An Analysis of New Communications Media Use in Public Relations: Results of a Five-Year Trend Study

Publication Date: 2010 Spring

Source: SO03 Public Relations Journal
Product Code: 6D-040202
Organization/Author/Firm: Donald K. Wright, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA and Michelle Drifka Hinson, M.A.
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This article provides the fifth annual report about an international, longitudinal trend study examination of the social media and other aspects of the new technologies are having on public relations practice. Results strongly suggest the new communications media are having a dramatic impact on public relations. As has been the case with each year of this trend study, results show considerably more agreement in some areas than was the case in previous years. This year’s study reports that 85 percent of the public relations practitioners surveyed believe new communications media have changed the way organizations communicate. Findings continue to suggest these changes are more prominent in external than internal communications. Most (99%) of this year’s respondents claim to spend part of their typical day working with some aspects of new communications new media. Results continue to show that traditional news media receive higher scores than blogs and social media in terms of accuracy, credibility, telling the truth and being ethical. Although there was very strong agreement (greater than 90%) that public relations practitioners should research and measure the impact new communications media are having on public relations campaigns, only a small number (38% in 2010) actually are conducting this kind of research.