Imagine you’re sitting on a train, making the journey from your end-of-line suburb, all the way into Flinders Street station.
The guy sitting across from you has his earphones blasting, a lady diagonal from you is speaking loudly into her smartphone, and a myriad of other individuals in your carriage are sitting quietly, iPhone in hand, eyes glued to the screen.
Where are the days of counting your cents for pay phones? The hours of sitting patiently, waiting for your dial-up internet to show that glorious connection tick?
Social media has revolutionized the way that not only individuals communicate, but also the way in which public relations practice is carried out.
In the eye of organisations, social media is both a blessing and a curse. Gone are the days of asymmetric, one-way information communication, and the present is a world of ever-flowing information and communication technology, right beneath our fingertips. (For more information on Hunt and Grunig’s 4 Models of Communication please visit http://toughsledding.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/the-4-models-of-public-relations-practice-how-far-have-you-evolved/)
Social media opens up a whole new realm of communication, a realm where word of mouth guides our opinions, and much of the information we consume is that of facebook posts, instagram images or retweets from twitter.
PR practitioners must be active participants in the social media revolution, in order to build and support relationships with their publics and stakeholders. PR practitioners must not be not left behind in the revolution that is social media; checking their empty e-mail inboxes, and texting their boss on their worn out Nokia-not-so-smart-phone.