theory

Uses and Gratification (U & G) Theory
has been the main theory of communication that explains what people do with the
media (Aisar &
Mohd & Nur 2016). Uses and gratifications theory is
applicable in explaining a variety of media uses and consequences. It assumes
that individuals select media and content to fulfill their needs (Zhang 2012).  

It is a
psychological communication perspective that examines how individuals use mass
media. Individuals select media and content to fulfill felt needs and wants.
These needs are expressed as motives for adopting particular medium use, and
are connected to the social and psychological makeup of the individual. Based
on perceive needs, social and psychological characteristics, and media
attributes, individuals use media and experience related gratifications. The
perspective can be used to understand a variety of media uses and consequences.
It assumes relatively active audiences, which consciously selects content and
media to satisfy specific needs or desires (Zizi 2008). In today’s society, social
media can also fit in the definition of user generated media (Jacques &
Abbas & Yasha 2013).

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The
emergence of social media and its emphasis on participation modes of use has
many significant implications for the study of media and society more broadly.
As social media has become a participative medium now, people’s online
experience increasingly involves methods of actively providing information
about what they are doing, or what they think of something. This might be as
simple as a Facebook ‘like’ button. Participation can take various forms of
agency from user generated content, in which users forward content made by the
user. Every time audience participates or partake in various forms of labor sharing
from creative and social to emotional and affective labor (Sam & Larissa
2012). Moreover, users process photographs, charts and other visual
communication, such as video, these stimuli are consumed and sometimes result
in reactions. For example, Facebook ‘shares’ and ‘likes’, Twitter ‘favourites’
and ‘re-tweets’, Pinterest board ‘pins’ follow consumption. At the same time, a
user decision to post new content or share content from others may result in
additional response from others (Jeremy 2015).

From
Public Relations perspective, it is described as the
general activity on the web where consumers contribute their own control of
their own content. This
content could be conversation on
forums and social network sites in general, posts and comments on blogs,
product reviews on product review sites, videos on video sites and general online
interactive sites.
It includes all the new media technologies that an
organization’s publics can use to express their views about organization on the
Internet (Feng &
Li 2009).

In short,
Public Relations Practitioners use social media as a platform to create content
to achieve the purpose of improving company image.  

 

2.6 Two-way symmetrical communication model

Two-way symmetrical
communication model is one of the communication model proposed by Grunig.
Initially, two-way symmetrical communication appears to
be an assumption that dialogue, which is often alluded to as symmetrical
engagement between two participants, is the ideal form of communication in
Public Relations practice.

In
networked communication environments the audiences are no longer simply
consumers of media: they have become participants. The internet-based media is
participative because it is two-way. One aspect of participation is public
response. Commenting on a news story in an online newspaper is a kind of
participation, although it is a kind of participation that rehearses earlier
types of media such as radio talkback and letters to the editor of a newspaper.
This kind of participation is something that has been written about widely,
especially in social media and Web-2.0-branded marketing texts. The common
exhortation is that the web is a conversation, a rhetoric that has become a
contemporary business mantra (Sam & Larissa 2012).

From organization’s
view, two-way symmetrical communication focuses on
two-way communication as a means of conflict resolution and for the promotion
of mutual understanding between an organization and its important publics (Petra & Khairiah 2017). While from
public relations’ perspective, social media have a huge
impact moving public relations into the direction of facilitating more two-way
communication by opening up direct channels of communications between
organizations and their publics as well as enhancing and facilitating mutual understanding (Donald
2008). The practice of public relations is evolving and
the two-way symmetrical model is a teeter-totter that is slowly moving from
being unequally balanced on the side of corporate and government interest and
is moving toward a more balanced center (Adrianne 2007). Using
two-way communication, practitioners now hope that their communication efforts
will result in knowledge gain, understanding, and other high-order cognitive
effects that are more likely to underpin longer-lasting relationships (Petra & Khairiah 2017). Some
think that two-way communication brings with it the
potential to enhance authenticity, accountability and transparency (Donald 2008). Hence, public
relations departments in organizations and consultancies are using social media in ways that exploit their interactive
two-way communication capabilities (Jim 2010).

In short,
by using social media, PRP are able to achieve two-way symmetrical
communication with their public.