Friday, August 20, 2010

Social Media and PR



Public Relations (PR). What do you understand. Ok. Simply, it means we build and maintains relationships between organisation and the public for management reasons. PR in Malaysia is not as common as in the Unites States or UK. However, in Malaysia, this sector is beginning to develop and creates organisation such as IPRM ( Institute of Public Relations Malaysia).

So, PR is simply about communicating. And PR deals with advertising, negotiation, internal communication, crisis and many more. Those that always end up with meeting up people, is usually working in PR unit. And due to globalisation, social media is becoming one of the tools to be used to create reputation, to get closer to the audience, to let public know about the company, to create good image of company etc.

According to Alison Doyle, social media is
various online technology that enables people to communicate easily via internet to share information and resources.

The relevance of social media:
It is global, people can access it anywhere, and simply cheaper than making an advert on TV.

From the pictures above, I know you recognised some of it.

Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Myspace where we can create an individual profile or a fan page and we get to communicate by writing posts and writing updates. For example, writing in FB that an organisation had just launched a new product. Another example is Imam Muda where they use FB to connect to the public from all over the world. Currently Imam Muda's FB fans is 100,000 worldwide! Click here to view the Imam Muda FB page.

Photo Sharing: An example from above is Flickr, slideshare. An organisation can upload as many pictures they want, to share it in the web.

Video Sharing: Most popular video sharing website is Youtube. Though an organisation can have their videos on their site, but by having videos in Youtube, they can get more hits easily. This is because a video is linked to the other and the probability for the viewers to watch it is higher. Here's an example of an advertisement that is upload in Youtube to gain more viewers.



Blog
: Blog is becoming popular in 21st century. Politicians, celebrities mostly have blog as they realize it is a cheap and easy tool to influence people and also good for PR. Blog is slightly different compared to website as blog is more to a casual approach compare to website, it is a bit formal.

Briefly, social media play its role in PR because:
- two-way communication exist
- transparency (public can dig as many info as they want)
- technology is always on (info can be pass 24-hour)
- Public/ audience regularly engaged

Do you agree that social media is useful in PR. Do you have any suggestions? I really appreciate if readers can drop some comments. (This post is actually part of my assignment. Huh)


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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

great! very engaging! the survey clinched it.... this is the introduction stuff for next semester multimedia english... hahahaaa

Amzari Zhahir said...

Salam Nadhirah,

How are you? How is your family? Hope they are fine.

I simply voted NO because the social impact affecting the society at large, is negative. Although I do still have my 'dying' friendster account, I don't have a facebook equivalent.

First, Social media should and always be private; and never be made as a PR tool. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a propaganda or misinformation.

Ok, let me tell you my experience. Way back in Glasgow, I used to live with a British friend of Pakistani origin in a same flat. I build a website about myself. Do you know what he said upon discovering that website? Paraphrasing what he said "I knew more about you in the website then 1~2 years we have lived together in the flat".

So you see, social media as a PR tools is a recipe for disaster. People knew you more from what you show in your site, rather the real person you are. It is incongruent of real and online lives.

Second, PR company sees you no more than a statistics. In fact, they might not even considered you as a human being. Yeah, advertisement will be based on your "social preferences", which ultimately let too all sort of intrusion of privacy. Soon enough, you will find that your liberty and freedom of choice is at stake.

I did not even touch on "Data Mining". Any cyber criminal can used your data and create a synthetic identity. I won't dwell on that.

Third, social media as a PR tool, is inherently selective. They only show you the "good" bit of a person, what you wanted to "show off". A tool for developing zealotry of your favourite persona, I suppose. Why the need to follow a politician or a celebrity all time?

All in all, I have only highlighted the negative bits, since Nadhirah's essay was biasly skewed towards the positive; without ever mentioning the negative. What I meant is, when I read your article without thinking, I would be easily influence to vote for 'YES'. I am from the field of engineering, but I knew it is wrong of you to be "one-sided" or partial. In fact, as a social scientist, you should have highlighted both end of the spectrum, before letting your readers to decide. My humble advise is, please be balance and impartial in all respect.

If you find my comments to be harsh, feel free to remove it. I offer my sincere apology in advance, if there is even an iota of ill feeling developed while reading this piece of my mind.

wassalam

Amzari

dr.radzi said...

aslmkum...

yes, we can say that. but in my opinion, PR is more appropriate with 'human approach'. i mean, man to man approach. real life, senang crita not in 'dunia maya' la...hehe.

sorry rojak.=p

hamzi said...

i'm agree with u that social media is really useful in PR..as example about the politician.people can just have a very easy connection with their leader and share their problem.

one more thing,business also can be done using this media.many people nowadays just sell thing using the internet(blog,fb, etc).it is really2 very good thing coz it can save money,time n they no need to go to the shop.what they need to do just click the mouse in front of their computer.

people also can promote their new product or maybe they just had started to open shop n using this media they can let people know bout their thing.

