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chapter 18 - Chapter 18 Public Relations and the Internet...

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Chapter 18: Public Relations and the Internet Teaching Perspective Chapter 18 discusses how the Internet and the World Wide Web have influenced the practice of public relations. As professional communicators, public relations students and professionals must be conversant in all elements of communications. And in the 21 st Century, no communications element is more important than the Net. This chapter makes the point that although the “bloom” may be off the Internet rose as a result of the stock market meltdown in Net stocks, mastery of the Net is as important as any element in the public relations field. Public relations professionals simply must know how to use the Web for research, writing, intelligence gathering, and as a tool for reaching constituent publics. In particular, the Net should be considered a means to an end in researching information for speeches, articles and organizational strategy, communicating internally, and in enhancing relations with consumers, stockholders, and the media. By the same token, students should also be aware of the “dangers” inherent in the Web, particularly in the dissemination of information that has no basis in fact and may be harmful to individuals and organizations. Indeed, the hypothetical case at chapter end deals with a company under cyber attack. Subject of the “Voice of Authority” interview in Chapter 18 is Shel Holtz, perhaps the public relations field’s most significant proponent and practitioner of the Internet. The Case Study at chapter end is an hypothetical chat room thread about which students should have much to say. Among topics discussed in Chapter 18 are: Defining the Internet. The Internet as a communications medium. Public relations Internet challenge. E-mail the dominator. Developing a winning Web site. Blogs: The latest phenomenon. Monitor the Net…or else! Product promotion on the Internet. Investor relations on the Internet. Intranets, extranets, wikis, podcasts, and RSS feeds.
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Speaking of Ethics: Wal-Mart Unleashes the Bloggers As discussed in the earlier case in the book, Wal-Mart took off the gloves in 2005 and decided to fight back with an intense public relations battle plan.
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