Positives and Negatives of Social Media in PR

The use of technology throughout the business world has risen both in the United States and around the world. Companies can now call, text, or even set up video calls with their clients halfway across the world. The use of technology has enabled companies to connect and network on multiple levels providing the public with up to date information and events. With the expansion of technology also comes the expansion of social media. Most importantly, public relations specialists use social media in order to inform, explain, and present different topics for their clients, businesses, and the public. However, social media can have both positive and negative implications in the PR world. Therefore, it’s vital that public relations specialist utilize social media in order to present their company in a positive light.

As a public relations specialist, there are countless jobs, conferences, and events that a person must cover. These employees are constantly working in order to ensure their client  with ultimate success. However, with the rise of social media, a public relations specialists job could become more exhausting. For example, with a clients website it’s vital that PR constantly updates, creates high quality content, makes the website easy to navigate, and easy to download (Wilcox, 2013). In order to make the client look impressive, PR needs to be updating and checking social media to ensure success of the company. Also, PR needs to monitor and respond to social media comments and complaints in a reasonably fast amount of time (Dougherty, 2014). Any possible customer could see a negative complaint or have a question and it’s important that PR handles the situation right away. Finally, the use of social media can be very time consuming for a public relations specialist. As said before, PR handles a lot of conferences and events and adding 6-8 hours of blogging means less time focusing on more important topics that could be vital to a client. One website stated,“If an organization isn’t blogging or tweeting frequently, leaving large gaps between posts then a consumer may look and wonder if they will be treated as well as your client’s social media is” (Norton, 2010). Overall, small companies may want to consider if social media will ultimately improve their business. Larger companies may have enough public relations specialists and resources to keep up with the demand that social media has on a business. It all depends on how well PR is able to use, navigate, and take the time to pour their company’s into social media.

Social media also has it’s advantages for many different companies. One website states, “Social media techniques will become more abundant as public relations practitioners become mindful of their effectiveness in regards to reaching target audiences, promoting a specific cause, and further developing communication strategies” (Curtis, 2010).  Once people are aware of how social media can launch their company into success, they are more likely to utilize it. Also, a public relations specialist working for a non-profit organization is able to inform the public about different events or information all through the Internet without losing any money (Curtis, 2010). It’s an easy way for business on a low budget to spread awareness about what they stand for. Also, a company could post a small informational video about themselves on YouTube in order for millions of public viewers to get an inside look as to what the company stands for (Wilcox, 2013). Finally, an online journal for public museums states, “Social media represents a multi-way communication model that provides museums with the opportunity to positively influence active participation not only of the museums but their visitors as well” (Suzic, 2016). Because of social media, this museum is able to fully invest in their visitors experience. Public relations specialists have the ability to transform a company through the use of social media and it’s vital that they consider every aspect in order to ensure success.

Overall, society has mixed views on social media. However, most would agree that it’s important that public relations specialists use social media to advertise and inform the public about their client. The positives far out weight the negatives since social media has the power to save money, inform the public, and provide quick updates on a business.


Curtis, L. (2010, March). Adoption of Social Media for Public Relations by Nonprofit Organizations. Public Relations Review,36(1), 90-92. Retrieved from Grand Valley State University Library .

Dougherty, J. (2014, September 8). 6 Ways Social Media has Changed Public Relations. In Cision. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://www.cision.com/us/2014/09/6-ways-social-media-changed-public-relations/

Norton, C. (2011, November 10). The Seven deadly disadvantages of Social Media. In Nortons Notes. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://chrisnorton.biz/social-media/the-seven-deadly-disadvantages-of-social-media/

Suzic, B., Karlícek, M., & Stríteský, V. (2016). Adoption of social media for public relations by museums. Central European Business Review, 5(2), 5-16. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/1834365254?accountid=39473

Wilcox, D. L., Cameron, G. T., Reber, B. H., & Shin, J. (2013). Think Public Relations (13th ed., pp. 171-172). N.p.: Pearson Education.


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