Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Week 13

Hear ye, hear ye! And so this is the last post required in this module for the trimester.

This week's reading is "Focus on Asian Public Relations Management" by Richard Stanton and also, "Writing a Media Release" by Candy Tymson. I'll focus more on the reading by Stanton.

I found this in this reading, rather dry, but I'm trying to make it relate to me, and since it's on Asia, it should be applicable.

So what makes PR important? To me, I think knowing my purpose and how important the role that I take up is of motivation for me to do better, to be more efficient in my work.

Just so you know, while I was still doing my high school and I've decided to take up this course; communication majoring in Public Relations and Journalism- the very first reaction I got from my relatives was that, why do PR-it's not good for a girl to that, and it was because PR was perceived as exactly what Idid (2004 cited in Stanton, 2009) said; that it's perceived as "karaoke singers and social escorts". And on journalism, they told me that I was wasting my parents' money to do that, just because one of my cousin is a journalist without having the need to study a journalism course. Honestly, I felt offended by those remarks- especially the when they perceived PR to be a job like that. On the side note, do you even need to study to jobs like that? I am blessed that parents made no objections to what I have decided to do- so I guess it's not so bad after all those non-constructive comments made.

Now, that I know what is PR and how important it is- I can better explain what this course is all about to them. That's so much about a little history on my side.

Stanton (2009) lists out 5 areas of importance of PR, mainly in Asia itself. They are: (I hope I didn't misinterpret this. But to my understanding...)
  • Trade- PR is important in trade, so that they can communicate with their stakeholders, with consistent and uniform news on decisions made. But this however would be deemed limited, in countries whose internet access are being strictly controlled by the government.
  • Languages- As Asians, we have many languages and Stanton (2009) says that this diversity of languages is in fact a hurdle to effective PR practice in Asia.
  • Government intent- Asian countries are said to be more conservative in what they do. Therefore, political and economic activities are controlled. Here, for effective PR to take place, that is to manage the relationship between the organisation and the public as well as its stake holders, PR practitioners need to be mindful of who they are supposed to deal with. And it was pretty cool to know that PR is in fact used for nation building too! Actually, Malaysia (Yes! It's where I come from!) is one of those countries that use PR to "instill patriotism" in their people.
  • Stake Holders- According to Stanton (2009), it is said that Asian organisations feel that, the media is not a very important stakeholder compared to Western viewpoint, but they feel that their audience is much more important, so here, falling back to the point before this, PR practitioners need to know who they are dealing with.
  • Personal Interaction- PR practitioners are important in Asia where personal interaction, face-to- face communication or engagement with the public is placed of higher priority compared to communicating via the other forms of media. As Stanton (2007 cited in Stanton 2009, p. 364) states that "public opinion is an expression of social, economic and political will".
Another area that I found interesting in this reading is "PR and the Public Sphere". There is a similarity in PR practice in both Asia and in the West. And that is PR practice in both worlds are based on two basic concepts: relationship building and framing. Framing as Stanton (2009) and Watson and Hill (2006) describes; is the analyzing and placing an issue in a certain manner.

Well, I guess that's how I'm finishing this blog? This blog has been an adventure for me in PR, and I'm thinking of continuing this blog- not making it "for-the-sake-of-assessments", since I do frequent by the shelves books with spine labels of <659.2>.

(But most likely, the next post will be after the assessment dates. :o>)

Week 12

Week 12's reading centralizes on new media in Public Relations. "New Media & Public Relations" by Kate Fitch.

I can relate better to this reading, somehow. So, let's get on with it.

I was thinking back on how our ancestors used to communicate with one another, especially if they were far away from each other, they would pass the message to another person by message carrier pigeons, then thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, they had telephones. And postage service which would most likely take eons to get their postcards or letter to another part of the world. Now, we have the internet, we can do almost anything and everything online, pretty much instantaneously, as Turkle (1997) writes in her book; Life on The Screen.

One section of this reading caught me, and that was on whether advancement in communication technology could be of better use in PR. Gregory (2004 cited in Fitch, 2009) discovered that there were 2 different view points on this issue. And after reading this, I can conclude that it is a debatable point.

Firstly, she mentions of one view point that technology advancement in communication in line with PR, is that this new form of communication is defined as yet another communication method or as a better form of current communication methods. Let's just take for example the telephone, making international calls can be costly, especially for an international student like me, but with the internet and MSN or Yahoo Messenger, I can call up my parents and they can even see me with the video call function, and it is not as costly as an international call.

