Students of public relations require an in depth understanding of building and maintaining relationships between various internal and external publics. According to the Canadian Public Relations Society members Flynn, Gregory, and Valin, public relations is “the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse publics through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals and serve the public interest.” To manage relationships, practitioners use various communications channels to respond to their publics in a timely fashion. This holds them responsible for building a strong relationship between themselves and their target publics. This relationship satisfies both the the bottom line of the organization, and the desire for a strong reputation.
Active engagement requires two-way communication between organizations and their publics. The desires and feedback expressed by consumers determines the content that the organization produces across platforms. We will investigate the way in which corporate organizations of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) use social media tools such as Twitter to manage the integrity of their reputation. This will be explored and assessed in the research that follows.
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging platform that uses instant messaging and SMS services to share messages of 140 characters or less. Used by individuals, businesses, media, and developers, Twitter is designed to share real-time information to a voluntary audience (referred to as followers) who choose to follow Twitter accounts tailored to individual interests. Businesses use Twitter as a mechanism to deliver messages, or tweets, in the brand voice about or in response to current events, news, product and service information, promotions, and building and managing relationships with customers, partners, and influencers. Moreover, Twitter is a cost-effective method for conversing directly with a consumer base in real-time and creating influential word of mouth conversations on a public forum. Twitter provides a digital media wire with immediate, direct access to an organization’s publics. This communication platform has a high level of accountability and honesty because misinformation is quickly dispersed by the uncontrolled responses of other Twitter users. In addition to honesty, businesses use the 140 character tweet limit to succinctly provide clarification to publics immediately, which can be invaluable to reputation management daily, and particularly in crisis management.
In 2013 in...