Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Internet: PR's Savior or Crucifier?

As the reading begins for my research, I can’t help but start to pre-empt what one of my key findings will be: there is just too much out there.  If I was a practitioner that had been in the industry for years without all of these digital platforms, and it was now a necessity to learn about them, where would I start? In fact, as a new PR professional, where do I start?

Arising from this, and perhaps more importantly, is the issue of online credibility.  Due to the speed that the internet allows ideas to be published at, and how easily these ideas can be accessed, it becomes a prime source of information for people working across PR.  But is this a good or bad thing?

The trouble is, how do we decide who we should be listening to on the internet? Is it those with the most amount of followers? Is it those working for the top PR organisations? Is it posts that have research findings to support their claims? Is it something that was so good it was worth a retweet?

The online world has opened a mass of doors for the PR industry, but is it also causing just as many problems?

Who should we be listening to?  

An Introduction..


Firstly, to introduce myself and this blog: I’m Joanne (Jo) and I’m currently coming towards the end of my MSc International Public Relations course at Manchester Metropolitan University.  As part of my studies on the course I am carrying out a piece of research into the much discussed topic of social media.

Throughout my studies over the past year, something that has somewhat frustrated me is the apparent ‘gap’ between theory and practice in PR: 99% of the time what the textbooks/journals were telling me felt somewhat distanced from the reality of practice.  I fear this may also be the case for the use of social media, and given the obvious importance of it today, it arises as a critical issue for the sector.  I hope that my research will determine the reality of the understanding and use of social media in PR practice, and if, how, and why it is not as the theory says it should be.

As part of my research I am going to hold interviews with a range of practitioners working at strategic level in the UK.  In order to get as broader picture as possible, I will speak to PR practitioners working in organisations of various size, across different areas, and both in-house and in agency.  In addition to this, I thought that my research process should be as innovative as I want my research to be, and have decided to use a blog in order to gain as much input from practitioners across the industry as I can.  As a key issue arises in my research, I will blog about it, and ask for comments, thoughts, and opinions from all those reading it (i.e. you!).

So please, read, share, re-tweet, comment, agree, disagree – but most importantly, please be honest!

Please Note: Your identity will be protected throughout the research process, as all those commenting will remain anonymous in my report.  You are also free to withdraw any comments at any point.  If you would like to see a copy of my findings at the end then just let me know.

Thank you in advance.