Asia Pacific Media Educator


This paper seeks to explore the attitudes and practices of public relations (PR) professionals in using the Internet as a PR medium in Taiwan. Specifically, the paper addresses three research questions: (1) What do PR professionals think about the function of the Internet and the roles of online communication in comparison with those of offline communication in Taiwan? (2) Will IT-related corporations be more likely to have a wider scope of Internet applications than non-IT related corporations? (3) Do IT corporations perceive the role of PR differently from non-IT related corporations? Using a semi-structured questionnaire, we conducted in-depth interviews with eight corporations’ PR and marketing department professionals in Taiwan from May 18- June 18, 2001. The findings show that (1) Although the Internet is widely used by PR professionals, it does not alter media strategies significantly; (2) PR professionals in IT corporations tend to practise more Internet communication functions than those in non-IT related corporations; (3) IT corporations are more likely to support the management role of PR professionals, as compared to those in non-IT related businesses. The study suggests that the applications of the Internet vary according to industry type, business strategies and roles of the PR professionals within an organisation.