Monthly Archives: April 2011

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.
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?

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.

Week 4 – Public relations theory

In order to understand the theoretical practices of Public Relations, once must first consider, what is a theory?
Is a theory merely something we believe to be untrue? Something that can not be proven? A conspiracy based on one’s beliefs?
The word net website ( defines theory ” as a belief that can guide behavior ”

If we apply this to the field of Public Relations, a theory is a belief that can aid a practitioner to a successful campaign.

However, in order to do so, the practitioner must take an array of vital aspects  by  into consideration when developing their campaign, such as the aim , who they are targeting, and how the message they are trying to portray will be most effective.

Personally, I believe it would be interesting to see how Public Relations theories have developed and changed over time, with the development of technology and communication, especially in the last couple of years. Technology right now is the key element to Public Relations, and how it currently applies to technology is a topic of interest. This seems quite repetitive but as PR practitioners we can not stress enough how important it is to maintain on top of this forever growing phenomena.

At this point of time, the thought of trying to understand and differ all the various theories listed in the textbook Public Relations ; An introduction to theory & practice, as well as those that we discuss during class seems highly overwhelming. To try to analyse each theory and decide which would be the most suitable for differing events and campaigns, in this point in time, appears to be a lot to take in, but I hope that with time, a lot of patience, as well as discussion with those in my classes, that slowly this will become clearer and easier to break down and apply to my work.