To what extent has social media helped put the ‘public’ back into public relations?

13 Jun

one-or-two-way-engagementThe social media has created a whole new way for companies to communicate with their audience. Has two way communication and content sharing replaced one-way communication and media manipulation in PR?

We debated this statement in our Issues in PR class. We were divided into teams debating for and against the statement, and I was debating for it. I was really pleased that I could debate for the statement since, at first glance, I thought it made perfect sense. However, after researching more about the subject I was not so sure anymore. I agree with PR professionals as Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge in their views that social media has helped the growth of two-way communication. Organisations and their audience can now communicate in a whole new way and help create content together. This has made it more difficult for companies to control the communication sent out and decreased the easiness of manipulating the media. However, several companies still practice one-way communication on social media. The rise of infographics is an example of one-way communication on social media. The organization decides on the message that they want to send to their audience, and the audience cannot change the message they are exposed to in the infographic.

We raised some good points of the development of two way communication in the web 2.0 world in our debate. However it is clear to see that one way communication still exist but social media is making it more difficult to try to manipulate the media. Do you think one –way communication will be completely replaced by two-way communication on social media in the future?

Skjermbilde 2013-04-02 kl. 23.44.34

Image in courtesy of Alcatek Lucent Report: New Communication Behaviours in a Web 2.0 world, 2006

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