The Effects of Social Media on Public Relations




Chamblee, William

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Throughout its history, many things have sparked change in the public relations industry. The invention of the radio, television, and internet all had a profound impact on the public relations industry. Social media is next in that line of groundbreaking technology and perhaps the most influential. This thesis will provide a comprehensive review of how the affects social media have had on public relations and its practitioners. First, a brief review of public relations history will be given to provide the appropriate context for the main discussion of the thesis. Then, through applicable case studies, peer- reviewed literature, and analytics, modern public relations will be compared to the public relations industry before social media, and the distinct changes will be considered. These changes include an overall shift from a one-way style of communication to a two-way style of communication, new roles for practitioners, and an evolving relationship between practitioners and journalists, among many others. Finally, the thesis will conclude by discussing the future of public relations and how social media will continue to influence its development.