1) Donald K. Wright and Michelle D. Hinson’s (2008) article, “How Blogs and Media are Changing Public Relations and the Way it is Practiced” focused on the impact that blogs and other forms of social media have influence and will continue to influence the field of public relations. In a three-year study, Wright and Hinson surveyed professionals within the public relations field to have a better understanding how blogs and other forms of social media are changing the way companies communicate and interact with their employees. The results indicated these tools are dramatically changing the public relations landscape how companies communicate with their constituents and how they compliment their more traditional sources of media.
2) As the use of social media increases, the examination of their effectiveness will be need to be researched through many lenses. I believe that Wrights and Hinson’s research within the Public Relation industry can be transferred to working within Higher Education. Their research indicates that blogs and social media are changing the nature of communication in how they reach their audiences and respond to comments and concerns (2008 p. 18). Currently in my department at Rider, we are trying to increase our social media presence as we have the understanding that students are currently using these tools. Blogs and other social media platforms are changing the ways that we are communicating the our students. The social media platform we are currently using is facebook as this is the platform the majority of our students are consistently utilizing. Blogs are one area that we have not been successfully utilized. We have two blogs for two of our programs, but the last posts were months ago and have lost their momentum. This article has made me want to reexamine the use of our blogs and how we might begin to utilize them in order to educate and publicize. I found this youtube video on how to use blogs in a crisis management situation. It highlights how blogs can used meet their needs in a particular situation. There are many ways that blogs can be used, but I don’t think we have found the best way to maximum their effectiveness with and for our students.
A place of convergence of old and new media was also highlighted within Wright and Hinson’s research. 72% of respondents believe that social media complement traditional news media (Wright and Hinson 2008 p. 18). The integration of social media to traditional news outlets has allowed for the audience or consumer to be directly connected to the company. They have instance access to company employers or reporters through these outlets. Unlike before, individuals can voice their opinions on topic to the public without being screened by an editor. Social media has provided traditional new stories with a platform for dialogue allowing for connection and possible deeper examination of the topic.
The results indicated by Wrights and Hinson discussed the how the respondents gave a higher score to traditional forms of news medias inters of accuracy, credibility, telling the truth, and being ethical (2008 p. 18). More and more, I see blogs and traditional forms of news medias converging. Huffington Post regularly uses blogs to enhance their new coverage. CNN.com also has a blog section on their site. Many websites I read began as blogs and now continue to have blog like tendencies and their expanded formats. It would be interesting to see how respondent would respond to this question in 2012 with the integration of more blogs on news websites. Does the credibility of the source backing the blogger have any influence on the accuracy, credibility, telling the truth or being ethical?
4) One point that I am having a hard time separating is the thought around company blogs and personal blogs. The article talked about the use of blogs, but did not separate the difference between the use of a company blog and a personal blog. It discussed the ethics of companies monitoring blogs as well as if employees should write negative comments on the blog. I needed clarity around the type of blogs. I think it would be an interesting examination how the use of personal blogs can be used for PR purposes and if companies had the right to monitor them.
- Do you think the convergence of old and new media have given blogs more or less credibility?
- How are you currently using blogs in your own work to further your mission and goals of your organization? Are you have difficulty managing the posts and/or responses?
6) For my next project, I will review blogs that I believe are credible that could further my research into the topic I choose as the subject of my film. Also, blogs could also help me troubleshoot if I have any issues using the tools to create my project.