Monthly Archives: May 2011

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


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.

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.
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.