Because social media has grown to become one of the most popular forms of communication in modern society, its overall influence in a consumer's life is far more significant than in past years. Due to this, the field of public relations has been left with no other choice but to adapt with the times, for better or for worse. This means that these forms of social networks are being implemented within the field to a much higher degree, in order to meet the public's needs and new wants if a specific company, brand, or client is to remain relevant and/or increase its standing throughout its target audience. “The power has been taken from those in marketing and public relations by the individuals and communities that create, share, and consume…Communication about brands happens, with or without permission of the firms in question. It is now up to firms to decide if they want to get serious about social media and participate in this communication” (Kietzmann et.al, 2011, pg 242). This also pertains to the definition of public relations in general; it is more important than ever to remain focused on maintaining or improving positive brand image in a world that is so interconnected. Thus, the need for an application suitable for meeting these benchmarks is necessary for every public relations firm or department.
In order to determine what exactly our firm requires, I followed the steps listed below to evaluate which application is best suited for our needs.
1. Determine the issues the firm faces
2. Develop criteria upon which to evaluate various applications
3. Research available applications and analyze against the criteria
4. Find a suitable application that will serve as a solution
5. Create an implementation plan
6. Create an evaluation
The primary issue the field of public relations faces is adjusting to changing communication styles in a modern society. Because firms cannot entirely choose what is fed to consumers, professionals must adapt and implement the styles of communication most people do use, which tend to be social media platforms nowadays rather than relying on press releases, billboards, podcasts, etc. However, the types of applications that are best suited to this need still needs to be verified and researched, because not all perform the same functions. Additionally, “the power has been taken from those in marketing and public relations by the individuals and communities that create, share, and consume…Communication about brands happens, with or without permission of the firms in question. It is now up to firms to decide if they want to get serious about social media and participate in this communication” (Kietzmann et.al, 2011, pg 242).
The most important criteria that must be met include ease of interaction and accessibility, although cost, enablement of push notifications, and application popularity are invaluable as well.
Research and Offer Options
Research concludes that the application Instagram meets all of the above criteria listed and is a viable option for dealing with the increasing communication problem. Feasible options for implementation are listed below:
1. Immediate implementation
2. Wait for software updates and then implement Instagram
3. Consider other applications
Analysis of Options
The best option of the three is the first-immediate implementation. Even though the world and applications in general are rapidly changing, a firm cannot put off better forms of communication any more than it already has, because every day without puts it farther behind. The second option is the worst, because further updates to the application may increase benefits, however it would be time wasted. The third option is alright, however Instagram can be used in addition to other apps, because it is not be-all, end-all.
To begin implementation, I will first gather more information on the application so that all can understand its capabilities to the highest degree, and if there are any drawbacks. Next, I will inform the marketing team and my superiors in order to notify them of the changes. Finally, once instruction has taken place, our firm should fully incorporate the application into our practices come January 1, 2019.
The evaluation plan will primarily focus on the analysis on information gathered from the research on the application.
From previous research, my personal recommendation is that our firm implements this application at the nearest date possible, because it comes at no cost and will provide invaluable feedback and increased interactions with consumers.
Some information presented in this section has come directly from an unpublished report submitted to the supervisor on November 18, 2018.
Although the world of social media platforms and its corresponding trends change extremely quickly, it is still imperative that we adopt Instagram as a mainstay tool throughout the firm as soon as possible, for every day that we do not utilize all benefits of the application is another day that we fall further behind and lose out on further penetrating the market and our target audience. Each day, consumers create new user accounts within the application, and are exposed to an infinite number of various brands and marketing tactics.
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