Public Realtions & New Media
Title of Topic:
Title of Topic:
The Web Changes News Forever
1. How ‘New’ Media differs from ‘old’ Media and The Impact of the web on traditional mass media.
The last decade or so has witnessed the irresistible rise of online media and it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is steadily encroaching into the area held by the traditional media. For centuries newspapers have been people’s main source of news and opinion, even the advent of the radio and the television couldn’t depose the printed media. However, that is all changing, the number of people who only become aware of the news via social networks and other online sources is rising rapidly; things are starting to look worrying for the old fashioned broadsheet. Although we have discussed in class the potential for reginal newspaper to still remain string, as local gossip in west cork of a G.A.A team winning a match is not going to make major headlines in Dublin for example.
A not insignificant reason for the shift in old media to new media is the rise in the price of traditional media sources. Why are they doing this you ask? It is an attempt to combat the loss of market share to free online news sources and social media content. The threat is fairly substantial too; all social media sites, and most online news sources like the RTE, Journal.ie being one of my favourite with its up news stories, are free to users and provide the same news from a huge array of sources almost instantly. If you throw the current economic climate into the mix then traditional media is facing a fairly lethal concoction; and things don’t look like changing anytime soon.
By taking a quick look at Facebook, Twitter or even Google+ you’ll quickly realise that all the big hitters from the traditional media world have a noticeable online presence. The decision taken by newspapers such as The Irish Times, The Independent and Examiner to make a concerted effort to cultivate an online presence on these social media sites illustrates the changing nature of media. Instead of social networks relying on coverage in printed media to be seen, the printed media is relying on these online sites to be heard.
Free speech has always been a principle that has been jealously guarded by Western society, the ability of the media to print what it wanted, without censorship, was seen as a hallmark of a civilised and free society. Recently we see large campgins and people coming together online to rasie awarness about certain issues such as the Repael campagin march that took place this week, aided by online support.
It has long been a criticism levelled at the youth of today, or of any generation really, that they’re ill-informed and ignorant of current events happening in their country and the world. But according to research 48% of young Americans find out about current affairs via Facebook; compare that to 52% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 who pick up a newspaper just once a month. It is becoming very clear that digital, and social media, are the go to options for the younger generation.
2. The nature of new media and how it is impacting on news cycles, and how we consume news.
The 2008 political campaign undoubtedly changed how politicians view the importance of the Internet. Therofore potencially without the Internet, President Barack Obama wouldn’t have been elected. Regardless of your view on that, there’s no denying that the Internet has changed the way we view, research and debate politics today.
In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of adult Internet users go online for data about government spending and activities. Think back 15 years ago — that would have been un hear of! Users are also utilizing social tools, with 31 percent using blogs, social networking sites, online video, email, and text alerts to keep informed about government activities.
Therefore is the use of online media altering consumers mindsets on how we consume media?
Nowadays with the use of Facebook analytics by liking and sharing certain ideas interest Facebook will only begin to show you what you like and begin to disregard the opinions of others create an almost unrealistic social media bubble for ourselves.
For example, during the time of Brexit, How many times did you see people support leave in your news feed? By filtering it out, we became even more divided. Our Facebook feeds polarised the debate. When the vote had passed, Protests ensued and the majority of people were shocked with what had happened? After the result I did a lot of searched online through facebook/twitter to give me a better insight to what had just happened (Similar to the USA elections, I imagine polls in the near future will be never believed again.) Back to my point, I assumed everybody I knew was as shocked as I was.
Facebook saw what I “liked”, built a profile for me and kept serving up what I wanted to see. This algorithm is what makes Facebook the addictive monster it is. Brilliant for keeping me in the loop with my interests, disastrous when it comes to politics. (An idea algorithm for business online today, we see less from our friends and more from business we engage with.)
I had to work hard to unearth my long lost friends from school, College and travelling aboard for a year on Facebook who had decided to vote Leave. If I saw their posts, I wouldn’t have tried to change them, but I would have the chance to relate. Why should an algorithm filter out the real views of people I care about? Instead of an active debate, we were stuck in our own echo-chambers, sharing the same point of view, liking it and thinking the job was done.
3. The implications for Professional communications ( skillets, work patterns etc)
To answer this question I will discuss a case study which I researched, “American red Cross ” made the digigtal shift. This case examines the effects of new media on business.
Forty individuals from the American Red Cross were interviewed to explore the use of social media in communicating with key publics. Results show that practicing public relations through social media is effective and necessary in the emerging digital age, as shown through the Red Cross’s development of a two-way dialogue with youngerconstituents, the media, and the community. This two-way dialogue has been accomplished primarily through Twitter and Facebook, with opportunities to improve National Headquarters and local chapter relations, despite barriers such as lack of staff and time, . The insights shared by the American Red Cross are useful for both public relations scholars and professionals to help them understand and apply social media practices to build strong, lasting relationships.
How did they conduct this research?
40 in-depth interviews with American Red Cross employees who either deliver or manage social media communication
What where the Key Findings?
1) The American Red Cross used social media to build relationships with a variety of publics, including volunteers, the community, and the media.
2) Social media’s two-way dialogue created faster service, provided more media coverage, and enabled feedback for the American Red Cross on their services.
3) The American Red Cross’s social media usage exhibited dialogic principles, communality (both parties provide benefits to the other because they are concerned for the other’s welfare) and control mutuality (degree to which parties agree on who has the rightful power to influence one another)
4) Barriers to using social media for the American Red Cross included staff buy-in, lack of time, managing content, and catering to an older generation.
Conclusion to case study
As social media tools become mainstream, organizations must update their strategies and tactics to build relationships. When an organization has few paid staff members with time to execute social media, the effectiveness of the organization can be reduced because often the tools are not being applied to their fullest extent. The reality of not having enough staff or time is a barrier for many nonprofits and corporations, calling for the need for more staff to be assigned social media implementation. Without consistent staff strategically managing social media it is difficult, if not impossible, for organizations to achieve commitment, which improves organization–public relationships through showing that organizations are dedicated to online engagement.
Communication tactics can be tailored to appropriate publics, a challenge all organizations face. Such tailoring is important to improve communality with volunteers, which in turn likely will improve volunteers’ satisfaction with their online engagement.
This case study which I chose to disscuss provides a lesson for any organization with a headquarters and satellite office structure. The satellite offices look to headquarters for guidance and instruction on how to use tools, so it will be up to headquarters to continue facilitating the use of social media to help the organization succeed. Headquarters can continue to develop social media trainings, messages, and standards to create continuity across offices.
As part of Primary research for this blog post I wanted to get a real insight. I intervened Karen Tommey