Since the advent of the social media, pundits have been arguing over its impact on public relations (PR) practice. While some believe that the profession is heading to the grave, others posit that social media actually facilitate and catalyze PR work. This paper is of the position that the prediction of ‘death’ for PR is a metaphor describing of the consequence of the failure to adopt new methods of PR engagement in a social media era. Drawing evidence from extant literature, the paper scrutinizes the ambiguities surrounding the conceptions of ‘new’ and ‘social’ media, and explores the boundaries of PR influence in a digitized media space. Through the lens of ‘Social Construction Theory’ and the ‘Impression Management Theory’, the essay examines the implications and challenges of social media adaptation, for PR practice in a developing country like Nigeria. It interrogates the impact of the organic social media conversations on brand perception and offers recommendations for optimizing the use of media tools for PR purposes.
Keywords: Globalization, New Media, Public Relations, Social media, brand perception, digital communication, virtualization
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