I’m a freshman at the University of Maryland, and I’m a communication major on the public relations track. To put it simply, PR is all about making people and companies look good. This culture is heavily reliant on social media, which can make or break a reputation. Technology and PR are becoming increasingly intertwined, although, according to How StuffWorks, technology can potentially hurt the field of PR. With the advent of email, PR professionals could email several journalists with press releases, but this also resulted in PR spam, causing press releases to become devalued. Moreover, the current generation is swarmed by technology, causing young people to distrust official opinions and garner information from bloggers. However, PR specialists can actually use technology to their advantage. By creating a website that presents the right information, PR professionals can communicate more effectively with journalists and other audiences. Some websites even have a “media room” to publish press releases, videos, company information, and other information that paints the company in a good light. Dr. John V. Pavlik of Columbia University wrote a paper describing the nature of PR: specialists want to handle everything, including sending out messages and seeing the response of audiences. “Web 2.0,” which includes Flickr, BitTorrent, blogging, Wikipedia, etc., doesn’t allow PR professionals to do that – people communicate online and leave the organization out of the conversation. The rise of technology is changing the nature of PR; first, video news releases became popular, and now, PR is converging different types of media to provide a variety of information to audiences and journalists.
By the time I enter my career as a PR specialist, I’m sure technology will be even more prevalent in the field. Because this is a changing world, it is necessary for the PR field to adapt to technological advancements.