For my dissertation at Plymouth University I had to the opportunity to choose a topic on my own; and as a student in International Business I was allowed to pick any business- or marketing-related area.
I’ve always been very passionate about social media and because I want to pursue career in PR I decided to research social media’s impact on PR practice.
My study investigated how social networking and online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc have changed Public Relations.
I examined the dynamic of the PR discipline before and after the rise of social media and focused on how it affected the communications practice for organisational purposes.
I also looked at the way modern PROs use social media tools in their normal day-to-day work activities as well as for personal reasons.
For my research I conducted a survey as well as seven interviews with PR practitioners. The infographic below only represents a summary of the results of the online questionnaire. The actual findings are much more detailed and in-depth. Some of the interview transcripts can also be found on my blog.
Writing this dissertation allowed me to properly dive into the communications theory and practice, which I didn’t really had the chance doing while focusing on my BA studies in International Business. Performing the research and analysing the findings has not only helped me enhance my knowledge of PR and of the use of social media for communications purposes, but I’ve also made some great contacts in my chosen field.
I was very happy with the positive feedback and the result I received – 75%. I consider this an achievement because I didn’t have much practical experience in PR, and because I am not native in the language I wrote the dissertation in. English is just another foreign language for me.
The infographic below shows a summary of the findings. The actual results are much more detailed and in-depth as all survey questions not only had pre-determined answer options, but also open-ended questions asking for explanations, more details and opinions.
Nevertheless, the following should still give you some food for thought.