CHAPTER constructs a company image. To define the term

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

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2.1 Introduction

This
chapter provides an overview of literature review based on journals and
research that have conducted before. This research aims to find out the usage
of Facebook and Twitter by Public Relations Practitioner (PRP) on improving
company image and also to find out the difference among the usage of these two
social media. Researcher has studied journals on company image and found out
the importance of audience interaction on social media on improving and
influencing company image. Based on the findings of the past research,
researcher found out how Facebook and Twitter are being used by PRP on
affecting company image. Moreover, researcher has connected the relationship of
usage of social media and company image by using users gratification theory and
two way symmetrical communication models. Researcher does provide a theoretical
framework to figure the main research area in this research.   

 

2.2 Company Image

An image
of a company is the public’s perception towards a company. It is the
preconceived ideas and sometimes it’s just prejudices of audiences from time to
time. Sometimes, the perceptions of public may not reflect a company’s profile accurately,
but for the public it is reality. Kotler provides a definition to company image as “the set of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a person
holds regarding an object. People’s attitudes and actions toward an object are
highly conditioned by that object’s image.” Thus a person’s perception towards a certain company constructs a company image. To define the term ‘company
image’ is difficult as there are too many definitions provided over the decades. Basically,
in the communication process, the aim of
the sender is to bring
out the message as specific as possible
to what it actually in the sender’s mindset. When the message has been decoded and how the
receiver receives it
is actually an image or a set of the thoughts
and feelings the sender had, not the actual thoughts and feelings of the sender
themselves. (Grunig 1993).

Company image refers to how a company is seen. It is the overall image of what a company stands for. The creation of a company image
is an task in perception management. It is created first by public
relations practitioners
and other forms of promotion strategies to form a picture of the
organization to the public. Generally, a company
image is designed to be appealing to the public, so that the company can boost an
interest and attract consumers, generate the same mindset, create
brand equity, and thus leads to high product sales. The company
image is a dynamic and profound affirmation of the type, cultural
aspects and structural
parts of an organization. It applies to all other business
including non government organization and nonprofit organization. The company image says
the organization’s mission, the professionalism of its management, the expertise
part of its employees and its functions within the organization. Every organization has a company image, whether it is positive or negative. It has multiple and different images depending on its
relationships with its different stakeholders (Zinkhan 2001).When
the company image is
properly created and managed by public relations,
the company image will correctly reflecting the standard
of the company’s commitment to quality, their expertise and relationships with its
various publics – including competitors, partners, governing bodies, current
and future clients, workers and potential staff, and the large audience. The company image consists of all the visual, verbal and nonverbal elements that build up
the organization. In many perspectives, the company image should
be a dynamic actualization of the CEO’s vision, together with the company’s
mission and marketing
strategic plan. It should be well planned and
constantly monitored in order to bring support and sustain the company’s
mission. If the
company image is managed effectively, it has the ability to protect an
organization from being attacked by new competitors or current
competitors when
they are launching new products or services (Obasan 2012). So, it combines all the roles and functions of the company. Company image
consists of all the knowledge of the company as a corporate citizen, as an employer and
as an investment.

            2.2.1 Audience Interaction

Audience
interaction is the direct interaction between the company and its
audiences without any barriers. It is created while changing the communication model
from one-to-many to many-to-many. The communication model of many-to-many
allows audiences to speak out their opinion at the same time allowing the
company to manage the feedback and turn it as strategies of company. Through
the direct interaction with audiences, a company is able to show their performance
based on collaboration and seeking for common goals (Kaplen 2009).

