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Public Relations and Social Media

Michael L. Kent


“ Social media ” refers to any interactive communication channel that allows for two-way interaction and feedback among members (→ Social Media ). Because one of → public relations' primary responsibilities is to create and maintain relationships between organizations and publics, social media are seen as powerful communication tools, capable of building relationships and keeping professionals informed (→ Stakeholder Theory ; Intereffication Approach in Public Relations ). The types of social media interfaces vary widely, from highly to minimally interactive (→ Interactivity, Concept of ). Modern social media tools are often defined by their potential for real-time interaction, reduced anonymity, a sense of propinquity, short response times, and the ability to “timeshift,” or engage the social network whenever it suits each particular member. Social media are used by organizations for everything from pushing advertising and → marketing messages, coupons, and sale information out to customers on → Facebook and → Twitter with “buy one, get one free” offers, to communicating with members about substantive organizational activities such as upcoming legislation and timely information. Social media are also used to share relevant information with internal publics and stakeholders via listservs, electronic newsletters, blogs, podcasts, and other online ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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