Here, Gregory quotes survey works from the various communication scholars, coming to say that the internet has the potential of promoting and facilitating two-way communication. But, this potential cannot be made possible.

In fact, I agree with this point. At most times, websites are being set up to only disseminate information such as what the company is about, company policies, achievements- to ensure that the public knows what they are supposed to know. Often, the ability of the new media to engage the audience is not put to good use. Perhaps they might have a "Contact Us" section; most likely for you to leave comments or a message in hope that they will get back you, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the company's personnel to decide whether they want to reply you or not. Thus, new media is not being used to promote two-way communication as it can encourage dialogue and discussion.

Another school of thought feels that technology has advanced and it has changed how companies communicate with the public. Reading on, Fitch (2009), suggests that McDonald's is a good example to this. Try typing in McDonald's in Google- see what you find? I actually did this "experiment" and... Eureka? I posed it as a question because almost anything and everything that has the label McDonald's can be found online. Even a WikiPedia entry, and even Youtube Videos are found too. While new media can assist in promoting dialogue and discussion, it can also mean harm for the company, where the organisation's private information is also disseminated out. Companies start getting too "leaky" as Fawkes & Gregory (2000 cited in Fitch 2009) with their company's information- where no control is present over the information accessibility.

In my opinion, I think organisations should encourage two-way communication with the public with forums and discussions, and at the same time, the organisation also needs to be mindful of what information they put out to the public.

That ends my response to Week 12's reading.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week 11

The reading for Week 11, in my opinion swirls around one theme: Managing issues for corporate reputation.

In my "week 7" post, I mentioned that PR practitioners need to be forward-looking. Here, in line with issues management and reputation management; PR practitioners need to do so. PR practitioners are not to react to the crisis or issue only when it happens- instead, all this can be planned for on what and how to do when it does happen. PR practitioners need to anticipate all the issues and problems that might come into their way when working for a particular project. Say for example, the recent issue with Toyota having to call back all their vehicles, has the PR practitioner anticipated that this might happen someday? When it happened, what did the PR practitioner do to counter the problem? This is just a simple example of issues that can lead to crises that the PR practitioner needs to deal with. 

Ok- I think I'm too fast- Hold it... What is issues management? I forgot to define that. Oops! Well, according to Howell (2009; p. 275), he says that issues management is a "specific management function that seeks to identify potential, emerging, or actual trends, or concerns, or issues likely to affect an organization and its key publics". So the phrase "seeks to identify potential" just equals one word: anticipate

And how is it different from crisis? A crisis, as Howell (2009) says that it is a major situation that can affect the organization negatively, however its causes are not known. Honestly speaking, I think I got confused with the whole difference between a crisis and an issue. But on the outside, I can say this, an issue is less serious than a crisis is, and crisis happens because the company chooses to ignore issues that it is already facing or because the organization manages the crisis poorly. 

In my opinion, for a corporation to manage issues and crisis (when it does happen), the corporation should always strive to be transparent with the public and its employees. That would most likely have issues to come out less serious. 

This ends my response for the readings in Week 11.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 10

Week 10's reading is "Public Relations Management in Organizations", by Amisha Mehta and Robina Xavier (2009).

From this reading, I got to know about PR has 2 sides of communication, and that is either a "closed" or "open" system.

According to Cutlip, Center & Broom (2006) cited in Mehta and Xavier (2009), closed system in public relations means that the PR practitioner or the organization in general, uses a one-way communication method, whereby the organization is less likely to interact with its environment or the public. As Skinner and Shanklin (1978) cited in Mehta and Xavier (2009) say that this system practiced in PR is to protect the corporation's image. And due to its nature of minimal contact with the general public, the corporation is unable to grab hold and make use of opportunities that the corporation might have to put forward its objectives and not to mention, its inability to deal with problems that might come in its way (Mehta & Xavier, 2009).

Personally, this form of communication is not transparent with the public as it only gives out information that it wants the public to know, but it does not exchange views with the public. The public does not get to have a say in what or how it feels about the organization, so that the organization can address the issue.

In an open system however, Cutlip, Center & Broom (2006) and Morgan (1998) cited in Mehta & Xavier (2009) states that such systems usually communicate with their publics in order to gain inputs and exchange outputs. Thus, with this exchange of views, the organisation is said to be more effective and efficient in adapting to crisis and change-prioritizing the changes in its surroundings.

On this point, I think that corporations that practice open communication systems are socially responsible as they think of how their actions would affect the society at large. As they hear and engage the public, such corporations are able to better handle crises and situations. This in turn benefits both the corporation and the public.

