PR Definitions Past & Present

            In the beginning of this year, my blog about public relations reflections included what I thought public relations was, without researching anything about it. What I have said was, “I reflect upon public relations as the idea of networking and getting ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions, and more out in the open; where people can then analyze and prioritize among them.” I believe this to still be a true factor within the definition of public relations. Though, throughout the year I have learned about PR in much more depth. I learned the multiple different factors that are included within a public relations campaign and how to create, execute, and assess things in the proper way. I have also learned how to identify the difference between strategies and tactics much more thoroughly than what my original thoughts and ideas consisted of.

            Public relations entails a great deal of organization and management within all different positions people may acquire. “The most common definitional components appear to be “management,” “organization,” and “publics.” Practitioner definitions tend to focus on “management,” “organization,” and “publics” as well.” (Hutton, 1999). This probably makes sense to most people in the PR field considering their duties may relate to managing one thing or another, which requires organization, and of course you can’t have public relations without the publics.

            Another way to think about public relations is to think of it within the behaviors of people as a result of PR. “One vehicle that provides such an alternative basis for conceptualizing public relations is the symbolic interactionism of Herbert Blumer.” (Gordon, 1997). To think of public relations within a symbolic interaction is quite awkward at first. But if you think about it, PR images are everywhere. It is especially hard to avoid these images when they are constantly popping up everywhere you go. Not only is it difficult to just avoid being exposed to these images, but it is also very hard to completely ignore the images. One way or another, many images can take a toll on a person. They can be influenced by symbolism of one item, culture, idea, or another. People have their own opinions and favorite symbols, including brands and logos within clothes, companies, or other types of marketing.

            The media is constantly exposing us to a great amount of images and ideas. Public relations has a vast, yet very specific definition, or definitions for that matter. Unless you examine all parts of PR, it is hard to create a concrete definition because of the many different aspects it contains. I believe PR consists of organization, management, and publics, as well as the idea of symbolic interaction. All of these ideas can have a role within each other. In fact, it seems difficult to have management without organization, or to have symbolic interaction without publics. As you can see, it is clear that public relations contains a wide range of concepts. Though, as extensive as these concepts may be, it is clear the ideas are significant factors to one another.

Innovation Techniques Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

 

References

Gordon, J.C. (1997). Interpreting definitions of public relations: Self assessment and a symbolic interactionism-based alternative. Public Relations Review. Vol. 23 i.1, 57-66.

Hutton, J.G. (1999). The definition, dimensions, and domain of public relations. Public Relations Review. Vol. 25 i.2, 199-214.

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Health in PR

          Health should be a great concern within the world of PR. “PR can be an effective and cost-effective component of the marketing mix, one that is able to convey meaningful medical information to key audiences.” (Tillet, 2004). Sometimes, although advertising can help create greater awareness and make things known to the public, it can also have an effect on our health if they are the same commercial messages over and over.

            PR is able to provide the messages able to convey what they want the target audiences to know. “So why isn’t PR taken more seriously as part of the marketing mix? Because PR professionals need to demonstrate their ability to move consumers down the critical path, from disease and risk awareness to treatment awareness and action.” (Tillet, 2004). Sometimes this can be a difficult task to accomplish for a PR professional. It takes quite a bit of strategic planning and evaluating before and after implementing a strategy.

            “There was little focus on marketing by Health Care Providers before the mid 1900’s because they did not realized the need for it.” (Gbadeyan, 2010). As marketing become more and more well-known to all different types of companies and organizations, health care providers started to accommodate marketing into their organization. Marketing for a health care provider became a very important aspect to marketers. It also began to require more specialized talent in a person’s actions.

            “Hospital Marketers now required special skills about Patient confidentiality and Privacy Act, Community and Health Care Administration, Knowledge of how Profit and Non Profit Hospital operate, Hospital funding, developing an efficient Hospital Media Relations and manage Hospital Publications and Special events. ” (Gbadeyan, 2010). Having a PR department in a hospital can provide a better overall message for the company itself. It helps keep the hospital organized and better able to communicate with one another as well as the outside world.

