The Internet and social media have enabled millions to realize and build relationships. People can now easily connect around common interests and causes. Activism organizations have found great benefit from the broad audiences the Internet has made possible. Now, public relations professionals must realize the increasing power of activism organizations. Corporations should not ignore activism voices; instead, public relations professionals must help corporations build relationships with the activist organizations.
I have begun to research the conversations about activism and public relations by utilizing Google Alerts. The initial results have not provided me with many conversations regarding public relations and activism. However, the results have proven that activist voices are everywhere. Many of the results discussed the activist actions regarding Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. One article described the actions of activists following the funding announcement as a “virtual firestorm.” Examples of activist movement forces prove that public relations professionals should embrace communication with activist groups or their corporations could suffer. Historically, activists have been viewed as enemies of corporations and public relations professionals. Now, publics demand that corporations be socially responsible and act for the benefit of all, requiring public relations professionals to communicate the responsible actions of corporations with activists and other publics. There is no doubt that the relationship between activism and public relations has changed and will continue to change in the years to come. Corporations must embrace this change and the public relations activist.
For more conversations on activism and public relations please interact with me on my blog!