Having said that, ends my take on Public Relations management in organizations.

Week 9

Week 9's recommended reading had two themes; suggested that we read Chapter 6 on PR Practice again and Chapter 9 on PR Strategy. Here, I will respond to PR strategy...

Here's my take:

I begin with a quote from the chapter: "Strategy is a plan or method by which you are going to achieve in a specific goal in a contested environment." (James, 2009, p 252)

After a few weeks in this course, now that we have to prepare for our final assignment- a PR plan for OCD (our client), it makes me think of PR similar to playing chess. One word: Strategy. I'm no chess person, but I know that in playing chess, there needs to be strategy... In PR, strategy according to James (2009), is vital in its practice.

With the many types of media trying to tell us different messages today- organizations are in a competition for our attention. And as PR practitioners, we are supposed to strive to get peoples' attention to hear out what we want to tell them, right? It is here that an effective PR strategy can set us apart from the rest. And with strategies that are well-planned, the organization's goals can be met.

Another area I find interesting in this chapter is on sponsorship- partly because it was my debate topic.

From my debate: "Community events invariably benefit from securing corporate sponsorship", in the course outline, it said that there was no winners or losers, but if you asked me, I think my team lost. Cos' it's a little tough when they start telling you that the company benefits, because sponsorship is a much cheaper form of advertisement. I guess the winning or losing doesn't really matter as long as I gained from the debate. To me, corporate sponsorship in events is a "win-win" situation. Because, the company gets itself known with the sponsorship, the event organizers save money on their budget. So both sides benefit.

And to end with, is the monitoring and evaluation of PR Strategies (James, 2009). It is important that strategies are monitored to ensure everything runs smoothly, and what to do should a crisis arise. And evaluating the outcomes from the strategies implemented- we need visible results, if not, what's the whole point of doing a certain task? We need to find out if the implementation of the strategy is successful in reaching our target audience and if it isn't, what can be done to improve it?

Thus, this ends my take on PR strategy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

week 8

After the PR Research & PR Practice reading, the list goes on with "Engaging with the Media".

I begin this blog with a sentence that came to my attention:
"Media relations is the cornerstone of most public relations careers... ..." (McLean & Phillipps, 2009)

In this chapter, it also includes some communication theories, which are not exactly new- was taught about it in CMNS 1110: Introduction to Communication Studies, last trimester. Looking at my PR point of view on these communication theories, the one that I can relate the most is the Uses and Gratifications theory where it actually describes how can people make use of the media. This is in fact, what PR practitioners do. Making use of the media to achieve their organization's objectives.

Another one that I can relate to is "Framing Theory". It was also introduced in CMNS 1110. Framing theory describes how a certain issue is being portrayed, so that the audience can interpret the message that is intended to be desseminated by the sender (Severin & Tankard, 2001: Tversky & Khaneman 1981 cited in Mclean & Phillipps 2009). Therefore, framing is simply defined as the careful selection of information, placing them in a certain way, so that the audience will interpret the message as how the sender is trying to tell them.

Moving on, the chapter also highlights that communication is divided into two forms, and they are:
  • Controlled (Mclean & Phillipps 2009)
  • Controlled media are publicty brochures, pamphlets, annual reports and such, where content is controlled by the organization itself- obviously an organization will not put bad things about their corporation in a publicity brochure, yes?
  • Uncontrolled (Mclean & Phillipps 2009)
  • Uncontrolled communication is a result from media relations, where PR practitioners cannnot control what journalists or reporters will write in the papers and magazines.

And this chapter also includes on how we can be successful in the public relations field, in general: and as McLean & Phillipps (2009) suggest; is the "Under-promise" the journalists, clients and "over-deliver" to them the deadline comes. That way, people that you work with externally can trust you.

And that particular line ends this post of mine.

Week 7

I got confused with which reading for which week- which explains the hiatus. I decided that I’ll just follow the recommendation closely, even if it means I’m lagging in my readings.
After the last reading that I did on ethics, according to the course schedule, following ethics is public relations (PR) research and the practice itself.
I guess you can call me being ignorant, but I didn’t know that in public relations, there is also research to it, and honestly, by its title, it wasn’t too interesting for me as I didn’t think that there was much application to it. After reading “Public Relations Research” by Gae Synnott, what struck me from that chapter was how public relations research is useful in three aspects:
- Issues management
o As communicators, we need to be always conscious and responsive of our audiences’ point of view (Chia & Synnott, 2009). Everyone has different viewpoints that may support or oppose the organization. Should an issue rise, it would mean that the PR practitioner must step in to handle the situation before it becomes a bigger problem. Synnott (2009) suggests that the main idea is to detect the problem or challenge in the early stage, and reflect on what needs to be looked into when the issue is developing and when it would need the PR practitioner to come in with its remedies.
o This research is divided into two areas: “Issues scanning” (Synnott, 2009) where issues are assessed and “Issues monitoring” (Synnott, 2009) where it implies that the problem is being watched closely to see how it grows and develops.