Kidney Shape Business And Medical Infographic Design Template Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

 

References

Gbadeyan, R. A. (2010). Health care marketing and public relations in not for profit hospitals in nigeria. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(7), 117-125. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/821543315?
            accountid=39473

Tillet, R. (2004). PR view. Medical Marketing and Media, 39(7), 28. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/228433910?accountid=3  9473

Crisis Communication in PR

Risk Management Process Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

               Crisis communication within public relations can be referred to as a sub-specialty. When a crisis, or detrimental situation happens to an organization or company, public relations professionals are responsible for protecting and defending that individual, company, or organization. In order to deal with problems, professional PR people have to be well-versed in solving problems strategically and executing the fix in the most proper manner. They have to make sure each member within the team communicates their part in detail to the whole team, as well as understanding each other’s jobs throughout the plan.

            “An organization’s reputation is as important as any other corporate asset, and many organizations have some kind of crisis plan intended to protect that reputation should something go wrong. This is when effective management of information (controlling communications) is so vital – and always difficult.” (Ashcroft, 1997). As I mentioned, the communication is essential in producing management that will be effective and as efficient as possible. The company/organization’s brand reputation is a very important part to their overall mission. Each organization has specific wants and needs in order to convey their brand image in a unique and identifiable way.

            Problems occur within a company and/or organization pretty frequently. They are dealt with in the most effective way possible to better the situation. ” Crises represent serious threats to the most fundamental goals of an organization and its stakeholders. These events are unexpected and sometimes unpredictable.” (Fatima, 2013). A crisis can be much more harmful to a company or organization. One crisis could damage the reputation significantly. If there are very little resources available to fix the situation, it can become even more damaging.

Person searchs right solution in puzzles Royalty Free Stock Photo

 

                                    References:

Ashcroft, L. S. (1997). Crisis management – public relations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 12(5), 325-332. Retrieved from           http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/215863770?accountid=39473

Fatima Oliveira, M. (2013). Multicultural Environments and Their Challenges to Crisis CommunicationJournal of Business Communication, 50: 253-277. Retrieved from doi:10.1177/0021943613487070

Ethics in Public Relations

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          Ethics in public relations, as any other profession, should be considered very carefully by all specialists. Things have to be done properly and honestly within all groups of employers, whether they may or may not work with the same people all the time. The public has to learn how to execute their actions in the most appropriate way possible.

            “While increasing attention is being paid by people in public relations to ethical theory, the predominant ethical perspective in the field is still situational. The reason for this, at least in part, is the loss of the traditional grounds of moral objectivity—tradition, religion, and universal reason. (Leeper, 1996).  Event eight years ago, challenges were appearing within peoples ethical analyses of their own and others morals. In public relations, honesty is the number one priority in everything a person does. Well, at least it should be your number one priority.  

            “It’s all about public trust. Public trust involves professional practitioners, the fields we practice in and the domains-the institutions that legitimize our work, that provide the codes of ethics, technical standards, and personal values that we uphold.” (Atkin, 2003). If you are always being the most honest you can be, at all times, then people are more likely to trust in your decisions. If you are able to maintain this type of relationship between co-workers, the practice becomes second nature and keeps consistent a set of ethics.

            Ethics in public relations could have issues in all sorts of areas. For example, in sports there can be ethical issues in judging a sports contest. Ethics and morals occur in governmental issues, sales revenue, choosing and assessing information, legislation and policy issues, and many other subjects. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation said “there were perhaps tens of millions in bribes and hundreds of millions in lost revenue.” (Atkin, 2003). This statement seems a bit absurd. There were “perhaps” millions of bribes? People are being unethical when they let things slide by as if doing immoral actions will not have any effect on future outcomes. I think that for this to happen, it is sad to see first off, and also makes me wonder where society will be in future decades.

Corporate Business Hands Holding Earth Friendly Green World Fragile Globe Royalty Free Stock Photo

 

References

Atkin, N. (2003). Ethics and public relations from an assessment perspective. Assessment             Journal, 10(1), 41-51. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/
docview/224993291?accountid=39473

Leeper, R.V.  (01/01/1996).  Moral Objectivity, Jurgen Habermas’s Discourse Ethics, and Public Relations.  Public relations review. ,  22 (2), p. 133 – 50.

Why Research in PR?

