Taken from Google Images

Social media websites have become one of, if not the most dominating aspect of the internet. There are countless types of social media websites that all vary in purpose and popularity. Some are for purely social connection, some are used for multimedia purposes (music, photos, videos), some are used for fundraising, some are used for businesses and product, and the list goes on. Sietel explains on page 360 that while the Internet & social media websites have changed communications, but is clear in pointing out that they haven’t in any way replaced human relationships and their value. He states that while they are useful to communication, they are merely tools.

The most interesting part of the chapter, I thought, was the portion where Sietel discusses the emergence of Twitter, something that we’ve become very familiar with in COMM 306. He talks about Twitter’s journey and evolution to its relevance in public relations today. According to Sietel, Twitter’s major boom came towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century, around 2009. It became extremely popular among NBA stars, and quickly spread to all celebrities and politician alike. Twitter underwent a lot of criticism as it began to become increasingly widespread. Sietel discusses how critics would call twitter a “little more than a passing fad for ‘people with nothing to say… writing for people with nothing to do'”. However, the criticism didn’t slow Twitter down, as it soon began to become a notable public relations tool. To start, journalists began tweeting about potential stories that they might cover. It has now evolved into a public relations tool that almost no company can afford to ignore. It has become a “direct integrated marketing vehicle” (Sietel, p. 372). Companies can use Twitter to direct Twitterers to their websites, promote their brand name, and directly market their products.