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Social Media and Relationship Management

Autor:   •  September 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,147 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,697 Views

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The advent of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have redefined the term broadcast media, and new strategies must now be constituted to keep up with constantly evolving publics. Public Relations is a strategic management of publics through relationships, therefore, this study will focus on the management of the relationships between organizations and their publics. The theory of relationship management will be used heavily in the study, and will provide fundamental strategies on how to build and maintain relationships between organizations and their publics. The affects of social media will measured and applied to the theory, which in turn will hopefully yield significant correlations.

As social media are still relatively new, the results of this study will most likely lead to further questions about social media and the relationship management theory. This article will first define social media as it relates to public relations, and define relationship management as it is known in the industry. Through a survey distributed to a sample of public relations professionals, effectiveness of social media as a tool to build and maintain organization-public relationships (OPRs) will be discovered.


Social media are websites or applications that allow users to engage in more active communications with peers, as well as organizations. While a popular view of social media in peer-to-peer communication, organizations, companies and even the government are now actively pursuing social media as a tool for growth. The study will retain focus on one social media site known as Twitter. This site allows users to create "mirco-blogs" no larger than 140 characters, and allow a select group of friends or "followers" to see this information. The micro-blog posts on Twitter have colloquially been defined as "tweets." These tweets can include any type of information including multimedia, links to URL's, etc.

Twitter was founded in July of 2006 as a way to communicate on the world wide web using a mobile device. The use of a phone led to the character limit. Each user would send a text message via their mobile device to the number "40404" and his or her friends would receive that message on their own mobile phones. Today, Twitter is website based, and holds dozens of other features, including lists for people to follow picture, video and music sharing, as well as integration into other sites. The site boasts over 200 million users, and those users can be divided up into individuals and organizations. The content on Twitter can be divided into news, promotional, conversational, information sharing, or even just spam. This study will use these classifications, and possible others to filter out irrelevant data such as spam, or status updates (tweets that are about mundane occurences).


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