Planning Your Research Royalty Free Stock Photo

            Research in public relations is essential for understanding a particular target market, demographic, psychographic, lifestyles, and anything else you can think of. It is very important to have a well grounded understanding and background information about the group(s) you are going to be tailoring your promotions to. Research is one of the most important things when it comes to many things in life. In public relations it is crucial to break down every bit of each segment and explore the different pros, cons, possibilities, challenges, strengths, competition, you name it!

            “PR models should be analyzed and understood in depth with respect to “political context, culture and social”; rather than defining it narrowly.” (Khodarahmi, 2009). This statement couldn’t have put it in a better way.  To be able to have a strong business up and running, things have to be extremely strategic in that specific work environment. All employees have certain ideas they can incorporate, they have specific jobs they have to execute properly and accordingly. If things are not in-sync with each other, how do you know it will go well? There’s always a possibility of simple mistakes when people don’t pay attention and contribute their part of the research. “In order to be successful in this endeavor, a public relations program must be adjusted to the group of people to whom it is directed.” (Lang, 1951).  Even in the 50s they knew they had to come up with a strategic plan to be able to perform well.

            “Another wide field of research includes procedures relating to the selection, placement, and training of personnel. Tests are available for measuring aptitude, ability, intelligence, achievements, personality, interest, and attitudes.” (Lang, 1951).  Research in public relations is important to all aspects of the exploration.

            “Research allows us to show results, to measure impact, and to refocus our efforts based on those numbers.” (Public Relations v. 1.0, 2012). Besides that research is important to show the different results of facts that were found, it is also an important aspect to use the many different routes of research. By this, I mean, depending on what you are exploring, you may need to find primary research for your topic or group, or maybe only secondary research. All and all, research is extremely crucial to understanding the background and specifics of whatever it is you may be searching for!

R and D signpost Royalty Free Stock Photo    Examine the world Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

References

Khodarahmi, E. (2009). Strategic public relations. Disaster Prevention and Management, 18(5),   529-534. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09653560911003723

Lang, F. The Role of Research in Public Relations The Public Opinion Quarterly , Vol. 15, No. 1   (Spring, 1951) , pp. 54-64. Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2745751

Public Relations v. 1.0. (2012) Purpose and Forms of Research, 8.2. doi: http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/public-relations/s09-02-purpose-and-forms-of-        research.html

Diversity in PR

Collage of photographs

          I believe that diversity is completely essential to have a strong foundation in companies and organizations within their public relations. Not to mention, we are in the one country that was built on diverse standards. To think that we WOULDN’T need or that we SHOULDN’T have diversity in our relations between companies, as well as within our own companies, is completely foolish.

          PRSA.org, “Do You Really Need a Diverse Staff to Provide Media or Community Outreach to Specific Racial Ethnic Groups?”, states that “By 2050, these three ethnic groups will be in the majority of US residents, representing 55 percent of the U.S. American population.” (Sánchez-De Alba, 2005). The three ethnic groups were African-American, Latino, and Asian-Pacific-American.

In PR Daily, they say, “…its mission remains the same: to promote a workforce that more closely mirrors the communities in which we live and work in terms of age, race, ethnicity, and gender.” (Tindall, 2010). I believe this to be true. You cannot have an attainable workplace if you don’t have perspectives from all different backgrounds. Schools continually embed ‘critical thinking’ in your head. Well, if you have to think critically, you have to think from all sorts of paths and directions, as well as additional branches off of the first paths- if you’re still with me. All in all, you need the views of all different people to take place first, then branch out from there.

“For example, anti-slavery associations used emotional appeals and testimonials to convince audiences about the evils of slavery.” (Tindall, 2010). Within this situation, I think a majority of people can agree that testimonials would really make you think twice. To have a work environment that is healthy, manageable, and enjoyable is ideal. I believe the only way a company or organization can read those standards is to have a good amount of diversity in their daily environment.

Young people jumping on Mission Beach, San Diego, California, USA

References:

N. Tindall, (February 7, 2012). Diversity in the PR field: Some Progress, though challenges persist.

V. Sánchez-De Alba (2005). Do You Really Need a Diverse Staff to Provide Media or Community Outreach to Specific Racial Ethnic Groups?