What do companies expect to gain from maintaining an online 'social media' presence? What are the implications of these trends for the development of traditional public relations strategies and business journalism?
Blogs, Twitter feeds and even Facebook pages are increasingly featuring in the arsenal of public relations strategies employed by large corporations and public institutions. This is not an idle choice: corporate blogs at both Google and Apple have at times been the locus of intense media attention at times when new products have been announced or controversial decisions defended. Yet the use of such modes of communication raise peculiar challenges for companies willing to embrace new media, relating to the tensions between maintaining central control of information flows and the desire to react quickly when criticism arises in online networks or discussion groups. What do companies expect to gain from maintaining this sort of online presence and what are the implications of these trends for both the development of traditional PR strategy and business journalism?