Styles of Communication, Vol 1, No 1 (2009)

Perceptions on the Effectiveness of Communication between Public Institutions and Journalists through Social Media

Mihaela Paun


This article presents the challenges and opportunities of social media for public institutions and argues that the designing and implementing government public relations using social media involves more than merely having another communication channel for publics. I will explain the “social media”, the differences between social media and electronic-Public Relations - E-PR, and the communication between public institutions and journalists. The interviews with journalists or with PR specialists in public institutions were focused on the use, the extent of this use, and the perceived value of various social media as sources contributing to agenda building (Cobb, Elder 1983). If journalists are regularly monitoring sites and forums for story ideas and information, it is necessary for PR professionals within each industry to carefully monitor the information placed there and perhaps engage content producers. In this paper, I conclude that social media is an alternative instrument to encourage a two-way communication channel between government and publics. In public relations, the emergence of social media challenges the traditional instruments of government public relations. Responding to the development of information and communication technology (ICT), social media is considered as an alternative communication channel of government public relations efforts.


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