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CollectBook and Facial Intelligence

Collective Intelligence refers to the capacity of networked ICT’s to exponentially enhance the collective pool of social knowledge by simultaneously expanding the extent of human interactions enabled by communications networks that can generate new knowledge and the greatly enhanced capacity to codify, store and retrieve such knowledge through collective access to networked databases. (Levy, 1997)

Networks and Collective Intelligence are fundamental to the public relations industry to get a message to reach critical mass. Public relations professionals rely on networks of all forms to encourage interaction from their audience. “CI enhances the production of social knowledge by expanding the interactions through communication networks that generate new knowledge and enhance the ability to retrieve and store through collective access to networked databases”. (Lecture notes)

 For a public relations professional, collective intelligence creates a unified understanding of a message amongst its audience, which in turn is crucial  for the dissemination of knowledge.

Using social networks in public relations campaigns  “Network campaigns allow a diverse grouping of organisations and individuals to participate through commitment to a shared purpose, while remaining autonomous individual agents. In this way it is possible to gain additional leverage over decision making bodies through the ‘multiplier effect’ of a coherent message and more efficient deployment of resources and effort, while maintaining the flexibility and energy that more bureaucratic forms of co-ordination tend to squander”. Miller (2004:208)

Public relations professionals can use the collective intelligence concept to make better decisions, it can provide a variety of viewpoints that can deter self serving-bias. User engagement powers pooled knowledge. Companies and products expand through word of mouth.

The growing significance of networks within public relations has been pursued by a societal shift in usage behaviors of new media and advancements in technology . For example , if a P.R professional needs to reach a critical mass, they could use facebook as a means to reach and tap into different groups of collective intelligence to promote their business/product/brands/services etc.

Facebook  is a world-wide social network used my billions of individuals and businesses to connect, socialize, network and advertise.  Due to its viral nature and ability to view all social networking, people can see the activity of friends and friends of friends, and are then able to access information and links to other people, companies, blog spots etc.  This can be done by simply following links to different network locations, adding friends and using “I like” applications to be a part of new communities and collective intelligence groups. 

A small business can utilize facebook as a way to not only maintain their current clientele but by integrating other business links to their pages so that more customers can see what other activities are available or progressing. This then creates an avenue into other networks where they can access more customers who may not be directly involved with them.  Networks like facebook  have the opportunity to generate instant recognition and awareness of a product, service or business networks.

Social networks like facebook enable sharing information more effectively for business groups than “word of mouth” it is also cost a effective tool.

Taking advantage of a collective Intelligence can be a very impactful and useful in communication for Public Relations professionals, however, there is a very big concern for a loss of control. Unwanted and undesirable outcomes can have a drastically damaging effect on a company or brand. “The collective makes a decision that could harm the company revealing flaws.” ( Bonabeau, 2009).

Unpredictability can also be the cause of chaos for an organisation and the snowballing effect by using social networks and the collective intelligence that is attached with it. An opinion might gain momentum and this can lead to negative outcomes.


Eric Bonabeau,(May 2009), Decisions, MIT Sloan management, The power of collective intelligence.

T. Flew (2008), New Media, an introduction 3rd edition, Oxford Press.

Jeffery Brand, Lecture notes 2011


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