Journalism and Public Relations used to focus solely around the media and press. Public Relations professionals would send pitches and press releases to journalists in hopes that someone would write about them. These journalists, would get hundreds of pitches a day, and a chance that you would get written about if you were not publicly known was slim. But as the years went by, the internet started to expand. Websites where you can share your own news and media started to develop, and the social media generation started to expand. Soon, public relations professionals were looking up journalists social media accounts to see what interests them, instead of spamming them. Soon there were websites and Apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where you could share information, photos and videos to promote your organization or company or too simply share a story you think should be known to the public. Now anyone could be their own PR person, and didn’t need to completely rely on journalists to pick up their story.
Company’s used to promote their businesses and products through advertisements. They would hire advertising companies to think of creative commercials that would interrupt the potential buyer, forcing them to watch or listen to the advertisement. These forms of advertisements are expensive, and as the years went by, potential buyers grew smarter and tended to not let the advertisements persuade them. David Meerman Scott, author of the international best seller The New Rules of Marketing and PR explained how the internet is shaping the way advertising is presented. He stated, “The web has opened tremendous opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted information that costs a fraction of what big-budget advertising costs.” Promoting a company used to be solely a one-way interruption, attempting to grasp the viewers attention. As time went on, the internet started to be used to its advantage, and the forms of advertising became interactive. The internet provided companies with tools that are used to engage its buyers with relevant information, and choice, giving useful content when the buyer needs it. Mark Briggs, author of the book Journalism Next believes that journalism has a bright future ahead. He stated, “Think of it as bottom-up journalism instead of top-down.” What he means by this is that instead of focusing on a general audience for news topics, certain news websites are targeting groups of people with certain interests, publishing stories that relate to them. This can come in the form of a blog that focuses on one topic, which can draw targeted attention to the readers that relate. Every person is now a publisher.
However, there are always two sides to every concept, and even though this new world of social media seems great there are also some downfalls. Seth Ashley, author of an article posted on the PBS website called Beyond Gingras: Tech Innovation Alone Will Not Democratize Media believes that social media hold little credibility. He states, “This sort of conventional digital-age wisdom reflects a failure to fully consider who has access to information, who can actually produce content, and how content is consumed.” Basically, because anyone can post things onto site such as Twitter and Facebook, it makes the truth of what they say less reliable. The credibility that journalists posses gives us a better belief that what they say is the full truth. But that truth can be distorted in social media.