Social Networks vs. Public Relations
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Social Networks vs. Public Relations

Due to advances in technology, social networks can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere. This has increased the number of opportunities for consumers to express their views – whether negative or positive – in this public domain. From a public relations prospective, clients should be cautious about what they say and mindful of the consequences.

According to Investopedia’s definition, social networks could be understood as using internet based social media programmes to make connections with friends, family, classmates, customers and clients. Social networking can be done for social purposes, business purposes or both. The programmes show the associations between individuals and facilitate the acquisition of new contacts. People who utilize social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace aren’t told or forced to behave in a certain way especially with regards to their personal accounts.

In industry though, one has to be careful of what is posted on this medium.  If you are working for a high profile organization, there will likely be ramifications to these actions. By way of example:  Mcintosh Polela, a former Hawks spokesperson, was shown the door because of a comment he made on twitter:

Screenmunch: Taken from mediafailsite.blogspot.com

Screenmunch: Taken from mediafailsite.blogspot.com

For a man of his position, that kind of a comment was inappropriate and he was subsequently fired.

In regards to public relations though, it is our duty to influence the public’s opinion or behavior by creating a positive image about a service or product. A PR practitioner must be aware that their activity on social media is visible at all times, whether in a professional or personal capacity.   How one behaves online shouldn’t contradict one’s company’s opinion of a particular matter at hand.

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