Social Media Newsrooms in public relations: A conceptual framework and corporate practices in three countries.
The rise of social media in organizational settings has opened up new horizons for strategic communication. However, there are also drawbacks. Arguably the most important one is increased complexity. Many communication departments use a multitude of platforms ranging from corporate websites, campaign microsites and blogs to services like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with stakeholders. Social Media Newsrooms (SMNRs) have been introduced as instruments to reduce this complexity. The basic idea is straightforward: SMNRs aggregate social media content provided by the organization and/or thematic content about the organization and its key issues from several platforms in one place. Although SMNRs have been used in public relations practice around the world since the concept was first introduced in 2007, empirical evidence is still missing. This paper closes the research gap by (a) introducing SMNRs from a conceptual perspective based on a literature review, (b) exploring opportunities and challenges for strategic communication, (c) researching empirical manifestations and modes of usage by corporations in three major international markets (United States, United Kingdom, and Germany) based on a comprehensive content analysis of the 600 largest companies and 2045 affiliated brands and subsidiaries, and (d) explaining implications for the practice of public relations..