Integrating Public Relations and Social Marketing: Reputation Management in Digital PR

Integrating Public Relations and Social Marketing: Reputation Management in Digital PR

Saadet Uğurlu (Kültür University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3619-2.ch013
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This chapter discusses how new media turns individuals into medium, the changing face of brand communication, and works as a handmaiden in producing the right content for mass media with data management. A theoretical research with a qualitative analysis is conducted by analyzing the content methods used in new and social media in various sectors (such as construction, tourism, shopping malls, retail, health, education, etc.), from 1991 to 2015, while the focal point will be to emphasize how reputation can be managed online.
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By means of rapidly developing technology, communication devices, smart mobile phones, tablets, computers and smart TV’s are used both as channels and data banks. People are creating their own newspapers and even TV channels and are watching not what they are presented with but what they choose. They broadcast to their environment by sharing what they like. This integrated environment, in which passing from one screen to the other is facilitated and devices communicate with each other, makes speed and interactivity possible. Since devices place individuals at the center of the system, they are indispensable for people.

When we take a look at the discipline of communication in terms of new media environments, it is apparent that a new understanding of communication needs to be adopted by organizations. In this light, each user and each brand within the media has now become a broadcast at the same time. Organizations have had to analyze this understanding more in their online strategies, because their target groups which were passive in the past have become active masses which need to be formed ties of affection with alongside organizations in classic mass communication tools such as newspapers, television and radio mediums. The developing communication technologies have transformed people into masses who can establish immediate communication with the Internet and social media, gratify the brands they like and have no reservations about making complaints to the masses on the brands they are not happy with. Therefore, organizations have begun to spend effort to establish a positive and efficient communication with the target groups within the communication strategy determined in this new and social media. In fact, they are now trying to make their target groups the voluntary representatives of their brands.

The Web has separated into three main phases as Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 with the electronic revolution and the users of this period have gradually transformed into active participants from passive viewers with the slogan “Watch, participate, share, become integrated.” Their differences can be summarized as follows:

Web 1.0’s communication language was organizational, it did not allow interaction with the visitors and those who wanted to communicate with the web site’s owner had to fill out forms, become members or write e-mails. Web 2.0 (participate, share) can be defined as the period starting with the 2000’s in which users’ power began to make itself be felt. Parallel to the developments in software programs and increase in connection speed and quality, the opportunities provided by the Internet increased as well. Google which was born in 1998 reaching a value of billions of dollars within a short slice of time has allowed the decreasing interest and belief of investors in the virtual world to increase. Today, besides the giant data being ready for use and the advantages it provides, it is important that data of such dimensions is processed and managed and interdisciplinary activities are carried out.

Since humans are social beings, they need to be together and have reshaped all their communication processes and rules with their posts, likes, imitations, jealousies, interests and enjoyments. In the digital age, it has become impossible to establish an efficient, productive and sustainable communication without having a “people centered” point of view instead of “customer centered.” It has become mandatory that we build the integrated marketing communication strategy on the needs of the society and ground it as to provide benefit/value. Today’s organizations and firms have begun to create the “people centered” strategy instead of the term consumer. The target groups need to be defined as “groups with targets.” Speed, interaction and the need to be with people are the reasons why digital tools, which are one of the ways of reaching groups with targets and establishing correct communication, have become more prominent.

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