The birth of the World Wide Web started in 1995. In 1995, there are only 16 million users of the internet. As the year’s passed, the number of internet users grew to 400 million in 2001 and still increasing to date (Castells 2002 ). Internet has been used to interact with others, give information, entertain, provide updates related to current events and among others. It has also been used by most of the business sectors in promoting their products, introducing new technologies and even selling products over the internet without sacrificing huge costs on advertisements (Castells 2002).
It has been a strategy that worked for most. For some, internet is used as promotion of press releases. This can be in the form of news or statements. The technological advances in communication such as the internet have changed the nature of public relations. Public relations do not rely anymore on face-to-face interaction with clients, customers but it was done over the internet (Huberman 2001).
Online Public Relations
Online public relation is more than just a press release.
This can be handled by an advertising company, individual or an agent that works for a publicity of a certain product. A successful PR is properly outlined and skilfully done from a very good idea. An online PR is usually advertised through setting-up of homepages or websites. These websites contain company profiles, news articles, blogs, discussion board, and especially the company’s social responsibility. Some of the successful PRs are homepages where products are advertised not just for the benefit of the company but also found to be helpful in an individual or community accessing the website or even using the product the company is promoting.
Websites and homepages are the online vehicles to take messages to public in a faster way. This has been used by the companies because they saw that it does not only reach wider audience but also seen to be cost-effective. It is cost-effective because instead of publishing many releases and distributing to different media outfits it is much cheaper to post the news and other updates over the internet.
One of the chosen homepage to be evaluated using the online PR techniques is the site www.campaignforrealbeauty.com. The website tells that it is a site of the Dove Company. The website contains various topics that is also related to the products of the company. The splash page of the site does not reveal what the site is all about unless you choose the country where you from. The lay-out of the site is very simple and easy to navigate. Anyone who opens it will not have the hard time where to point the cursor and search for different topics. Content wise the website offers different topics that are helpful to the readers. Readers are grouped into two: girls and adult girls. Through this girls will get different tips, different discussion board for their problems and solutions of it. The website does not only promote the products of Dove but also as a responsible company in promoting real beauty.
In terms of promoting the products of Dove the company used online PR techniques that matched the objective of the company. Dove is promoting real beauty, how it should be perceived regardless of ethnicity, race or colour.
One of the techniques used by Dove is the “Product” advertising. Product advertising provides a good lay-out and design. Pictures are provided so that it can stimulate not only the mind but also the eyes of the audience. This kind of technique conveys ideas to the audience how good the product is and how it makes personality based on the inputs of the loyal users which their testimonies are provided also in one of the topics of the website.
The Dove’s website conveys ideas through pictures and graphics. The splash page of the website speaks for itself. The picture composed of women of different colours and race. The different ethnicity and race is manifested on the different countries where the audience get to choose. As the site is explored products of Dove are introduced, how it should be done and who should use it to attain beauty. Beauty here is represented by the Dove products that should be used but indirectly saying it. What makes Dove’s advertisement different from others is that it makes the advertising believable through the confessions and statements of the readers how using the products changed the way they perceive beauty. Discussion board, letters to Editor and Blogs are helpful in communicating the problems of girls and women. Because of this, they get to choose the products, use it over and over again and even introduce to their friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Another technique employed by Dove was “Selling” the company. It can be linked to “product” advertising but most of the researchers say that it goes beyond products. It is where the company itself is sold to the audience, customers or clients. This technique usually employs a slogan where the customers can remember all the time whenever they purchase products.
Dove used to advertise its product the by-line of “ Dove Self-esteem Fund.” It is the social responsibility of the company to give back what is due to their audience by creating a fund that will help women in achieving real beauty. Through this campaign of the company it can be remembered not only by women but by the users who are familiar with Dove. The campaign for real beauty of Dove does not only build its sales up but builds its reputation as well.
Communication Theories (Defining Communication theories, 2001)
The internet has opened new doors on how the ideas be communicated to the audience properly. Communication theories can be identifiable in the campaign site of the Dove Company. Some of these theories are Coordinated management of meaning, Cultivation analysis, Cultural studies, Face-Negotiation Theory, The Narrative Paradigm, The Rhetoric, Symbolic interaction, and Uses and gratifications.
Coordinated Management of Meaning. The campaign website created a clear understanding to the audience that it is selling a product but these products are not the basis of the real beauty but on how each individual creates its own personality within the environment.
Cultivation analysis Theory. The website is a tool used by Dove to link the messages to the public particularly the girls and moms. Media, such as homepages and websites, are sent o be effective in sharing experiences directly or indirectly. The website can either cultivate a positive or negative attitude based on what they have understood from the campaign.
Cultural studies. Although the campaign for real beauty is seen to be effective but still one of the objectives of the website is profit. It is undeniable for a company that even if it employs such as the campaign something behind is how it can also build profit.
Face-Negotiation Theory. The idea of the campaign was to unite different cultures, race and ethnicity which are evident even in the splash page of the website. The objective is to define what real beauty is. This is not about colour or culture but this is about how each difference can be an instrument in uniting different cultures. Through the introduction of Dove in this kind of campaign conflict can be avoided amongst cultures.
The Narrative Paradigm. In this theory humans are regarded as storytellers. In the website, experiences from others who have used the products or how they perceive beauty are the instrument to persuade audience. Speakers should be seen as credible by the readers so that they will also use the products that are advertised by the company. In this theory, coherence and logic should be visible in the articles.
The Rhetoric. Persuasion is the key in this theory. By providing the right and enough information to the audience it is good to note that the idea is effective.
Symbolic interaction. The creation of blogs and discussion board is also important in motivating the audience and how to cope with their differences. The pictures and graphics are effective in changing the ways of people and how they interact with their community.
Uses and gratifications. This is how the audience choose what information they should believe in order to cope with the changes around them. The media can say anything about the environment but the audience has the right what to do and how to deal with it.
The internet is very powerful in creating or destroying anyone or anything. It provides information that is accessible for everyone to understand. But it can also create chaos if this information is not properly delivered to the audience.
The internet where the homepages and websites are posted show various meanings to the audience. It shapes the life of a person but can be dangerous if it is not properly understood.
The Dove Company funded so much to create the website that will not only sell their products but make anyone of what they real feel for themselves.
- Castells,M. 2002. The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society.
- Defining Communication Theories. 2001. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..Available at http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/westturner/student_resources/theories.htm
- Huberman, B. A. 2001. The Laws of the Web: Patterns in the Ecology of Information. The MIT Press.
- Phillips,D. 2001. Online Public Relations.
- Tordecilla, M.A.C. 2006. Has online PR grown beyond traditional PR? Available at http://www.superarticle.com/
Cite this Communication and Technology
Communication and Technology. (2016, Sep 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/communication-and-technology/