The paper "The Practice of Public Relations " is a perfect example of business coursework. Shark culling was a policy by the Western Australia government that aimed at eliminating sharks from the public swimming places. This initiative was adopted after seven people died on the Western Australia coastline between the year 2010 and 2013 due to attack by sharks while swimming. The sharks were to be eliminated through capturing and killing by use of baited drum lines. These are aquatic traps that could attract and capture the shark by use hooks with bait.
The drum lines were put in use in Western Australia along seven beaches between January and April 2014 managing to capture 172 sharks that were among the biggest. According to the Western Australian authorities, this was a necessary move that would restore the confidence of beachgoers. This move was however not received well by the members of public and the animal rights activists who really opposed the policy attracting international attention. Political parties in Australia such as the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens also opposed the policy. Those opposing the policy claimed that culling the sharks, some which are protected by the federal government, was an inhumane, ineffective and an environmentally irresponsible method of preventing attacks by sharks.
Australians came out in great numbers to demonstrate before and after the policy implementation also gaining support from other protestors in South Africa and New Zealand. Implementation of the policy was however abandoned after ten weeks following a recommendation by Western Australia’ s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Influence of social media on the Shark Culling policy Social media refers to various online channels of communication created by users for purposes of social networking.
They bring together an online community through which the members can communicate and share all manner of information ranging from ideas, personal information as well as videos. Such online sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn among others. Social media has been used for business marketing and also for sharing opinions regarding the actions of governments or leaders. As the government of Western Australia was preparing to implement the Shark Culling policy, a campaign from the protestors has already gained popularity in social media sites.
This was after the policy attracted international attention forming part of news coverage by the big media houses such as CNN and BBC. In twitter, a lot of people posted messages against the policy using tags such as #nosharkcull and #noWAsharkcull. Examples of tweets on these tags included one by Richard Branson read “ Western Australian #shark culling based on politics, not science. Should be condemned around the world” while another one from Ricky Gervais read “ I love everything about Australia. The people, the attitude & especially the wildlife.
Please protect your sharks. They were there first: )” . Tia McQueen also wrote, “ @TiaMcQueenI don’ t believe in the #sharkcull and I’ m disgusted my home state of #westernaustralia would even try it – shame on you Mr Barnett” . Information regarding the shark culling policy spread very fast especially due to the role of social media in bringing people from different parts of the world to one common platform. In an article by Steven White titled WA shark cull, he acknowledged how striking it was that the issues had caused a lot of public uproar despite the policy being less damaging compared to what had happened in the East Coast of Australia where thousands of marine animals were killed in the first shark culling programme.
Steve White explained that much attention and how fast the information was able to spread was a possible indicator of the influence of mass communication through social media. The social media was at that time able to spread messages so fast than was the case in the previous years.
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