week 11 – framing messages

This week spoke about the way in which we as people of PR put forward the main message that we want the audience to be aware of. I was completely unaware of how much we need to think about the way in which we present the message in order to be most effective.

The phrase

There’s good news, and there’s bad news’ can completely apply in these situations. When addressing our publics there may be negative information that we must make them aware of in order to maintain a trustworthy relationship, however we need to identify the best way to approach this situation. If the negative is put forward first, people may automatically get caught up in this negativity and discard the positive, however we put forward the positive first, it may then be overshadowed by the following negative statement.

We also need to be aware of the most appropriate way to address our publics, therefore, knowing in which publics is would be appropriate to use emotional language and imagery to get our point across, or whether we merely give them factual evidence. Although telling our audiences exactly what is going on is vitally important, we must also be sure not to drag on our message and lose their interest.

The best way to know how to present our message to our publics is to maintain a strong relationship with them and understand their needs and what it is they want to know. From understanding these basics, we can then present the message in the most effective way possible, whether it be a negative os positive message.


week 10 – public opinion

‘Public opinion refer to the expressions of attitudes as derived from evaluations that the public make about what is happening in society’

Although the opinions of the public are highly valued in the field of Public Relations, I believe that the opinion, whatever it may be, needs to be looked at into more detail before it is taken for gospel. There are an endless amount of factors that can influence one’s opinion on any topic. These can include:

  • Individual’s personal experience
  • How much information the individual has on the matter
  • Their age
  • Their nationality
  • What people they often associate with think on the matter
  • Their religious beliefs
  •  Who is asking their opinion on the matter ( if it a person of authority or power, the individual is more likely to agree with their opinion)Just to make reference to a few influential factors.
    There is a lot of pressure on individual’s today to fit in with the social norms, therefore the opinion people give on a matter may not necessarily be what they believe, therefore we can not merely rely on what they tell us. We are influenced by more things than we ever have before, through new media approaches via social media sites, an increase in retail advertising, aswell as things such as apps, which can often be associated with such things as online shopping websites, trends and the latest news. I believe that when asking the publics their opinion on a particular matter is should be done in confidentially, that the individual should be provided with a great deal of information and background into the topic, as well as be put under minimal pressure to actually give an opinion, in order to increase the chances of the individual saying what they truly believe, rather than what they think we want them to believe

The blog below gives individuals various ways to approach people when trying to gain an honest opinion

http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/public-opinion-matters-in-public-relations/


week 9 – The importance of research in public relations

When asked what is public relations, everyone has a very different idea or response as to what they believe it is. Some believe it is merely advertising, others see Public Relations practitioners to be nothing other than spin doctors, others can’t identify the different between Public Relations and marketing. However people perceive Public Relations to be, the research and planning behind a campaign often goes unrecognised.

Research can include a variety of different things including:

  • Finding facts and evidence
  • Planning
  • assessing differing opinions
  • Evaluation

In basic terms, research can be seen merely as the process of posing questions and finding the answers.

There are 3 simple steps that one can take in order to think like a professional individual in the Public Relations field

  • Step one – Understand the issue, problem ect.
    What is the context of the issue?
    What sort of information would benefit and help me develop a good campaign
  • Step two – Decide upon the research questions
    What do I need to know?
    What’s my objective?
  • Step three – Designing the research activity
    Where, how, or from who will I be able to find and/or gather this information from?
    What will I do with the information?

There are a variety of other factors that will also need to be identified throughout the research process such as:

  • Will I focus more so on Qualitative or quantitative data?
  • Am i gaining information in an ethical practise?
  • Will I incorporate primary or secondary research?
  • What publics am I targeting?
    with that question comes a large array of questions such as
  • What about this project interests them?
  • What would they want to know?
  • What strategies/tactics would be most effective with the audience
  • What’s the best way to engage them?

These are only a few of the questions that need to be taken into consideration when going through the process of research. Therefore, it can be seen how highly important the process of research it and how vital it is to obtain the right sort of information when researching. If this process is taken lightly, and not taken in a serious matter, then the campaign may be highly ineffective, which could potentially result in a loss of funds for the company, less publics and so forth.

Reading about all the different components of research within Public Relations really opened my eyes as to how much work truly goes on behind the scenes, all of which generally goes unrecognised. The next time I identify a well-developed campaign, I will take a moment to stop and recognise the various process’, time and effort that many individuals would have put into their work in order to make it as successful as it appears to have been.


week 8 – Campaigns, strategies, tactics and much more

‘Strategy is a plan or method by which you are going to achieve a specific goal in a contested enviroment’

There are many different components that one must be aware about in order to make a successful campaign. In order to be successful, one must identify the following:

The goal of the campaign – what it is you wish to achieve from the campaign
The objectives – What is the message you want to send to the publics, linked to the main goal and focus of the campaign
Identify tactics – How the campaign will be advertised and presented throughout the media, will there be flyers? A press release? News updated via social media sites? The use of celebrity promotion? The options are endless.
However, what tactics will be implied into a campaign will be influenced by a variety of factors including:

  • How financially well of the organisation is
  • What ages or groups of people are being targeted. For example, it may not be appropriate for a campaign that is targeted at teenagers to promote themselves in magazines and newspapers, but more so through social media, posters, and television advertisements.
  • Where the campaign is being targeted. The way in which Australia approaches a campaign would be different to a campaign that is being promoted in the middle east of in African cities due to differing resources.
    and many more

