reporters, the right influences (analysts or whatever) and then hope that they
follow you back.
A senior vice president commented, “Many times we will tweet as an act of goodwill
toward a current or prospective client, so the cost incurred is that of our time.” A
director added, “Twitter and other social media require and investment in research, in
learning, in training and in time to manage a client’s online presence.” Firms are still
trying to figure out how to charge for Twitter as a component of a campaign. Whether it
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
is based on billable hours, monthly fees or an overall campaign fee, Twitter requires a
significant amount of practitioner time. A manager pointed out, “A client’s budget limits
the amount of time we can spend on one platform.” A senior vice president closed, “It’s
almost a full-time job to keep up with everything as a professional communicator.”
RQ3: What Do Public Relations Executives See As The Future of Twitter In These
Numerous respondents admit to being unsure of the path Twitter will take, but many
agree that short, instant communications such as microblogging are here to stay.
Lynne Doll of The Rogers Group states, “Whether Twitter will continue to be the
preferred platform remains to be seen, but the concept is here to stay.” A vice president
adds, “As long as audiences continue to respond, we’ll continue to use it.” A director
seemed sure that Twitter will endure:
Twitter continues to add layers of features that give individuals and companies new,
creative ways to connect with each other. From location-aware functionality that will
enable hyper-targeted engagement to enhance video publishing and sharing features,
creative marketers will find ways to incorporate the latest evolutions of Twitter if it’s
relevant to their audience.
A senior vice president agreed, “Twitter will continue to be a tool that we use for our firm
for marketing purposes as well as something we recommend to clients as part of an
overall social media strategy.” Need some sort of transition here to the net quotation.
A president wanted to monitor social media in the future.
We’ll continue to evaluate it and use it when it is on-strategy for our clients. We’ll also
continue to monitor Twitter and other social media as a part of our ongoing reputation
management and tracking for our clients.
Three respondents discussed the future of Twitter specifically for their communication
campaigns. A director stated, “I think Twitter and other digital platforms have to be
imbedded much earlier in the corporate communication/marketing conversation.” A
senior vice president added:
I think we’ll encourage clients to participate and run tweetchats and tweetups. Many of
our clients are not consumer-based so we use Twitter as a way to promote them and
establish them as thought leaders in a particular industry.
Tim Wheatcroft of Allison & Partners added:
It’s likely that Twitter will become a feature in the majority of our campaigns. It’s not a
“one size fits all” solution and there are some companies for whom it may not be as
relevant, but any organization with a consumer face will likely adopt it.
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
A Director closed the interview by raising an interesting concept regarding the future of
Twitter. “It’s more about how people communicate. The theory behind communication
and socializing is more important. He also specified that Twitter would be used for
“Offers, feedback solicitations, customer service and news snippets.”
Finally, Matthew LeVeque of The Rogers Group summed up Twitter by saying, “It’s like
walking into the world’s largest cocktail party,” and just like a party, Twitter may not
allow you to make a connection with everyone, but it is an opportunity to see and be
Twitter Today And Tomorrow
As Chester and Montgomery (2008) discovered, social networking tools allow public
relations professionals to target specific audiences. Respondents agreed that Twitter
offers a new kind of micro-targeting in Twitter’s searchable environment that other
existing tools do not offer. Respondents agree that Twitter is not the only social media
tool that allows public relations practitioners to reach their audiences, but the short,
instant structure is new and useful. The real-time, one-on-one conversation is
unprecedented in social media. The opportunity to instantly connect with an audience
and often receive a rapid response offers a new way to communicate.
The nature of Twitter communications provides public relations practitioners with the
ability to create a conversation and a relationship with their audience in real-time. Botan
and Taylor (2004) discussed the basic definition of public relations as relationship
building. While industry professionals use this method to communicate directly with
their target audiences as respondents discussed, an unexpected relationship-building
opportunity with the media has grown out of the Twitter environment. This connection
to the media provides an entrée into the journalism community that public relations
professionals lacked in the past. Twitter provides the ability to respond directly to media
requests and offer suggestions for articles that put their client’s names into the public’s
eye. As two respondents pointed out, the media community tweets to connect directly
with public relations practitioners in a way that email and telephone calls left a gap.
