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I believe that, if done correctly, applying social media strategies to internal communications can have a dramatic and positive effect on employee engagement and productivity. Here are four ways that I see social thinking bringing corporate communications out of the dark ages and into the light. It offers them an avenue to celebrate their organization, express appreciation of a company event, or share those little random successes during the day that make their work rewarding. Of course, social media works in both directions, so employees also get access to a new source of engaging and exciting content to share, as well as a feedback channel through which they can voice their opinions and ideas for the organization.

How Walmart Transformed Its Corporate Communications Strategy with Brand Storytelling

They become the customers and fans of their brand. Social means connections, collaboration, and an all-round deeper engagement in the microcosm that is the organization. The transition to more informal internal communications has already started, with collaborative tools like Slack and Hipchat leading the charge. In this instance, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Visual communications can save a tremendous amount of time and energy and get your message across more accurately. We want to do that for everyone in the company- from the CEO to the latest new employee at a retail store.

Both are embedding visual language like emojis, pictures, and video as integral elements to their platforms. All the evidence is pointing to a future of true work-based social collaboration. One that blends words and pictures, stories, and videos to create a brand ecosystem that operates just as widely within the organization as without. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site both directly and through our partners.

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The other side of corporate communications involves managements concerns with images held by consumers. Even the largest firms often hire an outside public relations firm to help with their public image. Given a high enough budget, the company might even create a movie that explains scientific innovations relating to the car for science museums.

Agba argues that the world today is ruled by an ever-changing information and communication technology revolution. Some people call it information age or computer age. This has reduced the wide world into one small community. This poses a great challenge to public relations which uses information and communication as its major tools in building bridges of friendship and cooperation among people and across the world frontiers. Nkwocha states that digital public relations is all about the use of new infotech technologies including wireless telephones, computers, internet, e-mail, etc.

Nkwocha also notes that information and communication technologies are now needed and can be applied in all aspects of public relations, corporate identity, product packaging, media relations, corporate social responsibility, crisis management, issue management and environment-al scanning. As we all know that a public relations is a profession that uses communication and interaction to create and sustain a favourable image and reputation among its strategic stakeholders called publics.

In other words, public relations establishes cordial and fruitful relationships between an organization and its publics including employees, directors, customers, suppliers, bankers, creditors, shareholders, community leaders, media, top government officials and agencies Nwosu, Public relations uses the tool of communication and the feedback mechanism. We can define public relations as simply being guided in our actions by the biblical injunction of doing unto others as we would have others do unto us.

We can also describe public relations as doing and trying to get credit for the good we have done. Nsukka Journal of the Humanities No. The advent of the digital generation has fundamentally transformed the nature of public relations. This is the systematic and broad-based application of ICTs in all aspects of modern public relations practice that is computer compliant, computer driven or computer meditated Nkwocha Digital public relations is public relations communication on the cyberspace, the internet and the world wide web www.

It also includes the use of the extranet for effective two-way communications with various publics who have access to the net. Nosike explains that digital public relations include the preparation of digital press kit dpk to extend the reach of the usual public relations press kit and ensure faster dissemination of corporate information to the media and ensure more effective media relations management.

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Nwosu asserts that the most effective public relations is e-public relations or electronic public relations which take place mainly on the internet and the world wide web www which is public relations on the net. It can, for instance quicken and widen the distribution of press releases and press invitations.

In fact opportunities offered by digital public relations are enormous and varied. The contemporary public relations manager or public relations executive any where in the world, including Nigeria, must, therefore, master the principles and applications of digital public relations, if he or she hopes to remain relevant and useful to his or her organization. And the first thing to do is to ensure that he or she is computer literate because digital public relations is computer based. A public relations practitioner should understand the different between the analog and digital computer. Digital is better than analog especially for data processing and communication.

With this technology, several information signals could be transmitted over a single channel and reduction in the equipment improvement in speed and reliability obtained. The world today is ruled by an ever-changing information and communication technology revolution. This has further reduced the wide world into one small community. This poses a great challenge to public relations practitioners who uses Nsukka Journal of the Humanities No. To cope with these challenges, public relations practitioners must be computer literate. They must have in their offices modern infotech facilities such as personal computer, laptops, digital telephones, digital cameras, photo and video cameras, fax machines, e-mail addresses, internet facilities etc.

