3/10/2017 | PSYCHOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION Page Content Newsflash: times have changed. Technology has been the driving force behind many developments across a number of industries. This has altered the way we see, perceive, and do things. PR is no different; in fact it’s an industry that’s been greatly influenced by the new age. This makes public relations courses an integral part of ensuring that new candidates entering the industry have what it takes to succeed.In 2017, a good Media Liaison person needs to know all there is to know about online PR, something that was unheard of 20 years ago. Why? Because technology has changed the way we interact with our audiences and the way that they think of us. If online public relations are neglected or mismanaged, it could result in the band’s demise. Here’s why…It’s a sign of the timesKeeping up with social media and technological developments helps brands and personalities stay relevant. If they don’t, they’ll suffer greatly for it. This isn’t always smooth sailing though. Consider the number of times you’ve witnessed a brand being attacked on social media from disgruntled fans. How did the brand respond to this person and how quickly was the issue resolved? Good online public relations and even better community management helps brands keep communication flowing with their consumers and potential consumers. And with digital showing no signs of slowing down, it’s an absolute necessity.Reputation is everythingSure, this is nothing new but online reputations can be turned to something negative alarmingly fast. From a Facebook post gone wrong to a misinterpreted blog post, every brand needs a fast-thinking, and even faster acting. team who can manage their online reputation and salvage even the most uncomfortable of situations.It’s where the masses hang outToday, the average person is spending more time on their screens than ever before. In 2010, American venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers reported that the average person spent around 7.6 hours in front of a screen. Today, that’s become 9.9 hours. We’re also more likely to view a brand on social media or use its accounts to voice a complaint. This means that online PR is a vital part that helps brands maintain their market share.Learn, evolve and succeedIf you’ve got big dreams to make a name for yourself in the PR world, you need to know all the inside industry secrets. For more on how The IIE’s Diploma in Public Relations (DipPR) can help you reach your career goals, why not click here, www.varsitycollege.co.za. Varsity College is a brand of the Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).