Members of the media often ignored cold calls from public relations professionals, or did
not seek out their input for stories. Twitter offers an opportunity for the media to reach
out directly to public relations practitioners for story ideas and gives practitioners the
opportunity to strategically place their clients in articles. At this point, Twitter seems to
be the only social media outlet that offers this benefit to the public relations industry.
The ability to communicate one-on-one with groups such as media professionals
creates a necessity for companies and organizations to connect in an authentic and
transparent manner. Heibert (2004) discussed the need for transparency when
communicating with the online community, and respondents provided further insight into
how the lack of authenticity on a microblog will damage a reputation. Respondents
highlighted the effect of trite, corporate-like speak in the social media arena, and the
negative impression it creates for the audience. Respondents concluded that if
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
organizations or companies choose to utilize Twitter in a communications campaign,
transparency and authenticity are paramount.
Maintaining a transparent online image takes time. Respondents pointed out that while
Twitter is a free social media tool, it requires constant monitoring and upkeep on the
part of the public relations practitioner. Firms often charge clients based on personnel
hours needed to create a successful microblog. Whether a client chooses to rely on the
firm for the Twitter feed, or chooses to co-tweet with a practitioner, both the client and
practitioner must devote a considerable amount of time and thought to make a
microblog successful. One respondent strongly urged fellow public relations
practitioners not to start a Twitter page for a client unless both could commit to maintain
the feed and monitor the conversation. Such a mistake could damage the client’s
reputation and effect the long-term impression for the audience.
While respondents disagree on whether or not Twitter will remain the chosen platform
for microblogging, they agree that microblogging is here to stay. Numerous
respondents foresee their firms incorporating Twitter into communications campaigns in
the future if they have not already, and respondents who currently incorporate Twitter
into a social media strategy foresee Twitter claiming a more significant role in the future.
Relevance of the Current Findings
This study is one of the first to inquire about the public relations applications of Twitter.
Insights from public relations professionals offer an in-depth look at the current and
future uses of Twitter within the industry. Results from this study provide public
relations professionals information regarding how the industry utilizes Twitter in an
integrated social media strategy and how those efforts will further develop over time.
Previous research provided a predictive framework that showed the evolution of social
media and its mainstreaming into communication campaigns. Public relations
executives agree that Twitter, like its predecessors, is a valuable tool if used correctly
and integrated into a well-rounded communications strategy.
This study was limited by the likelihood that respondents adjusted their responses to
protect their firm’s reputation or best practices. Some respondents pointed out that they
were offering advice based on their opinion of how Twitter functions successfully and
not how their firms currently employ the tool. Another significant limitation was the
interview recruiting method. Only public relations practitioners who currently use Twitter
were invited to respond to my request for respondents. Other public relations
professionals may not have responded because they do not use Twitter for their
campaigns. This created a sample that does not reflect practices as a whole.
Additionally, the small sample size and interpretive nature of in-depth interview research
prohibited any reliability testing or generalization. Finally, because the respondents
were in executive level positions, many of them admitted that lower level practitioners
Evans, Twomey and Talan Public Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
utilize Twitter more often than they do. While they encourage the use of microblogs in a
communications campaign, they do not usually manage the day-to-day activities.
Opinions from lower level professionals might provide a more in-depth understanding of
Twitter’s uses and how it supports a communications strategy. With more hands-on
experience, lower level practitioners may offer a clearer explanation of the value of
microblogs in the day-to-day public relations function.
Future Research
This study suggests that Twitter is a valuable tool for public relations professionals, but
industry executives point out that they lack measurement tools to prove its success.
One respondent mentioned that until someone develops a way to measure Twitter’s
return on investment, it will be difficult to quantify its value. Future research should
expand on this study by developing a way to measure useful information such as the
number of times a link is posted or a tweet is re-tweeted. Also, as Twitter itself works to
discover a revenue option for the application, researchers may have the option to define
success based on revenue.
An experimental study in which three public relations firms publicize the same event or
product using Twitter, another social media application such as Facebook, and no social
media might provide interesting results on the costs and benefits of using Twitter as
opposed to other social media tools.
In addition, future research could replicate this study with lower level public relations
practitioners to gain the day-to-day perspective of Twitter. Finally, a study that
combines communication theory with the communication methods of social media will
help public relations practitioners to understand how these tools define how people
communicate and the best way to reach audiences in their own language.
