Redefining Internal PR? Theoretical Remarks and Empirical Results of a New Interview Survey on the Organisational Role and Function of Strategic Internal Communication in the Age of Internal Social Media
EUPRERA Congress 2013, Barcelona, October 2013
12 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 3, 2013
To remain competitive in a more and more interactive world, organisations need to align their actions with new social developments. The main role of Public Relations (PR) is to seek legitimacy to act not only to external stakeholders of an organisation, but also to the internal ones. Social media are a key accelerator of this process.
With the Web 2.0 becoming quite rapidly established, more and more passive recipients grow into actively producing participants in, according to the theory of Giddens (1984, p. 25), “a structure that is constantly reproduced and changed through the interaction of its users”. Therefore, the literature on internal communication also reflects this issue more and more.
However, all these references are basically tool oriented and do not ask about the impact that new media developments will have, especially in the case of full “Enterprise Social Networks” (ESN) for companies and regarding their function for internal PR.
Hence, the social intranets mentioned are one of the main drivers to make organisations innovative, flexible and therefore successful in the fast changing modern world. This also means that internal PR has to become a strategy in itself and its roles and functions, as well as principles, will need to be rethought.
This paper proposal presents the precondition for redefining internal PR in this way and focuses on the results of an empirical heuristic study with nearly 700 interviewees from German companies on these issues among communication professionals as well as among general management responsibles.
Keywords: PR, internal communication, social media, ESN, enterprise social networks
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation