National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 10885-10891
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.2671
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Public relations literature shows a general focus on public relations specialists` roles and their abilities related to Internet usage. The digital skills that are usually investigated refer to operational, communication, informational and strategic abilities (Deursen & Dijk, 2011). Even though younger generations score higher on digital abilities, for social media roles there are other requirements which should be taken into account. Considering the importance of online reputation for organizations, it is important to investigate how social media roles and abilities are developing. The main objective of this research is to identify the self-evaluated abilities of social media specialists.

Based on previous studies conducted in the Internet literacy field and in public relations, the following digital skills were chosen for evaluation:
(1) information skills,
(2) content development skills,
(3) relationship development and maintenance skills,
(4) evaluation and interpretation skills,
(5) problem solving skills.

Additionally, for the purposes of this research, a quantitative study was conducted. An online questionnaire was used to collect data from 105 social media specialists who are currently managing social media accounts, in Romania. Findings are consistent with similar studies within the field of digital literacy. Information management and communication skills are most present for public relations specialists managing social media accounts. However, the development of most recent digital skills related to technical capacities to produce visual elements is still at its infancy, signaling that practitioners should upgrade their skills to face the challenges of current social media platform management. Communication specialists have the relationship management abilities needed for their current job roles, suggesting progress in this sense. Bidirectional communication is seen as important and attention is dedicated to clients. This ability is important considering that online social networks are mostly used by consumers for customer service requests. Further studies should focus on evaluating relationship management skills based on specific scenarios.

[1] van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2011). Internet skills and the digital divide. New media & society, 13(6), 893-911.
Digital skills, public relations, social media.