Challenges in using contemporary Digital Tools in media relations practice in Nigeria
Ben-Collins Emeka Ndinojuo1
* Eric Godam Gbeneka2
Yeibo Edward Diegbegha3
1-4. Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria.
This research conceptually investigates the importance, prospects and challenges of using contemporary digital technology in media relations functions of public relations practitioners as outlined by earlier scholars. Media relations is significant to the public relations practitioner because public relations as a function looks at maintaining a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both the organisation and the public, media relation, on the other hand, lays emphasis on a mutual relationship between an organisation and the media in order to serve the interests of both the organisation and the public. The world is moving digitally where there is a convergence of technologies used in communication. This paper attempts to review the tools and how relevance these new media technologies are, as well as the challenges public relations practitioners, encounter in their adoption of these technologies in their media relations functions. The research points out that some new media technologies like the internet (websites, email, social media, blogs), video news releases, webcasting, videoconferencing etc. are in some way interconnected with the diverse media of communication due to technological innovations and media convergence, and have today transformed media relations practice universally notwithstanding the myriads of issues such as high cost of new technologies, cyber security, corruption, low level of internet penetration, poor funding, lack of training opportunities, epileptic power supply and other challenges not captured in this study all posing as challenges to the effective application media relations practice by PR practitioners in Nigeria. It is believed that the government and all stakeholders will pull resources together so that media relations practice in Nigeria will improve significantly and hopefully in the not too distant future be at par with what is obtainable in developed countries.
Key words: Media Relations, Public Relations, Media, Nigeria, Digital, New Media
Public relations practices have grown globally over time. In advanced countries, most organisations make use of public relations practitioners to manage and launder their image to achieve a favourable perception with their publics. Digital equipment and technologies have greatly improved how public relations is practiced. The internet and its streaming capabilities have ensured that organizational events can be streamed live as they happen globally instead of the former practice of maybe paying a broadcaster for live broadcast.
In underdeveloped countries like Nigeria, public relations practice has not developed like in the Western nations. A lot of factors come into play such as; mode of conducting business, expertise, education, technological deficiencies, cost, corruption, dictatorship, adoption of new media etc. We shall attempt to outline some of these digital tools and the challenges of applying them in public relations practice in….
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