Impact of New Media on Public Relations Essay

5289 WordsAug 5, 201322 Pages
How can the corporate sector concepts A review of the impact of new media on public relations: Challenges for terrain, practice and education. Melanie James University of Newcastle, Australia Abstract This review paper brings together key findings from across the recent literature to enhance overall understanding of current and future challenges posed by new media to public relations. It remains unclear whether current theoretical frameworks can fully accommodate new media and evidence suggests that many public relations practitioners are struggling with the impact of new media, and especially the Internet, on their practice. Public relations educators may need to review course curricula in light of new media developments and industry responses. Possible threats and opportunities presented by new media for public relations are explored and directions for further research in this area are suggested. Key words: public relations, new media, internet Introduction Although corporate websites, chat-rooms, email customer response facilities and electronic news release distribution are now viewed as standard aspects of public relations practice (Galloway, 2005) many public relations practitioners are struggling with the impact of new media, and especially the Internet. Research has shown that practitioners are not fully embracing new media, are ill-equipped to do so and have a fear of the technology (Alfonso & de Valbuena Miguel, 2006). The terrain of public relations practice is also shifting with new media bringing about substantial increases in stakeholder strength through facilitating communication within stakeholder groups and between different stakeholder groups (Van der Merwe, Pitt & Abratt, 2005). Information ‘pours out of digital spigots [sic]’ (Stephens 2007, p. 35) and news now arrives ‘astoundingly fast from an astounding number of directions’

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