New Tactics in Public Relations: Opening Dialogue through the Use of Weblogs

Christa N. Hines’ Introduction to Executive Summary*

The trend toward computer-mediated communication continues to expand with real implications for those in the business of communicating and building relationships with others. In the field of public relations, in particular, it is vital that practitioners understand the online opportunities for reaching target audiences, including consumers, investors, employees, and the media. In addition, it is just as important to attempt to understand what elements attract these online audiences.

This executive summary highlights the results from a study that explored: (1) how public relations practitioners and other professionals use one of the newest Internet phenomena, called weblogs, or blogs, to reach their internal and external audiences; (2) why they are motivated to blog; and (3) if strong working relationships can be created and maintained online. A weblog – blog for short – is an online diary of sorts that enables anyone who considers himself a writer to post opinions, news, and commentary in a forum that allows feedback from readers.

*An Executive Summary of A Thesis Presented to the School of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha,  September 2006