Social Media A Powerful PR Tool

Dhenkanal: Social media has become an intrinsic part of public relations (PR) in today’s world. With the active involvement of the masses, it has made the whole process inclusive and democratized the way information is disseminated and circulated.

It has become a two-way process in which people are active recipients of both words and action and act like watch dogs over powers that be.

These were some of the issues discussed at a roundtable conference on ‘Social Media as a PR Tool’ organized by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) Dhenkanal in association with Public Relation Society of India’s (PRSI) Bhubaneswar chapter here on Friday. Addressing budding journalists, Shahanka Pattnaik, Assistant Vice President of Aditya Birla Group, highlighted the important role played by social media in a democratic society.

“In our profession, three stakeholders used to be quite important – politicians, bureaucracy and journalists. But with the emergence of social media, common people have a much more important role. Social media has made it is easier to collect and circulate important information,” he said.

Chief Manager of PPL, Sudhi Ranjan Mishra said, “We have recently come across incidents where big shots have faced backlash on social media for their careless actions and statements. Managing the media and getting away with such deplorable actions is not possible now.”

Speaking on this occasion, senior media academician Professor Subir Ghosh said, “Until the arrival of social media, common people were at the receiving end of the mass communication process. More than a medium of communication, it has become a tool for empowerment. Today, every news reader can publish his own opinion and his version of the truth.”

On the flip side, common people don’t always have a sense of responsibility. Hence, with strategic use of social media, organisations, and individuals can not only protect their interests but also establish their version truth, he added.

Assistant General Manager of JSPL group and PRSI’s Secretary, Sanjay Sahoo said, “Social media is inevitable in modern PR practice. PR professionals should take advantage of features like a two way communication for wider and faster reach.”
The annual magazine of the institute and wall magazines, containing literary works of the current batch were released on this occasion. Regional Director of the institute, Prof. Dr Mrinal Chhatterjee also addressed the students.

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