(perlu ke aku komen in english secara berterabur nih?)hehehe..

Anonymous said...

gud(^_^)
simple but nice.^^

Nadhirah Ahmad said...

Yeah. there're many online business nowadays and they're all going ok. I myself also gained customers from the net. And through the net, it is really easy to get customers from overseas making me to expand my business easier

Anonymous said...

is this for presentation or written assignment? cause it looks suitable for presentation, concerning the language used. less formal.
anyway, i do agree with your points and yes, social media is useful in PR. but can you elaborate more on PR? kinda lost cause i'm not taking masscomm or any subject relating to PR. but all in all, it's a very informative speech ( if it's a speech).
GOODLUCK! :)
-FA-

.a.n.a s.y.u.k.r.i.a.h. said...

So true! Take me for example. I extremely feel that my life has not yet started when I'm not using Facebook and read some blogs in the mornings.

Via these social media,often my friends and I use them for study purpose. For instance, a week before our final exams, we did our revision and shared some notes via Facebook. Even some of us posted some YouTube videos that are relevant to the topics/subjects we were learning.

In conclusion, these social media tools really help us in many ways IF THEY ARE USED IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER!

Nadhirah Ahmad said...

thank u for ure comment FA. i edit the post by giving more info on PR, yes i know its informal. To make it casual, i guess.

Nadhirah Ahmad said...

Amzari: we're fine here alhamdulillah. Thank u for ure comments. Reading my post, yeah i do agree that i am a bit bias (bit?). ure views made me think twice on social media now. i guess im too influence with the PR books that i read which focus on bnfits of scial mdia. ure views will be interesting for me to elaborate for my write-up :-)

Anonymous said...

As your masthead of this page gives prominence to a bicylce, i think communication is like cycling...you must continously peddle inorder to reach your destination...i.e your message reaching the target stakeholders...new media is a must and its inevitable to use the new media to reach the young and the gen Y....i think this is an interesting study where both Gen X and Gen Y would agree that New Media is the new order of the day....best wishes...Ravindran Raman Kutty..APR/FIPR

Mohammad Lokman Hakim said...

PR..emm, i think all organisation in this world have their own PR department. it shows how important PR nowadays. and i 100% agree that social media such facebook and blogspot makes PR easier,fun,faster than before.

Just look back at Pilihan Raya Umum 2008.we can see how "blogspot" become most powerful media rather than tv..
as long as we use it in the right way, i think it really helpful...^_^

Anonymous said...

It's ok to engage Social Media in your PR strategy, but it's all depend on who are your so called public. Do they have the accesibility to internet? If no means maybe the information they get is through 3rd party not direct form the source. I did a research among farming's families in Peninsula Malaysia, and out of 420 families, only 250 have computer at home. From that number, only 36 connected to internet. Again, the question is who are your public? do they have the accessibility to tme intenet? If the answer is no, then forget about social media. The most you can applied is trough SMS and MMS, which is also part of the so called social media and new media. Tq.

Arthur Yann said...

Greetings Nadhirah,

Thanks for a thoughtful post. What public relations practitioners in the United States are finding is that social media is critically important to the future growth and efficacy of public relations.

The "Digital Age" of public relations from the 1980s through today has been characterized by a need to constantly adjust to advances in technology. The fundamental shift in the media environment is part of this. With traditional media declining and social media becoming a part of many companies' daily communications approach, public relations professionals are uniquely able to create tailored communications strategies and content to reach specialized audiences and to monitor the landscape for stakeholder sentiment.

In this environment, the ability to engage consumers and develop two-way relationships — one of public relations' signature strengths — will continue to grow in importance for organizations of all types. Consumers also are seeking greater involvement with the brands they favor, giving public relations professionals still more opportunities with direct-to-consumer messaging, user-generated content and mobile messaging.

Beyond how companies disseminate news and information, there’s the issue of what they hear and bring back to the organization for analysis and action. As Paul Holmes, editor of The Holmes Report, insightfully notes, "There was a time when a dissatisfied customer would go home and tell half a dozen of his closest friends; today he can blog, Tweet or post a YouTube video and tell thousands, many of whom will go on to tell thousands more, creating a community of critics capable of seriously damaging the brand."

While periods of monumental change like this are never easy, Paul Gillen, the former technology journalist who is now a writer, speaker and content marketing consultant specializing in technology and new media, says there are only two unpardonable sins in the current environment.

"One is fear. Fear not only stops progress in its tracks, but wastes time and resources in the pointless exercise of chasing the past or hoping that change will just go away. That leads to the bigger unpardonable sin, which is inaction. Tumultuous change creates great opportunity for experimentation. When no one knows the right course of action, there is very little downside to taking chances."

It seems clear to me that the public relations profession has taken its chances with new and emerging technologies, and that those chances are continuing to pay off in big ways.

Arthur Yann is vice president, public relations, at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Nadhirah Ahmad said...

