At this year’s International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) 108 papers were presented on a range of topics from social media measurement to new trends in corporate social responsibility. The presented research shared new insights for practitioners across the globe to apply in the practice of public relations. Tom Watson, Professor of Public Relations at Bournemouth University, provided a full recap of this new research at IPRRC on his blog FiftyOneZeroOne. Here are some of the highlights from his blog.
Social media measurement is a relatively new field, however a new report finds that the evaluation of social media is “archaic.” A new report in an eight-year study of social media measurement by Donald Wright and Michele Drifka Hinson found that organizations are still using “archaic output measures” when measuring blogs, social media and other emerging media. In spite of concerted efforts encouraging companies to incorporate modern outcome measures, their 2013 report results unfortunately show virtually no progress from previous years, according to Wright and Hinson.
On a different note, social media usage for companies is still booming, particularly for the consumer packaged goods industry. Research conducted by Marcia DiStaso, Tina McCorkindale and Alexz Agugliaro focused on a sample of 417 US companies from Fortune’s Most Admired list for 2012. They found out of the sample 96% have a Facebook page, 82% have a Twitter account and 72% are on YouTube.
Other findings at IPRRC focused on how companies have been using social media in relation to corporate social responsibility. In a report by Denise Bortree, she focused on corporate sustainability and its influence in the online arena. Bortree found a positive association between the amount and prominence of online information about corporate sustainability and the subsequent impact on the organizations’ reputational performance across three indices. Additionally, she found that companies get improved reputational effects by posting material online versus presenting it traditionally.
Internationally the use of social media is still booming, as well. According to Bilgen Basal’s report, Turkey is leading the way in Europe with a major rise of social media users. Basal found that more than half the population is on Facebook (a total of 32 million users).
For more information on the research presented at IPRRC visit Tom Watson’s blog FiftyOneZeroOne for a recap of the three-day event. http://fiftyonezeroone.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/pr-research-latest-day-1.html