Collective intelligence and Public Relations

Collective intelligence has a significant benefit relating to public relations practitioners, as the field pride individuals as being skilled networkers, which therefore results in effective communicators. The social media networks of twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube are all primarily based on collective intelligence and have also resulted in the change of the image of public relations. This has been achieved by creating networks before the Internet PR practioners couldn’t have imagined. The editor of Social Media Explorer, Jason Walls states, “social media is the public relations of the online world”. (Falls, 2008). Social networks such as blogs and social networks make up components of PR. Falls believes that social media will “evolve into components of sophisticated public relations effort”(Falls, 2008). This can be ensured by PR practitioners by making sure they are ready to embrace the responsibility of social media, which can therefore turn the concept of collective intelligence into the most powerful networking tool for coming generations.

 Collective intelligence used in Public Relations can have significant impact on the industry itself and the clients involved when put in place. This is particularly evident when individuals from the external environment into a company, which may not have the intended companies, best interest at heart. Which leads to a damaging reputation for a company and therefore leaves the public relations practitioners  to amend the damaging reputation. But also there is a strong possibility that collective intelligence can bring benefits to transform the company’s reputations and the involved clients and PR practitioners.

Case Study: Mc Donald’s Japan: A case study of effective PR

 Mc Donald’s in Japan improved its image through their food education, which was classified as a corporate social responsibility activity. The company itself incorporated public school teachers, which had an email interview with a representative. Being involved in the company’s program chose the teachers. They explain that the company has now improved their corporate image, which is believed to be contributed to the increase of the sales performance.

This case study was effective due to the impact of the successful PR practioners of Mc Donald’s. Their high level of involvement in schools contributed this. Firstly the corporate image amongst school’s were improved trough their food education food program. After watching video clips individuals believed that the company itself had a high standard of sanitation. Other individuals were pleased with the company’s approach of the quality of educational material. Most teachers acknowledged the use of social contribution that was involved.

PR practitioners were not seen to be well developed in the country until the middle of the 20th century, which has contributed to their affect practices as a collectivistic culture. PR practitioners in japan are seen to maintain a strong relationship with journalists for the prime purpose of being able to use the media as an endorser of a particular product to help establish a trustworthy relationship with their consumers. This can be contributed to the Mc Donald’s campaign and why media have not reported negatively about the education that was put in place in schools. Through the combined relationship of the media and school teachers, Mc Donald’s have seemed to be able to have a more favorable reputation. Due to the effective use of Mc Donald’s implementing successful PR practitioners it has been seen that schools are continuing to grow and also this has had an impact on the sales performance of the company as a whole. 


Falls, J. 2008). Social media is the responsibility of public relations. Retrieved 10/26, 2010, from

Pelham, C. (2010).The Use of Collective Intelligence in Public Relations. Available: Last accessed 22 October 2013.

Takano, K. (2013). McDonald’s Japan: A case study of effective public relations. Public Relations Review, 39(1), 60-62. Retrieved from:


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