PR in a Digitally Mediated World

In “Computer-Mediated Communication,” Chapter 60 of the 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook, William F. Eadie traces the history of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and early concerns that our reliance on technology to receive and process information would result in social isolation among its users. However, he cites later research that suggests the opposite. He quotes researcher Joseph Walther, who argued that “social interaction and bonding in an online environment is not only possible but, given time, relationship establishment and relationship building through CMC and equal f2f [face-to-face] communication.” Walther further argued that “not only can CMC equal f2f communication for social interaction and relationship building, but CMC can actually be hyperpersonal—more intimate communication that ‘surpasses normal interpersonal levels.’”

Questions for you: How is your employer using social media to establish and maintain relationships with its publics? If you can, provide us with links to come examples! What do you see as the long-term implications of CMC, in particular, social media, for public relations practitioners?

Sample Solution