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Synopsis

Bachelor Thesis from the year 2012 in the subject Communications - Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, grade: 1,0, University of Plymouth, language: English, abstract: The Public Relations industry has faced dramatic changes in the past few years in terms of new technology and media channels as well as new opportunities for communicating with clients and businesses. The main reason for this is the emergence of social media networking which enabled customers to easily and quickly engage in a two-way communication process with companies. For businesses on the other hand this represents a huge challenge of how to effectively handle the new forms of engagement so that they now realize the increasing importance of Public Relations as an organisational function. However, social media is still a big challenge for the PR industry itself. That is why the project aimed to research this new development and find comprehensive insights into what exactly happened and how should PR practitioners better approach new media opportunities. The age of 'we talk, you listen' style of company communication is gone; the dialogue with stakeholders is the only way forward, because the emergence of social media has changed the way consumers form opinions and make decisions (Flint, 2009). Therefore, many PR specialists, including Brown, Solis, Scott and others believe that we are now at the peak of a magnificent era for the PR practice. It also means that there are new tools and new techniques needed to meet client's needs and requirements. Butterick (2011) also mentions that the rise of digital media has transformed our channels of communication and the journalism practice (closely linked to PR), which in turn has had and will continue having an enormous impact on public relations. As social media changes constantly there is a continuous need to frequently investigate how social media is altering the PR practice, which is the main justification and objective for this research. A first step in this study was examining a vast amount of recent literature sources. This critical review played the role of a basis to develop the following primary research and determine its focus according to the identified gaps in the literature. The report presents a number of existing evidence illustrating how greatly social media has changed and continues to change the PR industry. Another purpose of the research was to examine the reasons for this phenomenon. To do so the research also aimed to investigate how practitioners themselves use social media and how it has been integrated into the Marketing Mix. As Brown summarizes: 'Now we are seeing altogether new ways

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