Book Review: social media and public relations eight new practices for the pr professional

Book’s purpose/argument: This book teaches PR professionals the importance of social media to public relations and the 8 main ways PR professionals can use PR to assist businesses.

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?: 

Baym’s four major social discourses of new technology are Social Shaping, Domestication, Social Construction, Technological determinism. I believe that the ideas and perspective in Breckinridge’s book reflect the social shaping approach. When discussing social media approaches Breckinridge tells her readers that platforms can shape to the needs of the users, but also new mainstream sites shape the users actions.

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 for this book is young public relations professionals, and small businesses looking to incorporate social media into the company. Indeed, since this book is intended for individuals new to social media all of the concepts explained are very straightforward, and the recommended actions are detailed step by step.

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? :

I think the concept of audience, default reader and nightmare reader are relevant to much of the concepts in the book. Our class on 9/25/13 covered this topic as did the
Marwick & boyd article  “I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience”

The theories on connectivity, social capital and social ties are also applicable to the book. these concepts were covered in class on 9/23/13
Haythornthwaite, “Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects”
Ellison, Vitak, Gray, & Lampe, “Cultivating Social Resources on Social Network Sites”

In our last class we discussed immaterial labor and free labor which applies to all social networking jobs. this was class on 11/18/13 and it was based on these  readings:
Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy”
Andrejevic, “Exploiting YouTube: Contradictions of User-Generated Labor” (pp. 406-423 in YouTube Reader)

The idea of backstage and  front stage were discussed in class on 11/11 Humphreys, “Who’s Watching Whom? A Study of Interactive Technology and Surveillance”)

Brief Summary of 8 New Practices:

1. The PR Policy Maker:

The PR Policymaker is a professional who quickly learns that a crucial part of the communications strategy and planning process includes the development of social media policies, training, and governance. Not only developing social media policies, but also maintaining

2. The Internal Collaboration Generator: 

The Internal Collaboration Generator is the communications professional who appreciates how social media collaboration starts on the inside of the organization and facilitates it.

 

3. The PR Technology Tester:

 

As a PR Technology Tester, you are not only knowledgeable about new tech, but also tests the latest technology for better interactions with the public. The effective use of information technologies is a new core

4. The Communications Organizer

The COMMS Organizer is the PR professional who must educate and redirect an organization to implement a new communications process. No longer can companies solely rely on the push or broadcast method to distribute their messages.

5. The Pre-Crisis Doctor: 

As a Pre-Crisis Doctor, you proactively build crises prevention plans with comment response charts and helpful tools to identify and illustrate levels of crises escalation through all media, including new media.

6. The Relationship Analyzer: 

Must observe and analyze how audiences connect— not only with their favorite brands, but also with their peers in web communities. Your new skills include visualizing and mapping the connections for better strategic engagement and higher-level interactions.

 

7. The Reputation Task Force Member: maintains the image of the brand and turn on their tracking/ monitoring to high speed to respond with immediacy, constant accuracy, and transparency.

8.The Master of the Metrics- 

They must learn to differentiate between social media business outcomes versus the outtakes and outputs and implement metrics systems

What’s Missing

Can and should all crisis be addressed by social media

Should all companies use social media

How do you motivate individuals not interested in social media.

Key Quotes

• What are the objectives of a social media policy, keeping in mind different departments will have different objectives? • What potential issues, risks, or liabilities did you uncover in your audit, and as a result, what areas need to be addressed in your policy? • What are the main areas of focus that can help guide your employees and their participation? • Do employees understand social media, or should there be education included in the policy? • Who will be responsible to set up social media properties and the management of those brand profiles? Will this be done by department( s) or the central area, and does this information need to be documented in the policy? • What are the concerns or issues from the various departments that need to be included? That is, is HR

In PR, you rely on core competencies, including the ability to research and plan, apply strategies to business goals and objectives, handle issues and crises communications, uphold professional and ethical behavior, manage organizational resources, and demonstrate excellent communications skills. In an age of new media and public conversations, your requirements expand.

“Modern organizations must depend on a new type of communication specialist to creatively solve problems and adapt to rapid organizational change, a global marketplace, and constantly emerging online communities.”

“identified competence in using new information technologies, relationship building, self-control, ability to initiate dialogue…” as the most important skills for young professionals.

Social media requires you to shift your mindset to unite communications and collaborative technology. When you adopt a new attitude and expand your knowledge and skills, the result leads to successfully incorporating new practices into your daily responsibilities, personally and professionally.

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