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Public Relations, Values and Cultural Identity

Edited By Enric Ordeix, Valérie Carayol and Ralph Tench

As organisations seek legitimacy in a fast-moving, interconnected and changing world, how do public relations help them to manage their identity, responsibilities and impact on society? In a more interactive society, organisations need to align their actions with social demands and values. If the main role of public relations is to build trust and influence opinionmakers, media, the public and the political agenda, what are the constraints and limitations at play here, and what is the impact on ethical principles?
The published research shows the profession is facing crucial changes: the existence of new organisational structures better aligned with social demands; the emergence of new techniques for interacting with organisations in a more trustworthy manner; and growing pressure by social groups acting both for and against particular social values, ideas and identities.
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Social Media Meet Dialog? Analyzing the Communication Activities of Companies on Facebook

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Social Media Meet Dialog?

Analyzing the Communication Activities of Companies on Facebook

Astrid SPATZIER

Postdoc, University of Salzburg, Austria

Laura MOISL

PhD Student, University of Salzburg, Austria

I. Introduction

How do companies use social media as a strategic element of Public Relations today? The purpose of this contribution is to demonstrate how companies use social media and if social media meet dialog within the communication activities of companies on Facebook.

Historically, the field of Public Relations (PR) has been dominated by a pragmatic approach, with the publicity or information paradigm. Today’s new social media now present opportunities for dialog with publics more directly. Zerfaß and Pleil (2012: 40) have noted the chances and risks in this context, and Shahd (2012: 7) has highlighted the challenges involved. Furthermore, Solis and Breakenridge (2009: 1), Scott (2011: 3), and Breakenridge (2012: 1) point out that social media completely changes the practice of Public Relations.

In fact, little is known about whether and how companies actually use social media. Have these new media essentially changed Public Relations strategy? According to Grunig (2011: 27), the social media simply serve as a further channel of communication, without changing Public Relations practice and strategy. However, we hold that these media represent not only a new trend, but also an interactive tool that can enable firms and Public Relations practitioners to create direct dialog with stakeholders and publics. As Men...

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