- Community engagement
o As in the first post, I mentioned of what PR is and what a PR practitioner does, and that is to coordinate the relationship between the organisation and the public. I think it is important that the public can relate to an organization, and in one of the posts on experiential marketing, it’s to engage the people- people can only understand if you involve them, as Confucious said. Synnott (2009) mentions that PR research as a form of community engagement is a budding area of specialization in PR practice.
o Organizations are part of communities; in fact it is the community that makes up of an organization. Therefore, shouldn’t the communities have a say in a certain decision that the organization is going to make that will affect the communities at large? It is said by Synnott (2009) that research in PR is in fact an important component in order to engage the community. A few of the instruments that PR practitioners can adopt (Synnott, 2009) in their research by engaging the public is:
 Community panels, advisory groups
 Town hall meetings
 Community dialogues
 Community planning workshops
 Multicriteria analysis

- Behavioural change programs
o According to Synnott (2009), this area of research is growing, and the start of the research is the most important stresses Synnott (2009). And it is because it involves being interested in the current behaviour and knowing what is the best method to change the behaviour.
In PR Practice, again by Gae Synnott (2009), the section that I can remember vividly is: “Day-to-day Challenges and Pressures” (pp. 181- 184).
This piece talks about what a PR practitioner will be facing in this field. Here are some of the areas that I find interesting and relevant:
- Good relationships (Synnott, 2009), as mentioned, PR practitioners exist to coordinate relationships between the organization and public. But this isn’t just limited what we are being hired to do, but it also begins with ourselves, having good relationships with our bosses & colleagues. As Synnott (2009) suggests, how these good relationships are formed is with effective and efficient of both verbal and written interpersonal communication skills, not forgetting a positive attitude as well.
- Good processes (Synnott, 2009) means to be systematic. Personally, I agree on this 100%! Well, maybe because I’m a person that adheres strictly to planning and protocols- and I can actually go berserk if my schedule suddenly has changes and starts to mess up. Perhaps, I will love doing PR next time, since it involves a proper system in doing things. With good systems and processes, results are consistent and I think it also allows room for improvement. For my take on systems, after doing it over and over, you generally get better.
- The tempo in which people work in today are getting faster and faster. Time management (Synnott, 2009) is a vital part of public relations, where there are many deadlines to meet and unexpected (maybe I won’t enjoy this part of PR, I’m not into uncertainty, but I guess I’ll just have to keep trying) happens. Discipline in sticking to deadlines is important and it is a challenge.
- Effective budgeting (Synnott, 2009) means managing the budget properly so that there is no over-spending. Everything needs to be paid for, hence budgets need to be properly managed and that is a challenge with rising prices, it does not mean that budgets would increase all the time.
- Keeping good records (Synnott, 2009), after reading the little section, to me, implies good administration or paperwork. Records of the clients’ instructions, choices, timelines, budgets, minutes of meeting, just to name a few, need to be properly kept. It’ll help in refreshing your memory and delivering what is required of you as well.
- In “Being proactive rather than reactive” (Synnott, 2009), states that PR is about hands-on communication, where the PR practitioner needs to be independent as well. The PR practitioner should always be forward-looking and have a “can do” mindset in order to make things happen.

That’s so much on my take for PR research and practice.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 6

This is week 6, but lesson 5... And as promised, inside the course schedule at least, today is the organizational briefing for our final project. I think the project's pretty cool- kinda getting hands-on, on what a public relations (PR) practitioner would do. Oh, the organization that "hired" us is OCD, which stands for Organizing Chaos Daily and not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's a company that helps to organize you home or workplace. Pretty neat. Oh, you can check out this organization's website by clicking here.

Finally, lo & behold, the long awaited book is here! And I mean it! It's on sale at PSB's Popular... Yes, Ladies & Gentlemen, An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice by Joy Chia & Gae Synnott is here!