They should also know how to access and use e-mail, browse the internet, learn how to build websites and how to use digital cameras. How digital tools and audiences change public relations Considering that public relations is a communication discipline, one would think that the rapid proliferation of digital tools and rapid communication technologies would make public relations all that more powerful and effective Jeffrey Geibel, In certain consumer-related areas this has certainly been the case, but for most technology-based businesses and multinational corporations, many find that they are not much better off than they were before the digital era.

The acid test is how well your public relations programme supports your corporate image, sales and marketing, by building the critical sales front and of credibility and competitive distinction. Unless the underlying structure is redesigned to take advantage of the new technology the wheels will come off.

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This implies that in this effort you are dealing with someone who has the capabilities to be a public relations architect-turning your vision into executables-not just a hammer and saw trades person. Conventional public relations tools — the press releases, press conferences, press kits, facility visits, trade exhibitions — were designed at the turn of the century for a professional audience of journalists. In the digital era, much of the public relations programme will be addressing non-journalists audience, such as prospects, customers, stakeholders, human rights organizations, industry analysts, prospective employees etc.

These audiences are not accustomed to receiving information in the conventional public relations format and will regard it as cumbersome and annoying. Your information has to be structured and formatted as a quick read if you want to get the message Nsukka Journal of the Humanities No.

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A quick review of what gets posted to most websites and the wire services which are now accessed by internet search engines and desktop news — retrieval software will show you that the conventional press release format is still widely followed — and the information requirements of a digital audience are not being met. Geibel maintains that just as the company works out an annual plan, so should your public relations programmes, and the plan should clearly delineate how the public relations programme will support your business objectives and promote the overall corporate reputation of your company.

Holdings: Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications

Mere product announcements are almost worthless — the real message is how dose your technology help your communicate to your digital audiences? This is the road map to digital public relations results. Conventional public relations programme will have the press kit materials developed once, and then seldom updated except for the new press relations.

You have to keep your press fresh and current. In other words, have a self— renewing story.

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The best self-renewing story is how your customers or clients are using your technology to solve business problems with each new sale, everything is updated—technology, market environment, economic consideration etc. In the conventional public relations approach, the press kit is sent to the targeted media, and the editorial staff is massaged in an attempt to get them to agree to assign a writer to get editorial coverage. In a digital public relations programme, this cumbersome process can be by-passed and the end result, feature story is self-generated by the company as the source material press release for the digital audiences.

An additional benefit is that this is even more effective than a conventional release in dealing with the potential editorial feature—even if they reunite it in their style. With digital public relations programmes, you know who your discreet audiences are and you can set up discreet channels to reach them, which requires responsiveness to their information needs in terms of customization. Rather ironically, writers and editors often comment that although they are badgered daily by conventional public relations types, many times their calls are not returned in a timely manner when they are working on a deadline and need some special information or response.

The loss of a digital can sometimes be a Nsukka Journal of the Humanities No. A quick response by telephone or e-mail often stuns the recipient, and gains some additional mindshare. This is digital public relations. Conclusion Digital public relations as a strategy for corporate reputation management requires a rethinking and restructuring on conventional public relations techniques, not just a digital overlay.

Public relations practices all over the world are becoming technologically driven. Public relations experts are taking advantage of the internet service providers to the corporate benefit of their organizations. Moreover, several high-tech companies have attained industry visibility that is not necessarily justified by their market position or technical leadership, but rather by their ability to leverage the concepts of digital public relations. This has helped them in image building, image maintenance and image sustenance in the globalized world.

In order to achieve these objectives, public relations practitioners should know how to use the internet and how to post their organizations news and features on the websites for the public to access. Computer literacy, swiftness in services delivery, high efficiency and achievement of desired results are the primary responsibilities of a public relations practitioner.

Discussion: The future of Corporate Communications and Marketing - Content Strategy Forum 2014

Enugu: Snaap Press Ltd. Agbo, E. Lagos; Coms. Unique Nigeria Limited. Baron, N.