The difference between the Internet and the Web
There is an important difference between the internet and the World Wide Web or the Web. Internet refers to the entire infrastructure which allows otherwise incompatible individual computers to communicate with each other, regardless of where they are located. Basically, the internet refers to all computers, telephone or cable lines and network cables that make it possible for any computer to mcommunicate with any other computer, as long as they are connected to the internet.
The Web is situated on top of the internet and allows internet users to share information on the internet by using a URL, which refers to the Uniform Resource Locator. The Web is also often called the “information superhighway”, as coined by Al Gore. It is used to indicate that the Web allows internet users to “travel” in search of information and that all other internet users also “travel” in the same direction (in search of information), which is similar to a highway.
The Web originated from work done by developers Robert Gailiau and Tim Berners-Lee in the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva in 1989.
Impact of the Internet on public relations
Due to the rise of the internet, organizations no longer just function only in the market place (off-line environment). Now they also function in the market space (on-line environment).
The internet opened many new opportunities for organizations to engage in communication: including two way communications, with stakeholders. Corporate websites, e-newsletters and email are some of the ways that allow new and exciting opportunities for organizations to build relationships with stakeholders.
The Internet enhances communication with media. The media relations section of the website may include news and press releases, photographs and any other information and resources that may be useful to media and which may result in positive publicity for the organization. If crises occur, the PR practitioners may use the media relations section of the website as well as emails to keep media informed about the situation and any new information available regarding the crises. The PR department may also offer to media a subscription to weekly email with updates on any happenings connected to the organization.
Websites of organizations may also be used to acquire new customers, build business partnerships and promote the organization’s brand. A well optimized website may contribute greatly to visibility of the brand without any significant investments other than on site optimization and maintenance.
Corporate blogging may be used by the organization to enhance relationships with stakeholders. The concept of blogging originated from the word “weblog” (weblog), as coined by Jorn Barger in 1997.
Corporate blogs are a communication and public relations tool that organizations can use. It is presented in the form of an online diary which is presented in the reverse chronological order. Corporate blogs can be internal, where the target audience is internal stakeholders such as employees and shareholders of the organization. It can also be external, where the target audience is external stakeholders of the organization such as customers and suppliers.