Archive | September, 2010

Ch. 2- The Evolution of Public Relations

26 Sep

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition-Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

  • Public relations is as old as ancient civilizations
    • Speech writing in Plato’s time
    • King’s College (now Columbia University) issued its first news release in 1758
    • Public Relations played a role in The Boston Tea Party, called “…the greatest and best-known publicity stunt of all time..”
  • Phineas T. Barnum
    • Great American showman of the 19th century
    • Master of the pseudoevent (planned happening that occurs primarily for purpose of being reported)
    • Knew value of third-party endorsement
      • Donated proceeds to charity, so event would attract many of the town’s opinion leaders

1900 to 1950: Age of Pioneers

  • PR transformed by individuals such as Henry Ford, Ivy Lee, George Creel, Edward B. Bernays, and Arthur Page
  • Public Relations moved from press agentry to the more journalistic approach of distributing accurate public information
  • Ivy Lee
    • First public relations counselor
    • Princeton graduate and former business journalist for New York Times
    • Remembered for
      • Advancing concept that business and industry should align themselves with the public interest
      • Dealing with top executives and carrying out no program unless it had the active support of management
      • Maintaining open communication with the news media
      • Emphasizing the necessity of humanizing business and bringing it’s public relations down to the community level of employees, customers, and neighbors
  • Edward L. Bernays
    • Nephew of Sigmund Freud
    • Father of modern public relations
    • Created new model of PR that emphasized the application of social science research and behavioral psychology

1950 to 2000

  • After WWII, U.S. population grew, economy expanded, and big business became the norm
  • Because of the changes, Americans felt alienated and businesses were separated from their publics
    • Public relations boomed!
  • Idea of issues management was added to the job description of public relations manager
  • By 2000, scholars and practitioners began to conceptualize the practice of public relations as the “relationship management”

Recent Trends

  • Females have become the majority of public relations
    • Comprise 70% of public relations practitioners in America
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Ch. 4- Public Relations Departments and Firms

26 Sep

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics- 9th edition. Dennis L. Wilcox & Glen T. Cameron

  • Survey of CEOs to discover what key attributes they were looking for in a communications head
    • Detailed knowledge of the business
      • Be an expert in communications as well as having a knowledge of business and details of the particular company
    • Extensive communications background
    • A crystal ball
      • Anticipate how different audiences will react
    • C-suite credibility
      • Experience in actually running a business or division
    • Extensive internal relationships
      • Know employees at every level
    • Team player
    • Educator
      • Educate CEOs and rest of company on communications skills and how to develop strategies for communicating company’s values
  • Companies views of PR departments
    • Mixed organic/mechanical organizations
      • Authority and power of the PR department is quite high
    • Small scale organizations
      • Scant PR activity
        • Staff perform technician roles as producing company newsletter and issuing routine news releases
        • PR has little and no input into management decisions and policy formation
    • Top-level management in many organizations perceives PR as primarily a journalistic and technical function
    • Large-scale mechanical organizations of low complexity, think of PR as only a support function of the marketing department
  • PR firms VS. Corporate PR
    • PR Firm
      • Pros
        • Variety
          • Work on several clients and projects at a time
          • Fast-paced, exciting
          • Networking leads to better job opportunities
      • Cons
        • Seldom see impact of your work for a client
        • Intense daily pressure on billable hours, high productivity
        • Somewhat high employment turnover
        • Budgets and resources can be limited
        • Salary traditionally low at entry level
    • Corporate PR
      • Pros
        • Less intense daily pressure
        • Less turnover
        • More resources
        • Salaries tend to be higher
        • Benefits usually good
      • Cons
        • Jobs more difficult to find without experience
        • Sometimes little variety at entry level
        • Slower paced
        • Hard to find time for networking



If I could choose any era for PR…

25 Sep

TOW #4

If I could work in an era of PR history before I was born, I would choose to work during the 1950s. The reason for this is because the booming economy during that time after WWII produced rapid growth in public relations. Rapid changes were occurring such as major increases in urban and suburban populations, the growth of a more impersonalized society, advances in science and technology, and the revolution in communications. Citizens began to feel alienated and confused by these changes causing American business and industry to become separated from their publics. Businesses turned to public relations for a solution.

Being apart of this time in American history of transformation and modification of public relations would be very exciting. I would love to watch the influence and need of public relations and take hand in it. Also, this would be during the influence of Edward Bernays’. Being an ex-psychology major and now a psychology minor, I definitely find the psychology aspect of public relations very intriguing. Bernays was actually the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and he created a new model of public relations that applied the theories of mass psychology and persuasion to the needs of corporate and political organizations. The influence of Bernays probably interests me the most about this era of public relations.

Among all these other changes, in 1948, the Public Relations Society of America was founded. Therefore, the 1950s would just be delving into this organization and if I was a public relations practitioner during this time, I could be a driving force of change and influence for this organization. Putting into account the booming economy of the 1950s, the opportunity for many jobs in the field of public relations becoming available, the influence of Edward Bernays, and the chance to experience all these exciting changes to the field, I believe the 1950s would definitely be the time I would want to work in public relations.

Ch. 1- What is Public Relations?