Anyway, this week's reading is actually on chapter 11: Engaging with the Media. But I'll respond to the readings that were for the last few weeks. I'll start with Chapter 4: Public Relation Ethics. In week 4 I mentioned that I was curious about ethics and a chapter of ethics is here.

After going through the chapter, I knew that Ivy Ledbetter Lee was said to be the
"founding father" of PR ethics, if I interpreted it correctly (Tilley, 2009). Lee thinks that it PR practitioners to assist organization in the "externalities" that they inflict on socially & environmentally. That's Mr. Ivy Ledbetter Lee on the right.

Before I begin my take on ethics, what is ethics, anyway? Ethics were also covered in a lecture in IRHR 1001: Managing the Organization. Ethics came from the Greek word "ethikos". It speaks about the concern for "good" behaviour and taking into account of how our (whether individual or the organization) behaviour affects others. It involves our conscience and values. If we try to behave ethically, it means we think about our morals and values before we act on anything.

- Tutorial is over, will continue when I get home. Totally forgotten about an unfinished blog post again. My bad.

Anyway, here's my take on ethics.

It is interesting to know from Tilley (2009) that no 2 people, even if they are from the same culture would have exactly the same morals and values or would actually place the same level of priority on their beliefs. So that is why she concludes by saying that when a PR practitioner works with other people, the practitioner will encounter challenges; and those challenges are in fact their own colleagues and subordinates. Because they will present their point of view and the practitioner would have to evaluate those points to see what’s best for both the organisation and the society at large.

This then brings me to the next part brought up by Tilley (2009), which I find most fascinating throughout all of this week’s reading.

She writes a little about a gentleman: William Gudykunst, a cross-culture communication theorist. Gudykunst shared a term in application to describing PR being practised ethically. The term is “mindful”. To be mindful means to aware and alert. Gudykunst developed a three-part approach to communication competence.

And the key words in his approach are:

  1. Willingness
  2. Knowledge
  3. Skill

  • The willingness to view ethics as a vital part in PR practice
  • Increasing their knowledge on ethics, when PR practitioners recognize that behaving ethically in their practice is a challenge
  • Regularly assessing on their ethical skills and improving them

In my opinion, it is difficult to behave ethically, even in school, what more is there to mention at work. Although with Gudykunst model to communication competence, I feel that there is another area to look at, and that is effort.

It takes effort to for people to be willing to take ethics as important as it would cause them inconvenience- say if the director asks you to do a task that would be of breach of ethics, it's either you do it to keep your job but your conscience disturbed or don't do it and lose your job.

And from there, if people are willing to take up the challenge, then they would have the enthusiasm, the want to know more about behaving ethically.

And finally, with the knowledge, application of it would make them have the skill or capability to decide or act ethically; always checking on themselves to see their own behaviour.

That's about it from me for this week.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 5

This week's lecture was on Experiential Marketing. Interesting lecture.In today's world, consumers now are into active participation. Confucious once said, (I got this from the lecture notes by the way);

"Tell me and I'll forget,
Show me and I may remember,
Involve me and I'll understand"

I remembered reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, it describes how social issues are very much dependent on the involvement on the people around us.

So, that means experiential marketing aims to tell people about products by connecting with them. Connection and relevancy is important. Experiential marketing has a "personal touch" element added to it where people actually might give time for you to explain what's in it for them. People today lack time and meaning. So if they can't get anything out of you, they won't give up their time for you.

I think that's so much for me on experiential marketing.

Ooh, debate's starting... Will continue this when the class is over? OK.. Class has been over for more than a day. Totally forgotten that I haven't finished blogging. My bad.

Anyway, here's on the reading for last week by Marianne D Sison on "Theoretical Contexts". This reading's kinda "heavy"- tough to understand, but I'll try my best to response to this one though. Read through it twice but can't really grasp what it wants to say.

Here goes; in Public Relations (PR), there are theories to it. And from what I picked out from the readings, is Grunig's and Hunt's four models (Grunig & Hunt, 1984 cited in Sison, 2009).

Here, Sison (2009) went about describing Grunig & Hunt's 4 models and they are:
a) press agentry
- This model mirrors the "publicity model" as McQuail (2002) suggests. As the word "publicity" suggests, it serves to obtain media attention. As Sison (2009) states, the "press agentry" is a one-way communication.

b) public information
Public information is a linear form(Shannon and Weaver 1949 : Weaver 1949b cited in Fiske, 1990) as well. In this model, information seminated to the people is the truth and it practical for PR professionals to give facts to their audience.

c) two-way asymmetric
- By far, I find this model most interesting because it uses scientific facts to convince people and thus, it is said to be capable to "manipulate" people to act as how the organization would want them to. I couldn't understand how was this two way, but Sison (2009) claims it is two-way because research about the audience is carried out before materials used on the audience is formed. I think for this model, one of the tools is to understand cultures. I think it would be easier to communicate with the understanding of cultures, so in a way, it is two-way, because PR practitioners would need to do research on the "local culture" especially working in a foreign country or in an MNC.

d) two-way symmetric
- And finally, this model as Sison (2009) says that it is the most preferred form of PR practice. This is because it strives to establish a common understanding between organisations and the public.