Due to
the rise of social media, public relations have found a new way to create
company image. Public Relations use social media by focusing on three formulas
which are actions, reactions and transactions that can impact outcomes, behaviors
and actions. PRP shift their functions from writing press release and traditional
media relations to shareable online content with a relatively new interest in
the direct reach of message (Jeremy 2015). On social media, company can participate
and affect the communication process and consumer perception towards a company.
Even though social media couldn’t be controlled by organization and it might
cause a lot of threats to company’s reputation and image; it could also as a
tool to provide new chances for organization to create relationship with the
public as well as to resolve the crisis. The audience interaction on social
media is expressing through the creation, commenting and sharing of content. Audiences
also have the ability to comment and exchange the content with others and it
will affect the perception of others. The image of company is easily reflected
by the audience’s comment on social media. Whether the comment on social media
is positive or negative, it could reflect organization’s image. Based on the
audience interaction on social media, company could do adjustments and make
improvements (Rita & Zaneta 2013).

Moreover,
the field of public relations tends to more focusing on communication
strategies and tactics, organizational practices as well as management. For example,
common PR tactics including the use of press release, press conferences, event
and publications. All of these may be connected to a social media campaign and
promoted on social media, which pushes content to media and the public (Jeremy
2015). PRP should also use social media as a platform to promote activities, corporate
social responsibility (CSR) as well as servicing by replying audiences
‘comments. Social media interaction can be related to CSR by emphasizing social
responsibility for individuals, groups and companies. Social media enlarge and
facilitate audiences’ voice; not only forcing company response, but also
nudging interest in CSR participation (Jeremy 2015). Hence, company and PRP could
refer to the audience interaction on social media to see what need to be improved.

In short,
the audience interaction on social media is very important as it is a critical
asset that could reflect company image.

 

2.3 Social Media

Social Media is a group of Internet-based
applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web
2.0, it allows the creation and sharing of content, ideas and feelings (Andreas & Michael 2012).  It also include content provided by its users
and emphasize on the conversations and relationships among all users of a
community (Antje 2011). It is a computational tools
that allow people to create, share, or exchange of information, and feelings,
opinions, and images or video in local communities and networks. It is
also developing to encompass the growing and often widely sphere of
contemporary online media practice. Social media impacts the way of how the
public think; experience and practice ‘online media’. It is no longer just a platform
for teenagers to socialize. It has become an essential part of everyday life. This
affects how the audiences reflect and engage with friends, family, colleagues
and politics. Social media further enlarge the changes in the media landscape
and it does provide new platform for engagement (Sam & Larissa 2012). In
today’s society, social media has become an area
of interest to not
only researchers, but also marketers, public relations, education
and economics. It is forced to accept that the power of
rising of social
media has forced many people to be active on internet in order to cope with the current society and survive in today’s world(Aisar & Mohd
& Nur 2016). Moreover, social media
rely on internet technologies and smart phones to produce a collaborative platform, which
people and communities with similar characteristics can create and share user generated
content. They go through large and spacious
modifications on ways of correspondence amongst companies and organizations,
societies and individuals (Anas & Batool 2016).

Social
media has obtained fast popularity within few years after
it exists. Different
types of social media websites have emerged and currently there are uncountable social media channels that connect people to each other. It is generally the platform
for public to
socialize and many are awed by the transformation of communications processes
especially among new generations such as Generation Y and Generation
Z. At first, some of the organizations start using social media to do with
simple marketing and create awareness about their brand. However, these have advanced
to public communications and interactions with customers and other stakeholders
(Icha & Agwu 2015). Moreover, audience in social
media engaged not only with company, they also interact among themselves.  

In fact, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are
the most common channels companies use to carry out their
online marketing communication
for creating brand awareness or just maintain relationship with their public (Otto 2010).

In short,
social media change the traditional communication model which is one-to-one and
one-to-many to many-to-many. It allows people to exchange information, share
ideas, give review to products and services; it also allows organization to
position their brand and reach mutual understandings with audiences.

            2.3.1 Facebook

Facebook was launched in 2004 and have over
800 million active users and there are more than 70 languages available
on the site. Its main
function is serve as a social platform for its users to
establish and maintain relationships in work related situations, in political affiliations
or just among friends and families.