Twitter as a Public Relations ToolPublic Relations Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, 2011
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Appendix A
O’Dwyers Top 50 Public Relations Firms
As of September 1, 2009
1. Edelman
2. Waggener Edstrom
3. APCO Worldwide
4. Ruder Finn Group
5. Text 100
6. Qorvis Communications
7. Schwartz Communications
8. ICR
9. Dan Klores Communications
10. Taylor
11. Gibbs & Soell
12. WeissComm Partners
13. Padilla Speer Beardsley
14. Peppercorn
15. Allison & Partners
16. Capstrat
17. French/West/Vaughan
18. Shift Communications
19. RF/Binder Partners
20. CRT/tanaka
21. 5W Public Relations
22. Coyne PR
23. M Booth & Associates
24. Zeno Group
25. Makovsky & Co.
26. Davies
27. Cooney/Waters Group
28. Kaplow Communications
29. The Hoffman Agency
30. KCSA Strategic Communications
31. Hunter PR
32. S&S PR
33. Widmeyer Communications
34. Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek
35. Bender/Helper Impact
36. Crosby Marketing Communications
37. The Horn Group
38. Lewis Public Relations
39. Raskey Baerlein
40. Gregory FCA Communications
41. Bader RutterPi
42. McNeelly Pigott & Fox
43. Atomic PR
44. Airfoil PR, Inc.
45. Imre Communications
46. Lou Hammond & Associates
47. Linden Alschuler & Kaplan
48. Spark PR
49. Rogers Group
50. Vollmer
... By keeping a Twitter or Facebook account, a business can reach new audiences, communicate with consumers, and demonstrate technical expertise. According to Evans, Twomey, and Talan (2011), Twitter enables practitioners to micro-target communications to specific communities and establishes a one-on-one dialogue with media members. Again, Facebook is rapidly becoming one of the most influential public relations platforms available. ...
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This study sought to analyze Ghanaian public relations practitioners’ use of social media and influence on public relations practice. Using the uses and gratification theory and dialogic theory of public relations as a lens, the study sought the views of 20 public relations practitioners. Essentially, the interviews sought information on how public relations deploy social media in their work, how their work is influenced, the challenges associated, and the competencies required to navigate the evolving world of social media and public relations. The study found that public relations practitioners in Ghana were well informed of social media platforms and employed them in their duties and are unanimous in agreement that social media have reshaped mainly the mechanism by which they interact with their publics by bringing them closer to their target audience. It was also revealed that work output and efficiency was positive because practitioners could get to their publics in real-time and interact seamlessly. Finally, the study revealed that practitioners may be under-utilizing social media and may not be reaping the benefits that abound primarily because training in the proper usage and deployment of social media platforms is not abreast with the evolving technology of social media. Despite these significant findings, there were other issues that the study could not address, including the views of organizational publics and the use of the quantitative approach, which would have made it possible to obtain a significant enough sample and thereby make it possible to generalize the findings of the study. Accordingly, the present study recommends that researchers investigate the extent to which social media mediate the relationship between organizations and their publics and find out whether the relationship mediated by social media is stronger or otherwise than the one by traditional/legacy media.
... En el contexto actual, la comunicación es, mayoritariamente, de carácter digital (Patrut, 2015), la cual viene determinada no sólo por el contenido y los usuarios, sino también por las tecnologías existentes (Keïnanen y Kuvalainen, 2015). Internet ha contribuido a potenciar el uso de la comunicación on-line (Jayaram et al., 2015) mientras que las redes sociales se han convertido en una plataforma de comunicación estratégica (Guesagala, 2016) que ha creado desafíos muy interesantes para los profesionales de la comunicación: los mensajes actuales han de ser creativos, innovadores y consistentes digitalmente (Evans et al., 2011). ...