An important part of a campaign which can often be forgotten is the process of evaluation. Once the campaign is over, those in charge of the campaign will need to evaluate the success of the campaign, whether it was effective, and if it wasn’t, why so, and how this can be improved in order to benefit future campaigns so the same mistakes are not made

Consultant, Stephen Davies, makes reference to what he believes are the essential ’12 steps’ in order to make a successful campaign, in the blog below.

http://stedavies.com/2006/06/12-steps-to-a-successful-pr-campaign/


Week 7 – Management Challenges

From this weeks tutorial notes, there are various factors that I consider to be key elements for any person in Public Relations, and especially those in Public Relations Management.

1) Communication communication communication !
This is not only with their clients, but also vitally important within the organisation and with other employees. We gain so much knowledge through communication and listening to every day conversations with family, friends, employees and so forth. Being in Public Relations, communication is always going to play a vital part of anyones career, in order to effectively communicate the intended ideas of ones campaign to our clients.

2) Media/Technology awareness.
Yes, I’m aware I have mentioned the importance of being aware just about every sort of technologic output but as people’s lives are becoming busier and busier, and less time is being spent at home, a manager of Public Relations needs to be able to engage with their clients in any, and more importantly, any way in which they are able to get their message across, in short terms, through mobile phones, internet, social media websites and magazines.

3) Being 100% aware of your objective in every campaign made.
There is no point of attempting something if you don’t think it is going to deliver the message you are intended, or be able to persuade the audience to believe what it is you are trying to convey. Campaigns, depending on how you are advertising them, can be ridiculously pricey, and although i am only limited in my Public Relations knowledge, I’m sure no company would appreciate money being thrown around. However, if something is not as effective as one would have liked, rather than get annoyed and forget what happened, sit down with others and analyse what went wrong to ensure the same mistakes are not made, e.g. where the right communication devices used, were they affective, was the right audience being targeted ect.

http://pracumen.com.au/2010/06/03/brw-pr-agency-relationships/
This blog, written by Grant, makes reference to even more issues that believes causes problems within the field of public relations.

At the end of the day, Public Relations is highly involved in the field of communication. If communication between the PR individual and it’s client is lacking or weak, then issues will automatically arise.


Public Relations Persusion and ethics.

George Washington once said:

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation;

for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

Ethical Principals in the field of Public Relations. According to Burnett & Moriarty, ethics ‘Refers to the values that guide a person, organisation or society – the difference between right and wrong, fairness and unfairness, honesty and dis honesty”

A person’s interpretation of what is “ethical” will vary from person to person. Therefore, it is extremely important for Public Relations practitioners to take into consideration a variety of key factors that will influence one’s moral values, such as people’s gender, age, culture, religious beliefs and heritage.
Howard & Matthews thinks that ethical behaviour should be ‘as normal and as unconscious as shaking hands’, however, I don’t agree with this statement. When dealing with people’s beliefs, values, and morals, therefore should be reasonable consideration into how people are going to understand the message that is trying to be perceived, and thought be given to the most extreme reactions, and how these can then be dealt with, in order to maintain one’s business in a professional manner.

It is when dealing with ethics that practitioners need to present themselves as an approachable individual, and one who can really connect with their publics and understand what they want out of this situation. Having to take into consideration one’s emotions and beliefs, further emphasises the point made in my previous blog, that women are possibly, more suited to a PR position, as there are more known for their sensitivity to important and emotional issues. This is not to say that men could not cement a good emotional base with their publics, but based on the ‘stereotype’ of women in society, it seems women would be better suited to the ethical implications of a campaign.

http://marlenapr.blogspot.com/2010/03/adsgf-ethics-in-public-relations-have.html
The blog above goes into great detail about the use of ethics in Public Relations, why it is so vital to our profession, and where we draw the line.


Week 3 – Wider Theoretical Concepts

Well, the overwhelming number of theoretical practices in Public Relations continues to rise ! In the past week, between readings and discussions in class, there was further discussion about even more theoretical practises within the field of Public Relations.

What stood out to me however, was how different subjects apply to the field of Public Relations. For example, there was reference made to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a concept covered in my studies of Psychology in year 12 ! However not only was reference made to Psychology, but also to Rhetoric and the importance it plays in the field of Public Relations. Rhetoric is another subject that most students undertaking this course would be involved in, therefore demonstrating that as practitioners, we need to have an understanding of a wide variety of subject fields as any additional knowledge we have on a topic or subject, could be the extra edge we need to convince our intended audience that what we are trying to convey is completely worthwhile.

However, the point that I found most interesting about last weeks topics and discussion is the discussion of females in the field of PR and how there is actually a perspective named after us ! (‘the female perspective’). The encyclopedia of Public Relations states that in earlier times, men were the dominant sex in PR, however, since about the 1980’s, this has changed drastically, and now women make up over 70% of the profession ! But really, does this come as a surprise to anyone? 

http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/women-in-pr-why-they-win/#

The blog above describes various brilliant reasons as to why women more so excel in the PR field then men do, as a result of differing characters and traits that us as professional women hold.