What Whitney Houston’s death showed us about PR

I remember the day Whitney Houston died.  I was sitting in a café on Chapel Street checking Facebook when I noticed that one of my friends had posted ‘RIP Whitney’.  Curious, my first response was to open Twitter and see what was trending around the world.   Essentially, I was looking for immediate news from the global community.


It is true that Twitter has been victim to celebrity death hoax in the past, however this time it was on the mark with the first tweet about Whitney’s passing on Twitter more than 20 minutes before official confirmation.

The way news of Whitney’s death circulated the globe demonstrated the influence that social media plays in public relations; it showed that communities have changed and the way PR practitioners connect with stakeholders also needs to change.

PR practitioners work to bridge the gap between organisations and individuals to their publics.  Traditionally broadcast methods of communication have been utilised in PR allowing practitioners to carefully produce materials that are strategically communicated to their desired publics.

With the advent of social media the way that messages are conveyed have changed.  Adopting social media allows PR practitioners access to two-way communication streams, global reach and a constant audience to help build and support stakeholder relationships.


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