Actualmente las organizaciones públicas están potenciando el uso de las redes sociales como herramienta de comunicación de marketing social, con el fin de influir en el comportamiento de los individuos y lograr un bienestar social. Metodología: Se ha utilizado la técnica multicriterio AHP (Analytical Hierarchical Process) aplicada a cuatro perfiles de Twitter de fuerzas y cuerpos de seguridad de distintos ámbitos territoriales. De este modo, se ha representado el modelo como una jerarquía, se han identificado las variables explicativas del buen uso de las redes sociales como instrumento de comunicación y se han agrupado en clústeres de variables. Posteriormente, se han ponderado tanto las variables como los clústeres mediante el juicio de un experto en comunicación. Resultados: De los clústeres de variables explicativas utilizados para el estudio, “C3. Impacto de la cuenta” se ha revelado como el más importante para el experto. En cuanto a las dimensiones, la más relevante es “Número de seguidores”. Por otra parte, los resultados muestran la eficacia en la comunicación de las cuentas de Twitter de los diferentes cuerpos y fuerzas de seguridad analizados. Conclusiones: Este trabajo aporta información de gran utilidad práctica, pues se identifican cuáles son las variables fundamentales para conseguir un uso eficiente en las redes sociales y conseguir el objetivo propuesto de influir en los ciudadanos para lograr un bienestar conjunto. Por otra parte, se abren nuevas líneas de investigación que pueden complementar los resultados obtenidos.
... This sharing potentially increases the impact the frames have. However, it is still unclear in their research how journalists directly use politicians' tweets, particularly Bolsonaro' s, as official sources for their stories (Lariscy et al., 2009;Evans et al., 2011;Parmelee, 2013). ...
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This paper analyzes how three of Brazil's largest national newspapers (Folha de S. Paulo, O Estado de S. Paulo, O Globo) addressed tweets from the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, in the first four months of his government. The methodology consists of a qualitative content analysis of the news motivated by the president's publications on Twitter, as well as the messages themselves, in order to identify the framing adopted by said newspapers and whether that framing fits the approach of Bolsonaro. Moreover, the study uses descriptive statistics (Chi-square test) to identify links between the following pairs of variables: issues and frames, months and issues, months and frames. The data is composed of 351 news pieces collected from these media's websites. The results show that conflict and moral were the issues that media covered the most concerning Bolsonaro's tweets, and the newspapers used news and interpretive frames equally.
... Böylece verilen mesajlarÕn tüketiciler üzerinde daha etkili olmasÕ sa lanmaktadÕr. Çünkü bir ki inin sosyal a Õndan gelen mesajlar, do rudan bir kurulu tan gelen mesajlardan daha etkili olmaktadÕr (Evans, Twomey, Talan, 2011). ç ve dÕ payda larla kurulan ileti imde etkile imin ve diyalog döngüsünün sa lanmasÕ, kar ÕlÕklÕ ileti imin kurulmasÕ i letmeler açÕsÕndan sosyal medyanÕn daha aktif kullanÕlmasÕna neden olmaktadÕr (Türk ve Bayram, 2020). ...
... Twitter also as a data collection tool in health research (Zhang et al., 2018). Twitter users can access the Internet on social networking sites, various sites connected with social networking sites to support connectivity (Angelica Evans et al., 2011). This makes Twitter able to connect users in shaping the social network, and retweeting or replying to other users ' tweets is a way to distribute and disseminate information (Masaharu Tsubokura et al., 2018). ...
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Muhammadiyah as one of the largest religious Islamic organizations in Indonesia who have the most health and education business and spread in various regions of Indonesia. This article aims to analyze the responsiveness of Muhammadiyah in the face of the Pandemic Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19). This article uses qualitative analysis of social media. NVivo 12 Plus Software was utilized for data analysis. The ncapture feature was used to explore Twitter's accounts, @muhammadiyah, @PPAisyiyah, @ppnasyiah, @mucovid19, @mpkuppmuh, @lazismu, @majalahSM, @TVMuhammadiyah, @diktilitbang. The analysis of Muhammadiyah's responsiveness through multiple Twitter accounts is one form of infomedic with the presentation of accurate and varied information. Analysis results showed that the dissemination of information on Muhammadiyah's responsiveness through Twitter accounts illustrates more integrated responsiveness in the form of information dissemination through Muhammadiyah TV, the Muhammadiyah Sound magazine, an integrated plague management through the Muhammadiyah Covid-19 Command Center, the patient's health service policy through several Muhammadiyah hospitals, aid and donations, prevention and health education campaigns through PP Muhammadiyah, PP Aisyiyah, PP Nasyiatul to various regions in Indonesia.
