Public Relations and the Internet

"The publicity machine will have become mechanically perfect when anyone anywhere can see and hear anything that is going on anywhere else in the world." -Walter Lippman, 1927

Throughout the years there have been many changes in the media that have affected the practice of public relations. The appearance and popularity of such tools as offset printing, radio, television and magazines have each dramatically changed the way public relations professionals do business. But no change has appeared as fast and as strong as the Internet.

The Internet offers public relations professionals millions of opportunities to perform research and spread their message. This new medium has expanded both internal public relations and external public relations. From electronic mail to newsgroups to World Wide Web sites, professionals now have the chance to communicate with the person in the office next door, their consumers and the world. The possibilities are endless.

The pros and cons of this new media are still being debated by many professionals, but it is impossible to deny that the Internet has become a powerful force in the world of public relations, and it is hard not to recognize its potential for the future.

Public relations professionals did not actually begin to take the Internet seriously until the 1990s, and now many agencies are scrambling to catch up. Public relations offices are now expanding their staffs to include specialists in interactive media, and many agencies that deal strictly with online PR have arisen. Today, there are hundreds of links on the Internet that offer pr services, advice and information.

It is hard to imagine public relations and most other professions without the Internet. The innovations and possibilities that it has brought to us have had an immense effect on all fields of study and our society as a whole.

This site was created by Susan Gross. Send me your comments.