The usage
of Facebook means how frequent the application is being used
daily. It include updating
status on own profile news feed, share photo and video, conducting
personal conversation with others, “Like” and comment
on posts from friends. Status for both online and offline chats on Facebook
among users.
Audiences can converse with single or carry out the chat in a group. It also consists
of the same use as email; photo and documents can be uploaded online. The ‘like’
button indicates preference to particular posts while comment gives chances to
users to share their feelings (Winter 2012).

            2.3.2 Twitter

Twitter
was created by Dorsey, Williams, Stone and Glass and was launched in March 2006.
Twitter has reached about 100 million users by April 2010. The CEO of Twitter
has revealed that Twitter has value of $8 billion and there are more than  550 million tweets per day (Jean 2015). It is an online social networking and micro
blogging service that enables users to send and read short text messages,
called “tweets” where registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only
read them. Its mission is ‘to
give everyone the freedom and power to generate and express ideas and information instantly, without any barriers’. Twitter provide its users the chance to either ‘retweet’, make it as ‘favorite’ or ‘reply’ to any initial tweet and the occasional ‘trending topic’
which will enable the company know what is the current
trend and what the consumers are
buying at that particular period. It provide the opportunity for direct communication between an individual and
any organization. Twitter allows advertisers to send advertisement only to people who mention specific keywords
that may relate to their product or organization in their timelines. This
feature has enabled companies to not only target
their
audiences accurately but to also
have a brief idea on the amount of prospects available. The creation of the
‘hash tag’ enables the attendees to tweet about
the event. By putting the hash tag
sign in the tweet, anybody who views the hash tag will be able to review other’s
view with the same hash tag as well (Icha &
Agwu 2015).

 

2.4 Social Media and Company Image

Due to
the rising of internet, social media has played an important role on forming
and also improving company image. The current situation
in media market requires that public relations which are responsible for developing company image should incorporate the use of internet technologies.

Companies that use new channels of communication
which is social
media could develop and maintain positive image that may
foster customer trust, customer involvement and positive opinion
towards the company. Social media opens chances for
companies to use different
types of means on developing positive company image and company
should allocates more resources for them. It gives a platform for company
to engage with their markets and learn more about customers’ needs and wants, the
important segment as well as customers profile (Christine 2012). The success of public relations in social media for image
formation is
depending on the preparation to communicate, because the
management of social
media and relationship management with
target audiences in social media require new techniques (Rita & Zaneta 2013).

The rising
of social media has led to a change of attitude among
consumers, consumers
are now able to exchange and share information
as well as experiences, learn and know about an organization
from different types
of sources, and make purchasing decisions
dependent on this information without organization being able to affect such
processes. Hence,
content created and communicated by the company on social media will directly
affect company image. There are three main directions
for social media measurement: volume – how many people talk, influence – who
talks, and sentiment – what people talk. Usefulness of social media
communication can be seen by users flow, evaluation and sharing of content,
number of friends on company’s profile. The tone of commented generated by the audiences
can easily reflect the company image on social media (Bergstrand 2011).

In short,
social media has the ability to influence consumer’s perception and behavior
towards a company. Hence, PRP are required to use social media by generating positive
content to target audiences in order to improve company image.

 

            2.4.1 Facebook and company image

Facebook
has become a communication tool that provides many techniques to be creative
and foster customer interest towards a brand. PRP can make simultaneous
Facebook page and media release announcements as a reward to loyal customers. Apart
from that, using social media to cover press conferences and national launch
tours can help coordinate the integration of traditional and social media. By creating
new hash tags or hijacking an existing trending topic, a brand can connect with
new potential customers (Jeremy 2015). It has caused Facebook become a common
tool used by PRP to improve company image.  

            2.4.2 Twitter and company image

Twitter
has been widely used by companies recently as Twitter serves as a tool to improve
company image and maintain relationship between an organization and its public.
According to findings, it is confirmed that Twitter was seen as an alternative
channel for presenting a positive company image (Jeremy 2015). By posting ‘tweets’
and create hash tags, it allows companies to monitor the current trend and make
amendments to current communication strategies. 

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