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O presente trabalho tem por objetivo analisar como os tweets do Presidente da República, Jair Bolsonaro, pautaram três dos maiores jornais de circulação nacional no Brasil (Folha de S. Paulo, O Estado de S. Paulo e O Globo), nos quatro primeiros meses de governo. Para tanto, a metodologia consiste em uma análise de conteúdo qualitativa das notícias motivadas pelas publicações do presidente na referida rede, assim como dessas próprias mensagens, a fim de identificar os principais temas dos tweets publicados pelos jornais. O corpus empírico é composto por 351 notícias, coletadas dos portais online dos referidos veículos de comunicação. Os resultados apontam que as postagens do presidente pautaram os jornais predominantemente nos meses de janeiro e março e as temáticas dessas mensagens mais abordadas pela mídia foram “conflito”, “moral” e “economia”.
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Social media has progressively grown in the last century and is now seen as a potential opportunity for various purposes, including the decision-making. The present work explores how social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to support the decision making process of MSMEs. The work is exploratory in nature, and relevant literature has been reviewed to identify the decision making approaches at different managerial levels and how they have been integrated with the social media applications. Specific examples of social media platforms have been discussed, considering the MSMEs’ business environment. Along with the practices, the most important challenges to social media integration have also been presented.
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Relacjami medialnymi prowadzonymi w sposób profesjonalny zajmują się osoby odpowiedzialne za ten obszar, ale materiały medialne powstają także z powodu informacji zamieszczanych – świadomie lub bezrefleksyjnie – przez innych członków organizacji w przestrzeni mediów społecznościowych. W rozdziale podjęto próbę analizy potencjału kryzysogennego dla instytucji związanego z treściami tworzonymi, przetwarzanymi i udostępnianymi przez jej członków. Analizę oparto o rzeczywiste publikacje powstałe w wyniku treści udostępnionych przez pracowników oraz zilustrowano wynikami badań własnych autorki odnoszącymi się do zasad aktywności online.
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This paper discusses the use of Internet by public relations departments in the United Arab Emirates, to reach their key publics online and to gather information and monitor data to perform their tasks and to promote and develop their relations with the news media. Findings of the study show that all 24 organizations have a homepage, but only two thirds of them are posting their publications on the net, and only one third are using electronic newspapers to monitor their coverage in the media and to gather news, data and information of importance for the various tasks they perform. Only three organizations out of 24 have an online newsroom, and only two have a virtual tour about the organization. None of the surveyed organizations’ Web site has a film or videos. Organizations in the United Arab Emirates still have a lot to do to take advantage fully and rationally of what interactive communication, Internet and online publications are offering for a better performance and more effective public relations.
On Sept. 5, 2006, Mark Zuckerberg changed the way that Facebook worked, and in the process he inspired a revolt. Zuckerberg, a doe-eyed 24-year-old C.E.O., founded Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard two years earlier, and the site quickly amassed nine million users. By 2006, students were posting heaps of personal details onto their Facebook pages, including lists of their favorite TV shows, whether they were dating (and whom), what music they had in rotation and the various ad hoc "groups" they had joined (like "Sex and the City" Lovers). All day long, they'd post "status" notes explaining their moods — "hating Monday," "skipping class b/c i'm hung over." After each party, they'd stagger home to the dorm and upload pictures of the soused revelry, and spend the morning after commenting on how wasted everybody looked. Facebook became the de facto public commons — the way students found out what everyone around them was like and what he or she was doing. But Zuckerberg knew Facebook had one major problem: It required a lot of active surfing on the part of its users. Sure, every day your Facebook friends would update their profiles with some new tidbits; it might even be something particularly juicy, like changing their relationship status to "single" when they got dumped. But unless you visited each friend's page every day, it might be days or weeks before you noticed the news, or you might miss it entirely. Browsing Facebook was like constantly poking your head into someone's room to see how she was doing. It took work and forethought. In a sense, this gave Facebook an inherent, built-in level of privacy, simply because if you had 200 friends on the site — a fairly typical number — there weren't enough hours in the day to keep tabs on every friend all the time. "It was very primitive," Zuckerberg told me when I asked him about it last month. And so he decided to modernize. He developed something he called News Feed, a built-in service that would actively broadcast changes in a user's page to every one of his or her friends. Students would no longer need to spend their time zipping around to examine each friend's page, checking to see if there was any new information. Instead, they would just log into Facebook, and News Feed would appear: a single page that — like a social gazette from the 18th century — delivered a long list of up-to-the-minute gossip about their friends, around the clock, all in one place. "A stream of everything that's going on in their lives," as Zuckerberg put it. When students woke up that September morning and saw News Feed, the first reaction, generally, was one of panic. Just about every little thing you changed on your page was now instantly blasted out to hundreds of friends, including potentially mortifying bits of news — Tim and Lisa broke up; Persaud is no longer friends with Matthew — and drunken photos someone snapped, then uploaded and tagged with names. Facebook had lost its vestigial bit of privacy. For students, it was now like being at a giant, open party filled with everyone you know, able to eavesdrop on what everyone else was saying, all the time.
