New media is definitely making it easier for people and companies to publicly express themselves and their opinions. So what does this mean for the public relations field? Has new media made the lives of public relations directors easier or more difficult?
Let’s say you are a public relations professional working for a celebrity or a high-profile client like a CEO. They use and have access to new media just like everyone else, and it is a great way for them to brand themselves and create a positive and more personal public image. They are also able to get more feedback from fans and critics of their work which can be helpful in maintaining their image. This seems like an easy way for a PR professional to manage their clients, that is until something goes wrong.
On the flip side, all of the new media surrounding these types of people can make a PR professional’s life a nightmare. New media creates many more challenges for their clients because they have the ability to ruin their image themselves. Because of YouTube, social networking, and email, people can run into trouble when it comes to their personal lives. People can be fueled by emotions and post comments on their social networking sites in an instant. This can obviously create problems for the PR professional handling their business because they cannot control every little aspect of their client’s lives, they can just recommend what is right and wrong. Also, new media has the ability to ruin someone’s image in an instance if photographs that aren’t favorable get passed around, or videos that are not meant for the public go viral.
So I believe that new media is making the lives of public relations professionals just a little bit more difficult, but in a good way. At least they will remain in business when they have to salvage the image’s of people with emerging media nightmares!