19 Sep

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition-Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

  • Public Relations
    • Is multifaceted
    • In order to become a professional, one must have skills that include:
      • Written and interpersonal communication
      • Research
      • Negotiation
      • Creativity
      • Logistics
      • Facilitation
      • Problem Solving
  • Definition for the modern practice of public relations was described by Professors Lawrence W. Long and Vincent Hazelton as…
    • “ a communication function of management through which organizations adapt to, alter, or maintain their environment for the purpose of achieving organizational goals.” (Cameron & Wilcox, 2010, p. 6)
  • Public Relations as a process:
    • Research
    • Action
    • Communication
    • Evaluation
  • PR differs from Journalism
    • Journalists simply present facts
    • Public relation professionals have the objective to not only inform, but also change people’s attitudes and behaviors
  • PR differs from Advertising
    • Advertising is paid space and broadcast time
  • PR differs from Marketing
    • Goal of PR is to attain and maintain accord and positive behaviors among the public of a company
    • Goal of marketing is to attract and satisfy customers
  • In the past, those entering public relations were often former journalists, but now PR has evolved into it’s own distinct academic discipline
  • PR professionals are employed
    • Corporations (private and public): 34%
    • Nonprofits/Foundations: 19%
    • Public relations firms: 17%
    • Government: 10%
    • Educational institutions: 8%
    • Independent consulting: 8%
    • Health Care: 1%
    • Professional Associations: 1%
    • Other: 2%

Ch. 3- Ethics and Professionalism

19 Sep

Chapter 3 Reading Notes- 2322

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics- 9th edition. Dennis L. Wilcox & Glen T. Cameron

  • Three basic value orientations, according to philosophers:
    • Absolute- every decision is either “right” or “wrong”, regardless of the consequences. It is based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant that the end cannot justify the means
    • Existential- decides on the basis of immediate practical choice. This approach is somewhat grounded in Aristotle’s idea that individuals should seek a balance.
    • Situational- each decision is based on what would cause the least harm or the most good. This is often called a utilitarian approach. This concept was advanced by John Stuart Mill, who believed that the end could justify the means as long as the result benefitted the greatest number of people
  • PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) is the largest national public relations organization in the world.
    • The Strategist is a quarterly magazine that contains in-depth articles about public relations and issues touching on current PR practice
    • PRSA is the parent organization of the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America)
      • This is the world’s largest paraprofessional PR organization
  • IABC (International Association of Business Communicators)
    • 2nd largest organization
    • Mission: “to provide lifelong learning opportunities that give IABC members the tools and information to be the best in their chosen disciplines”
  • IPRA (International Public Relations Association)
    • Membership primarily senior international public relations executives
  • Public Relations is not a licensed profession, however arguments to instate a licensing believe it would protect the profession and public from incompetent, shoddy opportunists who don’t have the knowledge, talent, or ethics required of PR professionals
  • Major selling point of public relations work is the 3rd party credibility of reporters and editors

It’s Better to Give than to Receive (Blog Comments)

15 Sep

TOW #3

How does that old saying go? “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” What about your writing? What exactly is the point of publishing your thoughts and perspective online without receiving any sort of response from others?

Giving and receiving comments is a very integral part of blogging. Receiving feedback for your own blog may change your view on a matter or shape your perspective on something. While giving comments increases your networking and allows your voice to be heard and people to notice you in venues that it may otherwise not be heard or noticed. Networking is probably the biggest reason blog comments are essential.

According to Grammar Girl, writing great blog comments is made easy in nine simple rules. The first rule is to determine your motivation in writing a blog comment. Determining your motivation will help you decide what kind of comment you should write. Providing context is important in your blog comment. You shouldn’t just write a comment about someone else’s point without addressing what you are going off on. The third rule is being respectful to other bloggers, and rule four is to make a point. Plenty of people who comment on blogs do so by writing shallow comments such as “I agree!” or “Wonderful!” But to make a lasting impression, you need to make a point that the blogger and others will appreciate. The fifth rule seems obvious, but it is can be overlooked many times. Know what you are talking about! Rule six is to make one point per comment. People have short attention spans and you don’t want them to lose interest while reading your comment. Rule seven is similar because it says to keep it short, and the last two are to link carefully and proofread.

Who/What is a Public?

15 Sep

TOW #2

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a “public” is “a group of people having common interests or characteristics; specifically : the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims”.

Publics are very important to the field of Public Relations. It is the job of a public relations professional to stay in tune to the public. Basically, if you are a living, breathing person who ventures outside of the door, you are bound to be a part of some public at least. The more active and social you are, the more publics you can become part of. The publics that I belong, just to name a few, include the student population of Southeastern University, the public of my church (the Vine), and Starbucks.

Southeastern University- Since I am enrolled at SEU, I am automatically considered part of their public. Southeastern aims to please its students and retain them at their institution. Consequently, events on campus, new regulations, professors, administration, all work together to create an academic, spiritual and social environment in which the students of Southeastern University may thrive.

Church- Growing up, I have always been an active member in my church. Here in Lakeland, I attend The Vine. I would definitely consider myself to be in their public since I actively attend and take part in some of their activities. When planning events, writing sermons, etc. The Vine considers their target audience (those who actively attend), which I am apart.

Starbucks- From my blog title, I’m sure you’ve already assumed my fascination with the wonderful coffee drinks that Starbucks create. Considering that I get coffee a decent amount and I’m a consumer of Starbucks, then it’s probably safe to say that I’m definitely part of the public of Starbucks.