Thank you Arthur for an informative comment.

I agree with Arthur on reputation can easily damaged with social media. I used to read status update in my facebook's wall complaining on products and services of certain malls which does end up with a lot of comments.

And with Facebook and Youtube, you are able to share videos easily. So, anything caught on camera, we really have to be aware on that, nowadays.

I am involved in business and I do notice there're posts in new media that condemn our products. Therefore, during gatherings with our consumers and distributors, we have to highlight and correct them for any misunderstanding or misinformation so they will gain trust again with our products.


I think companies nowadays have to be alert with new media so they can keep on track of what's going on with their audience.

wz fadhlan said...

During 90's, Malaysia develop one technologies which was MMC(Multimedia Malaysia Corridor) This is the beginning of using social media because Malaysian try to find a social network through MIRC and then we have friendster and now we have facebook, By using this social media, we also can create something new in ourlife, we can have new friends outside Malaysia and also promote our business, seems i do a business , i think social media help a lot of to get new customer and networking.

Tq, i highly appreciate if anyone can comment on my blog wzdefella.blogspot.com

Tony Tey said...

social media play important role in PR industry. without social media, PR cannot do their or task perfectly because PR practitioner need new and latest recourse. for example we can see in RACE (PR Process). Research need social media, Action need social media to help the PR to do the action, Communication, PR need social media for communication, Evaluation, social media also involve in PR evaluation the public opinion. social media also help PR in develop their strategy in marketing, research and etc. social media help PR to promote or advertise their strategy and advertisement.

Tony Tey said...

i found this information in a web. i would like to share with You all abaut media relation.

http://www.webinknow.com/2010/04/media-relations-is-not-public-relations.html
Media Relations is not Public Relations



Subset_superset I've had discussions with quite a few people in the last few months who are confused about the role of Public Relations in the new world of the Web.

These discussions frequently begin when someone asks me this common question: "Is PR dead because of social media?"

The frequency of this question leads me to the conclusion that there is a great deal of confusion around what is Public Relations really is.

Public Relations: How an organization engages with its publics.

Somehow along the way many PR professionals have lost sight of what "true PR" is and have insisted on only caring about mainstream media. They've confused the superset (public relations) with the subset (media relations) and therefore insist that PR is only about mainstream media.

Media relations: Working through journalists to reach your publics.

What people need to realize is that these are different activities. Media relations is still valid as a way to get attention. Of course it is not dead. Who doesn't want to be quoted in an important outlet?

There are so many other ways to communicate with your publics.

PR is about reaching your audience. There are many more ways to do that than just via the media: Brand journalism, YouTube videos, blog posts, ebooks, charts, graphs, photos, a Twitter feed, a presence in Foursquare and so much more.

Of course, these days mainstream media takes cues from what’s hot in social media so a focus on social media can influence journalists too.

Added bonus for reading this far is my career advice for PR pros:

Public Relations professionals will need to decide if they want to be a public relations expert (helping people reach their publics through mainstream media and social media) or if they want to specialize in the narrower focus of media relations (limit your skills to just mainstream media).

2010 Ogos 29 07:18
Padam

Izzah said...

As for me, PR practices in Malaysia are increasing the effectiveness of the power along with the advancement of technology. We as Malaysians today are exposed with many types of technological application mainly focusing on Internet. People nowadays have accepted the fact that communication technology helps them in many ways especially in trying to reach to other people and share the information. That is the power of technology. As we can see social media is part of the communication technology enhancement and it begins to be widely used by the people from all over the world today. Look at Facebook as example, people from all over the world are interconnected and able to share any information with just a click of the mouse. Amazing right? I believe this social media can be the main tool for PR practices in Malaysia just like other countries also. PR practitioners must make full use of this new technology introduced and reach the public in a way that can built the image of PR world to be seen as very successful establishment of humans’ skills in communication that goes along with power of knowledge (any fields related). Thank you

Nadhirah Ahmad said...

Thank u for all ure comments.

I think, Whether social media play its role in public relations or not depends on the company or the organization itself. However, the world is digitalized anyway. Therefore not to take advantage on the usage of social media is a dreadful waste especially with the evidence of benefits of social media in business, public relations, advertising and many other sectors.

Dean Faculty of Business Management said...

I would support your opinion that social media is good for PR. From my experience I found my university's mates using one of these media. We can use these media to create professional linkages. Otherwise we are not able to do it.
Using one of these social media we can build professional relationship and can exchange ideas to further enhance our professional knowledge and networking.
For organisation this is perhaps the cheapest way to communicate with the world.
My support for social media would of course depend on our sincerity of using them. I assume all those using them for good course. One negative aspect of using social media if people misuse them. Otherwise social media is one of the best ways for communication and create networking.
That's my humble opinion on the issue. And good luck on your assignment and wish you get a good grade. Again the fact that you use of the media to get feedback shows the positive impact of social media.

www.NadhirahAhmad.my

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