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

See all articles by Holger Sievert

Holger Sievert

Macromedia University; Technische Universitaet Munchen (TUM); University of Cambridge; Institute for Public Relations

Horst Pütz

Consultant

Date Written: October 3, 2013

Abstract

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

Sievert, Holger and Pütz, Horst, 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 (October 3, 2013). EUPRERA Congress 2013, Barcelona, October 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336641

Holger Sievert (Contact Author)

Macromedia University ( email )

Head of Media School
Bruederstr. 17
Cologne, 50667
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hochschule-macromedia.de/pr

Technische Universitaet Munchen (TUM)

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 88045
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.communicate-program.de

University of Cambridge

Churchill College
Storey's Way
Cambridge, CB3 0DS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cam.ac.uk

Institute for Public Relations

PO Box 118400
2096 Weimer Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611.8400
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.instituteforpr.org/

Horst Pütz

Consultant ( email )

Hauptstrasse 64
Cologne, 50859
Germany

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