Week 12 Lecture: Public Relations: Technology- Global Communication
For the last class in public relations we looked at how technology impacts public relation today and tomorrow. The reading looked at the uncomfortable truth about the Video Music Awards (VMA’s), and the Syrian refugee crisis. Social media has made a large impact on how people see and react too these issues. The lecture looked at 6 challenges of public relations on the internet.
Challenge 1# Internationalisation
Globalisation is having a massive impact on public relations. News has become accessible globally and brought in greater coverage from a wide range of media outlets, this mean that the power has shifted from the media outlets to the audience, people’s opinion can spin a story in their favour. Walk free is a campaign to bring back kidnapped Nigerian school girls being forced into marriage for as little as $!2. Experts believe that if the Nigerian Government acts immediately and uses every resource at its disposal, it can locate the girls and return them to their families. However for this to happen they need to know that the world is watching — and waiting. Help save more than 200 schoolgirls from Forced Child Marriage — tell Nigerian President Jonathan to take all possible actions to locate and rescue the girls and prevent further attacks (Walk Free, 2015).
This issue has created a mass of responses from the public with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls even the the first lady Michelle Obama has acted on the issue with a picture on twitter causing major support to the organisation. Internationalisation has allowed issues such as this to become a global issue through media and the reaction of the public.
Challenge 2# Changing Publics
Keeping on the subject of global public relations, changing publics is about creating people to see and support a cause publics have becoming easier to create and have become more mobilised. This can be for both good and bad reasons. The story linked to the changing public challenge is the umbrella movement. The Umbrella Movement is a loose pro-democracy political movement that was created spontaneously during the Hong Kong protests of 2014. the story looks at how protesters have used social media to organise protest spots and share videos and information about what is happening. How have student organisers mobilised tens of thousands of protesters to sites across Hong Kong – facilitating supply routes, warning of assaults on protest camps, coordinating teams of medics? Social media. Facebook, WhatsApp and the new bluetooth-enabled FireChat lie at the heart of the Umbrella movement's success (Greenwood, P., Sprenger, R., 2014).
These protestors have become chaining publics who have used social media networks to make a difference in what they are doing and to also advertise to people on a global scale of what they are doing and why. communication has become stronger online and the power has shifted to publics allowing them to dictate what is seen and heard.
Challenge 3# Integration
integrations looks at how all forms of communication mist integrate to reach more diverse and more complex publics. Internal relationships between public relations, marketing and human resources needs to strong as well as internal communication which was discussed in the week 10 lecture. linking to the Syrian refugee crisis organisations needs to become stronger and overall strategic vision for communication is required.
The Syrian crisis has been a major discussion through the past blogpost from week 9 to week 12. THREE aid groups have called on the Abbott Government to take in 30,000 Syrian refugees. While they have asked this this Prime Minister Tony Abbot has responded by saying the Government will increase the intake of Syrian refugees, although it won’t increase the overall 13,750 humanitarian places for this year (Scarr, L, 2015). What the Government has failed to listen to the Australian people and there opinions, they must communicate more with the publics and have strategic views for what they want to do on the issue and whether they will listen to the global discussion and if they will become a part of solution to the issue of refugees.
Many campaigns regarding the campaign have been created both online and offline which has made differences in bringing support in from businesses and publics. Integrations is merging together various skill sets and using them to achieve strategic communication with publics, which is what is occurring in the discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis.
Challenge 4# The Media Landscape
The media landscape look at the rise of web based news and the rise of citizen journalism. Journalism has become an online profession, many journalists score there information through technology because of the changing publics and internationalisation of issues on social media networks and online news platforms. Media fragmentation is being used in reforming old media channels into a modern source of information, radio is now live, local and international, TV is now free to air, digital and available through iTunes. New media channels have also risen with new communication avenues line Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Vimeo so which where should you get you information from? The answer is all of them each platform provides all different types of information depending on who you follow what you like and what you are interested in each offer a different way of viewing information and a different way of how it is present to the public
Media Landscapes have expanded greatly in the past few years and will continue to do so as the technology race continues. Media will take take on new forms and information will become more accessible, which may cause overuse of media coverage taking away from proper issues and focusing more on social news that causes very little change in how the world continues on. Media can take light away from important issues because of the changing media landscape causing publics to change what they want to see instead of seeing the struggles in the world around them, they see funny cat videos and news on the latest celebrity.
Challenge 5# Gamification
Games are now bring use to inform, educate and engage. In the link provided it shows ways that games have been able to change the way people see them. Gamification has allows users of certain groups to be rewarded and for companies to give to the public, a great example of the is a completion mini cooper cars did called Mini getaway Stockholm 2010.
Through the competition they placed a virtual car in Stockholm and people had to find the car and capture on their phone using an app this competition lasted for week and many people competed in the competition in the end the person who had the virtual car at the end of week would win an actual virtual car. This is a great example of using a game to bring people together and get them interested in what you are doing and what you are selling to them. Gamification has become to be used as a PR tool in the 21st century, examples are games promoting road safety, health and fitness tracking activities which engages people and makes them interested in the company responsible for the activity.
Gamification will continue to evolve the way PR is used through promotional games and loyalty rewards people can access. PR is a changing force in the 21st century and has brought enjoyment and advertisement into one way of marketing a companies products.
Challenge 6# Ethical Landscape
New Technology has shaped the way people send and receive information and has raised issues for the public relations industry.
- Trust; and
The three T’s help to understanding what is ethically right on the internet. Truth look at what is actually true on the internet, trust is who can we trust online and how do we build trust in them? Timeliness looks at the reasonable expectation in times for responses and how do we ethically manage the fast pace of communication?
Astroturfing is one of the ethical issues discussed.The tobacco industry does it, the US Air Force clearly wants to ... astroturfing – the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums – is on the rise. How do we stop it? (Monbiot, G., 2011). Companies create multiple persons online to promote the company and to also stop any negative comments about the company many people question whether this is ethically right and if companies should hide themselves from the public to promote themselves. I think that to certain extents companies are allowed to promote themselves using persona’s online it isn't doing any proper damage to people and is just another way of advertising themselves.
Even with the positives of astroturfing there can be a negative side where people can use these persona’s to exploit people from money like the ‘Nigerian Prince’ who spams people’s emails asking them for the credit card accounts to become “millionaires” by marrying a Nigerian Prince by paying up a certain amount of money to do so, instead these people lose hundreds of thousand of dollars to scammers this is where the use of persona’s is unethical and needs to be stopped.
The internet has become a hub of communication and Public Relations has become an online platform for companies. People perceive that everyone is one the internet while many are not all are Australia had 14.5 million users on social media (ABS, 2012). But with this mass collection on social media 70% of Australian small business’ don’t use social and of those that do 75% of businesses don’t measure social media (Yellow pages, 2013). So even with business being behind the technology race public relations will continue to be used online and make a difference in how people use it though media landscapes, changing publics and gamification, while also dealing with ethical landscapes and the internationalisation of information.
1. Walk Free, 2015, Nigerian President: bring back our girls from forced child marriage, WalkFree.com,http://www.walkfree.org/nigerian-schoolgirls/
2. Greenwood, P., Sprenger, R., 2014, Hong Kong protests: A social media revolution, The Guardian,
3. Scarr, L., 2015, syrian refugee crisis: Prime Minister Tony Abbott under pressure as Europe buckled under refugee influx, News.com, http://www.news.com.au/national/syrian-refugee-crisis-prime-minister-tony-abbott-under-pressure-as-europe-buckles-under-refugee-influx/story-fncynjr2-1227515809851
4. Monboit, G., 2011, The need to protect the internet from 'astroturfing' grows even more urgent, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-to-protect-internet-from-astroturfing