The topic of the dissertation deals with the research into the use of progressively emerging technology of new media, as a tool, by the public relation practitioners. The focus is mainly on the adoption of various new media tools, by practitioners, for practicing public relation activities. There’s a huge market for new media and, if used properly, it can be a great tool to maintain effective relations by the organization and in projecting a very positive image of the organization. New media not only allows public relations practitioners to reach out to and engage their publics in conversation, but also provides an avenue to strengthen media relations..New Media is emerging as an important public relations tool and empowers two way symmetrical communications with publics and stakeholders. PR professionals are confronted with the swift rise of social media that forces practitioners to pay due and timely attention. They are not only excited about utilizing these tools together with conventional media, but are also excited about speaking directly to their publics and stakeholders without the involvement of any intermediaries. The current study examines the use of new media as a tool for public relation practitioners. With the advent of improved and fast way of accessing information, people have changed their ways to get information. Observing this changing trend, PR professionals have also started using New Media to play their role effectively. It has reduced the need of third party influencer, like media, to communicate with the public. New Media facilitates PR professionals to interact directly with their organization’s public, specifically consumers. The focus of study is to know about the new media tools being used by practitioners and their opinion about its use, whether they blend the new media tools with traditional tools to perform various activities of public relations, the advantages and challenges they are facing using New Media for Public Relations in chandigarh. This is a cross sectional descriptive survey done by interviewing Public Relation practitioners working in chandigarh.
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In the early 1900s, Ivy Lee and Edward Louis Bernays came up with the first definition of PR: “a management function, which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures, and interests of an organization followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”
Dr. Rej F Harlow, a PR scholar and practitioner, undertook the task of compiling published PR definitions. Analyzing 472 definitions ,he put forward a working definition, that says :
“Public Relation is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics ; involves the management of problems or issues ; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion ; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest ; helps management keep abreast of effectively utilizing change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication as its principal tools.”
PUBLIC RELATION ACTIVITIES:
It involves disseminating information through selected media with the motive of gaining public attention, without paying to the media.
It attempts to gain the support for a person, product, organization or an idea. It helps consumers know about the product, the price, or the place.
It has a proactive nature of identifying issues that can likely concern to an organization and, thus, involves development of a response mechanism to manage such unanticipated situations.
By maintaining good relationships with members of the community, more customers can be attracted through word-of-mouth and also generates customer loyalty.
It involves circulating messages through media and to keep a watch on how the product / organization’s image is being portrayed by the media. Developing good relationships with media persons is an important activity in the PR process.
It involves planning activities or events which will attract media attention to a person, product, organization or an idea.
It involves building work culture and team relationships among the employees by sharing information, promoting involvement and inculcating a sense of pride in business achievement. It helps in improving teamwork, staff retention and productivity.
It is a paid form of presentation and communication from an identified sponsor. Businesses use advertising to promote their product, while non-profit organizations use ads to raise awareness or encourage a change in behavior.
It involves a professional attempt to bring about a change to a government policy, corporate policy, or public opinion that is favorable towards the organization, cause or group. During political campaigns, in order to affect public opinion, parties may engage PR firms as lobbyists.
TRADITIONAL TOOLS USED IN PUBLIC RELATIONS:
A Public relation person acts as the voice of the organization and provides information about the activities of the organization, its policies and programmers to the public through the press. Various ways in which information can be provided to the press are:
It is written information of timely nature, about the policies and activities of an organization that is sent to all news media by an organization.
A public relations person, have to maintain good relationship with the media and should have effective persuasive skills, in order to provide background material to suggest subjects for editorials.
Due to great scope of television as a publicity medium, it is a highly effective tool for Public Relations.
Radio can be effectively used in Public Relation as it covers more than 90% of the Indian population.
It can be used for both the internal or external public to train and motivate employees and educate consumers.
It is majorly use for internal public, such as employees, to provide them training or information about the organization’s policies. Various ways to perform Oral Communication are:
It is a formally arranged gathering of two or more persons, to serve some purpose.
Formal speeches are the fastest way of conveying information.The public relations department is involved in research, speech writing and training of speakers.
Other ways for oral communication can be telephones calls, public address system, panel discussion, counseling etc.
Publicity literature helps organization to promote its products, services or activities.These can take various forms.
It is an organization’s publication that caters its internal public and external ‘public’. Its objective is to create an environment for exchange of thoughts on various issues concerning an organization and its employees.
It can serve as prestige publication to attract prospective investors.
It usually covers information on a specific subject and is used for various purposes such as explaining a new programme, to ask for donations.’Take home’ or mail-out brochures make consumers cognitively connected to the organization and its products and services.
Other forms of Printed Literature can be catalogues, booklets, leaflets.
Miscellaneous Communication Tools:
Stickers, posters, labels, Racks or bins, window display, Packaging, gifts like calendars, diaries, pens, key chains.
