It’s fair to say that social media is not the fad that many predicted it to be. Now it’s more question of how far it can go. Because of this, I am probably one of hundreds of students this year to have chosen social media as my topic of choice for my final year research dissertation.
Before I embark upon the practical research element of my investigation, I have compiled my initial thoughts about the relationship between the discipline of public relations and the web 2.0 boom.
It seems quite clear that we will continue to see a fall in print circulations and a continued increase in memberships and participation on social media platforms. What’s more, increasingly it will be individuals who have the most influence rather than journalists and industry leaders.
This shift means that brands will be required to carefully consider their ‘personality’ and how they engage in a two way flow of information with consumers, maintaining transparency and in turn trust. It is also imperative that that all organisations have a crisis management plan in place which can respond immediately to the power of the social media community. There are now countless examples of ‘twitterstorms’ within the internet groundswell irreversibly damaging a brand’s reputation. A recent high profile example of this is the internet hype surrounding Paperchase’s plagiarism of an independent artist’s work. Paperchase’s poor handling of the situation prompted a barrage of negative tweets and blog posts about the stationary chain. Here’s the artist’s (Hidden Eliose) blog.