The use of Internet in public relations and its impact on the practice: a New Zealand perspective
This study explores the trends in the application of various Internet tools in the public relations practice of New Zealand and the impact these have on certain key aspects of the practice such as skills, encroachment, gender balance and ethics. A mixed methods approach including an online survey and semi-structured in-depth interviews has been followed. An attempt has been made to answer the research questions with the aid of the data collected from 133 survey respondents and ten interview participants. The findings revealed that there are considerable variations in the use and application of the different online tools in the New Zealand public relations practice. This discrepancy was found to have been influenced by the area of work and experience of the practitioners along with their knowledge of the Internet and the organisational environment they operated in. Further, it appears that practitioners do not have a full grasp of the nature of online tools and their scope of utilization in the practice. Areas of further investigation have been highlighted and recommendations have been made for the future researchers to help aid a better understanding of online public relations.