Direct mail: (Newsletters.):
Regular newsletters providing relevant information about the organization or/and its products/services can fortify relations with customers.
Advertisements in the form of news stories allow to associate advertising with the credibility of the newspaper.
It involves calling media representatives together at a place to disseminate newsworthy information regarding the organization.
When introducing a new product or organizing new plants and facilities ,the day before the official public showing, the media is given a preview ; company officials welcome media persons and answer their queries.
It involves transporting a press party a long distance. Press officials are invited individually to witness a landmark achievement, the commissioning of a project or a crisis situation .The Public relation officer briefs them time to time and give background information during press tour.
Luncheons are arranged in which media representatives have an opportunity to meet management, to hear about new corporate developments and to inspect facilities.
News stories and illustrations are reproduced in newspaper format to show news editors how stories and pictures will appear in print, are distributed by PR department to editors of daily and weekly newspapers.
It contains mimeographed news releases, photographs, biographies, and background material that are prepared by PR departments and distributed to the media at special events.
Publicity Distribution Services:
It provides production and low cost distribution of news and pictures to editors and news writers of business magazines, newspapers and radio and television stations.
It helps to get the instant feedback of the consumers so that their doubts can be clarified and, thus, build customer’s confidence.
Its aim is to publicize about the organization and its products in such a way that it attracts the attention of media so that it gets the best coverage possible.
PR professionals use it for disseminating information about their organization’s policies and programmes.
Attendance at public events:
Presence at Public Events is valuable promotional opportunities. It gives an added advantage over competitors. It gives the opportunity to directly reach the public.
The term ‘New Media’ originated in 21stCentury. It accounts for everything related to digital communication technologies, that is, related to computer or any mobile device connected to internet is the necessary requirement for new media. Its key feature is Interactivity. In context of Public Relations, the term ‘new media can be aptly called as Social media as being social is all about building and maintaining relationships. But considering the larger context social media is a subset of new media. Still sometimes these two terms are used interchangeably. In terms of Public Relations, New media tools can help in following ways:
- Connectpeople with information and services.
- Collaboratewith internal and external
- Createnew content, services, and channels of communication that help you deliver information and services.
DEFINITIONS OF NEW MEDIA:
- According to Oxford dictionary:
New Media is a means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet.
- As defined by Webopedia, new media is:
A generic term for the many different forms of electronic communication that are made possible through the use of computer technology. The term is in relation to “old” media forms, such as print newspapers and magazines that are static representations of text and graphics.
DIFFERENT FORMS OF NEW MEDIA:
A location on the World Wide Web that contains a home page and is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization.
An online newsroom (also known as a press room, media room, press center or media center) is a website that contains information about a corporation or organization. The online newsroom was initially created for corporate communicators and public relations firms to target traditional media outlets, fundamentally newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television stations.
Most commonly referred to asemailore-mailsinceca.1993,it is used for exchanging digital messages.
Group of people with similar goals or interests connect and exchange information using web tools.
Virtual Reality Worlds:
A three-dimensional environment is simulated on the computer’s monitor screen. It allows and its users to interact via graphical avatar representations of themselves.
Allow you to upload and share online videos
Internet-based communication tools used to broadcast live or recorded audio and/or video over the internet so that information could be delivered to a broad audience and, in this case, audiences are also connected with each other. It can be either one-way presentation or an interactive session
Internet-based typically one way communication tool that can be understood as a specific type of web conference. It involves online polling and question -answer sessions. It can be recorded in order to benefit those who were not able to attend the scheduled time.
Internet-based communication tools used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the internet.
A web widget is a small application that you can embed in a social network site, blog, or website to share content.
RSS (Real Simple Syndication) Feeds:
To receive updates without browsing sites for the latest information, RSS feeds are used. These can be used to share information from the organization to the readers. It gets the user subscribed to a particular website.
Video and computer games:
It provides high level involvement to the user. These could be single or multi player games .They may or may not be online.
Podcasts are free audio or video files that can be listened to or watched on the computer or mobile device. It can be an easy and inexpensive way to provide information to your target audience(s).
Blogs & Vlogs:
A website with periodical updates (posts) that include text, graphics, videos and hyperlinks. Usually informal in style, blogs allows their readers to leave comments.
An online resource that covers information on almost all the general topics.
Internet advertising, such as banners, pay-per-click ads, pay-per-call ads and pop-ups, provides a way of reaching people who use the internet for shopping or to gather information.
Instant Messaging (IM):
Due to its simplicity, ease in usage and relatively high level of synchronicity, IM is now widely used internet based communication tool at the workplaces.
A part of an online service that provides virtual world human interaction in real time.
A website that helps in getting connected to one’s family and friends and share information.
These facilitate consumers to get handy with the latest information and provide instant updates in their inboxes when something happens.
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