In this book on e-public relations, the authors show how the internet
and especially social media, are revolutionizing the role and work of the
public relations professional. The book is not for those who wish to learn
the mechanics of how to construct a social networking site or how to set
up a virtual press office. It is about how to use this potent and energizing
medium intelligently and effectively.
Much has been writen on the internet as just another means of communication. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a channel of
communication, but it is much more than that. Its unique properties of
reach, richness and personalization have transformed the mode and quality of mediated communication. Furthermore, the nature of internet publics, or communities, is quite different from those that have been traditionally the
domain of the PR practitioner. They provide an overview of the online communication environment
and its potential. They then go on to explore how an organization can
meaningfully engage with internet communities and exploit the communication potential that is inherent in the various ‘tools’ that are now available. Developing an online strategy that is realistic and robust is essential, as is
monitoring, measuring and evaluating your presence and actions. Of vital
interest are the topics of reputation and issues management on the internet.
The ability of groups to form quickly and mobilize action provides a great
opportunity as well as being a potential threat for PR professionals who arethe guardians of organizational reputation. They explore how reputationscan be destroyed or enhanced depending on how relationships are managedand also provide similar advice on managing issues as theyarise. Their warnings of the dangers that await those who engage with individuals and communities in a naïve, unprofessional and unethical way need to be heeded.
The potent effect of online communications is well demonstrated as the
authors go on to show how the internet is changing the news agenda and
news itself. The internet within an internal communications context is also discussed: its uses, abuses and how to harness its power effectively.
Rounded off with a chapter on Corporate Social Responsibility and a look
into the future, this book provides a timely and authoritative overview of
e-PR. It provides some clear pointers for organizing public relations professionally now and indicates a vision of the future. Any public relations professional wanting to conduct his or her business in the modern interconnected world will regard this book as a must.
Professor Anne Gregory