Friday, March 28, 2008

Are Social Networks For You?

Social networking has been given a lot of attention from non-profit organizations that want to reach a larger number of publics. Indeed, many non-profit organizations use Facebook, Bebo and other social networks to recruit new volunteers, communicate with audiences that are interested in their cause, gain support from authorities or even raise money.
From the other hand, many non-profit organizations that used social networks as a tool to help them on their cause, not only failed in meeting their expectations but also lost a substantial amount of time (money) and effort in trying to maintain an online social network.
Brett Bonfield, in his article “should your organization use social networking sites?” published in IDEALWARE, explores how and whether social networking sites fit in an organization’s non-profit goals. He had resulted in six guidelines for the non-profit organizations on how to know if social networking isn't right for them.

Six Signs that Social Networking Isn't for your Organization
1. You're still trying to get a handle on your basic software infrastructure.
2. Your target audiences aren't using social networking tools
3. You don't have time to experiment with something that might not work.
4. You're not willing to deal with technologies that don't work as well as they could.
5. You're not ready to invest in gaining a real understanding of the medium.
6. You want clear editorial control over your brand and message.
Taken from [accessed 28/03/08]
In my opinion, the above reasons are guidelines not only for non-profit organizations but for all the organizations that are considering using social networking as a communication tool. Just because it works for another company’s priorities this does not mean that it can work for everyone. Organizations should take into consideration many things before deciding to use social networks as a communication tool.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

..To Be or Not To Be?..

Although social networks has many implications on Public Relations and all its activities, several ethical issues have risen relevant to this relatively new phenomenon of communication. As Hilary commented in my previous post, “SOCIAL NETWORKING: A NEW PR TOOL”, many employees are using social networks and employers are really worried that some information or bad rumors relevant to their companies might reveal with but consequences for the organization’s image. From the other hand, everybody has the right to voice his/her opinion on a subject even if he is an employee who disagrees with the organization’s activities. Is it??
Ethical questions arise about social networks and employee communications like:
· Is it ethical for an employee to comment on the company’s social network negative things about the organization he/she works for?
· Is it ethical for an employer to monitor or even “punish” an employee who has written negative things about his organization?

Could someone comment on this dilemma?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Social Networking: A new PR tool

Social networking has been long gone far away from a teenage-activity to online environments with many impilications for Public Relations. Millions of users spend enormous amounts of time in MySpace, FaceBook etc. and many business have been interested in creating their sites in these social networks. Their purpose is communications, keeping their clients informed about company’s changes, campaigns, events, general news, introduce new products etc. At the same time, consumers join to get information, exchange and voice their opinions (positive or negative) more easily.

Social Networking is definitely a challenge for corporations that they should use it effectively for their communication strategies. Generally speaking, the impact of technology in Public Relations practices is a fact and a subject that is widely researched in the PR industry. In the official site of IPR many researches have been published concerning PR and the effects of technology in communication strategies.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

UK Facebook users soar to 3.5m

Facebook has enjoyed huge growth in popularity in the past six months and now has more than 3.5 million users in the UK.
Londoners make up the social networking website's second largest regional user group worldwide, with around 450,000 in the capital.
Figures compiled by comScore for showed a steady increase in UK unique users up to just over 500,000 in October 2006.
But since then UK user numbers have rocketed, to 1.35 million in December and 2.67 million in March.
By the end of April, comScore estimates Facebook was being used by an estimated 3.69 million people in the UK.
The figures record a year-on-year traffic growth of 1,617%, but still put Facebook behind MySpace, Bebo, Windows Live Spaces, Blogger and Piczo in terms of UK social networking websites.
Facebook's audience share among the top 10 UK social networking sites is around 16%, compared with MySpace's 43%.
The website estimates that 1.4 million of its UK users are "active", defined as someone that uses that site at least once a month. Globally, Facebook has 23 million active users.
"We've seen phenomenal growth in the United Kingdom over the past few months," said Matt Hicks, the senior manager of corporate communications for Facebook.
"I wouldn't be able to pinpoint a specific reason for the recent growth in the UK, other than our overall pattern of growing exponentially. We're growing at a rate of 3% a week."
Mr Hicks said that Facebook's network of London users was accessed by 450,000 people.
Strong international growth this year has been driven by English-speaking countries, with the UK third behind the US and Canada.
Growth has also been strong in Norway, Australia, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Sweden and India.
Facebook this week stated that its users have uploaded 1.7bn photos - with more than 60m added each week.
"While still small compared to MySpace, Facebook is showing phenomenal growth numbers," said Bob Ivins, the comScore executive vice-president and managing director for Europe.
"What we see is that sites in this space get to a tipping point and create a virtuous cycle, so the larger they grow the more people that want to check it out.
"And the more people that check it out by visiting the larger they grow - and so on. It looks like Facebook is getting to that point," Mr Ivins added.

This article is taken from