“Social Media and Public Relations” Notes

1-2 sentence summary of book’s purpose/argument: The book emphasizes the importance of a company having a social media policy that is current/up-to-date and uniform throughout the internal ranks/departments.

How do you think the approach of your book’s author can be understood in terms of Baym’s four major social discourses of new technology?: Breakenridge’s arguments can be understood as social shaping. While new technologies/social media platforms change our behavior, their development is also based off of our current behaviors. We shape the technology and it also shapes us.

Who do you think the audience is for your book? Does this affect what topics are addressed in the book and how these ideas are talked about?: The audience is young professionals. The younger generation is more knowledgable about social media platforms and can serve as better innovators for this growing field. Young people take for granted their knowledge about current social media platforms and sometimes overlook a lot of the small details that must be addressed when setting up a policy for a company. Because Breakenridge is targeting this audience, the information is presented in a casual, direct, and simple manner. Presenting the information in this way makes the information easy to access and understand. Because the concept social media is rooted in the idea of quickly grabbing attention with minimal effort, the straight-forward approach is very applicable.

Are there topics/concepts from earlier in the semester that you think would be productive to bring into conversation with this book or to make its author aware of? :

1) immaterial labor: see notes from lecture on 11/18 (based on Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy” and Andrejevic, Exploiting YouTube: Contradictions of User-Generated Labor”)

2) social ties/social capital: see notes from lecture on 09/23 (based on Baym, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Chapters 4-7)

3) nightmare readers/audience: see notes from lecture on 09/25 (based on Marwick & Boyd,”I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience”

4) front stage/backstage, surveillance: see notes from lecture on 10/07 and 11/11 (based on and Goffman, Presentations of Self in Everyday Life and Humphreys, “Who’s Watching Whom? A Study of Interactive Technology and Surveillance”)

Brief Summary of 8 New Practices:

1) The PR Policy Maker: develops social media policies and maintains/updates them

2) The Internal Collaboration Generator: facilitates communication/collaboration between different internal departments

3) The PR Technology Testerstaying up-to-date, knowledgable, and testing the newest technologies

4) The Communications Organizereducates members of a company in order to implement a new technology / social media policy

5) The Pre-Crisis Doctor: build proactive crisis prevention plans

6) The Relationship Analyzer: analyzing people’s social networks in order to come up with the best way to communicate with customers

7) The Reputation Task Force Member: maintains the image of the brand/company

8) The Master of the Metrics: setting up ways in which to measure the success of a policy

Things the book did not take into account / did not address / concerns: 

Do each of these positions have to be held my different people? Could one person execute more than one of the 8 new practices?

What are methods that “The Reputation Task Force Member” can use in order to respond to crisis when “The Pre-Crisis Doctor’s” proactive efforts are not enough to prevent a crisis from happening?

How does “The Internal Collaboration Generator” convince / teach older employees about the newer technologies?

Breakenridge talks about social media as if it is the first attempt in the public relations field to connect / establish relationships with customers. Before Facebook, Twitter, etc., companies have tried to create long-term relationships with customers through other means.

Breakenridge claims that before the Internet, companies did have control over their brand image because people talk (water cooler conversation, break room talk, etc.). But with the creation of the Internet, people are still talking, perhaps even more with a wider audience. I would argue that brands have even less control now.



  1. […] their image.  Immaterial labor produces cultural content and maintains the reputation of a brand (CarolineMisaki, nk1345, and […]

  2. […] use it are at an advantage and can more easily assume the eight roles that Breakenridge outlined, due to their knowledge and experience with the technology. Although the language of the book did come across as too basic to some of my group members, I […]

  3. […] thing all my KLM group members (Caroline Maeda, Cari Lieberman, Victoria Leib, Helen Li, Natalia Karavasili, Madeline Knight, and Julie Meltzer) […]

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