By not developing a widely accepted definition and a central organizing principle or paradigm, the field of public relations has left itself vulnerable (1) to other fields that are making inroads into public relations' traditional domain, and (2) to critics who are filling in their own definitions of public relations. While opportunities abound, public relations is unlikely to fulfill its promise until it is willing and able to identify its fundamental nature and scope. This article proposes a definition (“managing strategic relationships”), along with a three-dimensional framework, with which to compare competing philosophies of public relations and from which to build a paradigm for the field.Dr. James G. Hutton teaches marketing and public relations at Fairleigh Dickinson University in northern New Jersey, just outside New York City.
Increasingly, scholars and practitioners are defining public relations as relationship management. The investigation reported herein is an attempt to identify through qualitative research and verify through quantitative research relationship dimensions upon which good organization-public relationships are initiated, developed, and maintained. The respondents for this study were local telephone subscribers who resided in territories that were recently opened to competition for local telephone service. A total of 384 respondents were surveyed.The results indicate that the relationship dimensions of trust, openness, involvement, investment, and commitment differentiate those respondents who indicated they would stay with the current provider, would sign up with a new provider, or were undecided as to what they would do. Conclusions as to the impact of public relations as relationship management are offered, as well as suggestions for future areas of research.Dr. Ledingham and Dr. Bruning are members of the Public Relations faculty at Capital University in Columbus, OH.
The rise of social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook over the past decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. Once regarded as nothing more than a passing "fad", these websites have grown to astronomical proportions; each website currently boasts 60+ million unique visitors each month. Certain businesses are beginning to notice the potential for reaching out to their target audiences through this new medium and have already begun a series of advertising efforts in order to do so; however, the spend on this form of advertising is relatively minor compared to other efforts. This paper will establish why social networks are important to businesses as an advertising medium and attempt to review the current advertising methods that are in place.
The Internet and electronic communication has transformed public relations. However, a significant barrier in impeding further progress towards the free interchange of content, is the incompatibilities that exist between the plethora of hardware and software systems.XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) is a universal computer mark-up language that overcomes these barriers, but it has to be customised for each industry that seeks to use it. XPRL is the public relations specific XML that is being developed by XPRL.Org, an industry-backed not-for-profit organisation created specifically to undertake the task.To develop XPRL, the industry has to have scoped and defined its processes so that they can be fitted into a framework that denotes activity. This paper describes the work done by XPRL.Org in this area.
Purpose – This paper describes how information professionals can keep up with current technology news by incorporating podcasts, RSS feed readers, and the social messaging service Twitter into their daily routines. Design/methodology/approach – A general review of technologies and news sources. Findings – The rapid pace of technology innovation requires librarians to look for simple ways to monitor new trends that may affect library services. Podcasts, RSS readers and messaging networks like Twitter each represent low‐threshold tools that can serve as resources for breaking news, reviews, and technology journalism. Originality/value – The tools offered in this article provide simple strategies for information professionals to stay abreast of technology innovations as the revelations first emerge. Provides descriptions of technologies and reviews several technology podcasts, blogs, and journalists worth following.
Explicates how traditional PR and corporate communication theories, models and paradigms may not be successfully used in an era of advanced information technology and global audience. The Internet technology has altered corporate personae and the mode, channels and methods of corporate communication and feedback. It has minimized the power distance and ushered in a new type of relationship between corporations and their relevant publics. Strategic information packaging, gatekeeping, timing and controlled reactive communication become more difficult to manage in the information age.