The PR pyramid as model for managing organizational social media presence?

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This paper explores social media as a new tool for Public Relations and also the implications of having a social media presence for organizations, confronting a literature review with empirical findings on emergent practices in organizations and exploring more particularly an example of best practices. Departing from the agreement shared by Public Relations academics and professionals on a profound shift in Public Relations as a consequence social media use, this paper intends to clarify 1) whether social media are tools that redefine PR practices or a contextual factor that redefines the role of Public Relations within organizational communication; and 2) which are the implications for organizations of deciding to manage a social media presence based on an exploratory and trial-and-error logic, vis-à-vis the implementation of concrete strategies.The paper presents an exploratory study that identifies a relevant casestudy: TAP Portugal, the Portuguese airline company. This organization is present on different social media and found its own strategy for successfully managing such presence. Based on this example, we propose a model for managing organizational social media presence – the PR Pyramid – that articulates a combined structure involving Public Relations, Marketing and Customer Care. In times if crises, the Public Relations assume a pivotal role as the orchestrator of integrated communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganisational and strategic communication research
Subtitle of host publicationeuropean perspectives II
EditorsAna Duarte Melo, Ian Somerville, Gisela Gonçalves
PublisherUniversidade do Minho
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789898600363
ISBN (Print)9789898600394
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Public relations
  • Social media
  • Organizational communication
  • Integrated communication
  • Crisis communication


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