After all of this "heavy reading", the best model, would be the "two-way symmetric". It's because that's the main role of a PR professional- to coordinate the relationship between the organisation and the public.

That's so much from me for this week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week 4

Hello! Behold, the long awaited text book is here! 


Well, actually 1 part of the book. It's uploaded on Blackboard. But it's actually the reading for week 1. I guess it's never too late? Anyway, here's a little something I picked up from the reading, it's under the reflect & discuss section, page 20; that talks about what skills would a PR practitioner need for effective practice. 

Before taking this course, as mentioned in my very first post reading the chapter, I always thought that PR was just similar to advertising, so I guess that means you just need to know your product well and make sure your product sells; that sort of thing. 

But after reading the text, it came to me that PR practitioners don't just go around like promoting products, they go around working with people from all walks of life, and you'll need to have certain skills to really "cut it" for this job. And so, the skills that are vital for PR practitioners to be effective in their job, in my opinion, would be:

- understanding of the culture [shared understandings & belief] of both the firm that they are working in (Chia & Synnott, 2009), as well the society or the local culture [if they are working abroad]

- analytical in their work, to look at the various angles of the issues of their clients in order to cater for their broad target audience (Chia & Synnott, 2009)

- truthful and honest with their clients (Chia & Synnott, 2009)

- thorough, detailed; especially in research before launching public campaigns to ensure that all pros and cons are weighed (Chia & Synnott, 2009)

- to coordinate and manage the different types of media to maximize campaigns' effectiveness (Chia & Synnott, 2009)

Another area that I'm not exactly too sure about is ethics/morale in PR. I think I'll drop by the library to see if there's anything of PR ethics, but I know Ms. Wilson said next week's debate actually covers PR ethics. Pretty exciting! I feel that ethical practice of PR is also a vital skill for practitioners to be effective in their work. 

I guess that's so much for this week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week 3

My apologies for posting this up 2 days after class, class ended and I wanted to finish this, but I happen to have had diarrhea from Wednesday evening, and now, I'm back on track to post it up... :o)

Last week, I was exposed to the definition of Public Relations (PR). Today is the second lesson for CMNS 1290. The topic for today is Strategy, Tactics & Evaluation in PR.

One thing from lecture that makes me so sure that PR is far more effective than advertising is that; Advertising says: "I'm great" but PR says: "I'm great and I agree!" To me, I think that makes PR effective in a sense that there is more "personal touch" involved in PR, making it more effective than advertising.

The main thing picked up from the lecture today is that; strategy, meaning, research, analysis and evaluation underpins PR. PR campaigns are organized to create awareness among the people on a current issue such as UNESCO's TAP Project, in providing clean water supply for the people in Africa, global warming and many others.

Then, last week's blog- I posted a link to a video on Youtube about Silk Air. The "Cinema Takeover" that they launch as part of their PR campaign serves to give a better image of their airline. And all of these efforts can be summed up with 1 word, and that is: Strategy.

You need to have strategy in order to come up with a successful PR campaign. And it is important to make sure that these campaigns are successful, because they actually consume physical, financial and human resources quickly.

I feel that PR plays an important role in the organization, given the fact that it is more than advertising, it's managing people in the organization, managing brands and products and crisis too, as mentioned in the previous post.

You need to have strategy in order to come up with a successful PR campaign. And it is important to make sure that these campaigns are successful, because they actually consume physical, financial and human resources quickly.

I feel that PR plays an important role in the organization, given the fact that it is more than advertising, it's managing people in the organization, managing brands and products and crisis too, as mentioned in the previous post.

And in PR, when doing campaigns, there's this acronym; "SMART" which stands for:


in a Time Frame

For me, I think it's great, because this form of planning, the outcome is measurable and tangible, in a certain period- and it's a form of motivation.

That's so much for this week. Till the next!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 2

Today's the very first lesson for CMNS 1290: Introduction to Public Relations. 

I picked up the definition of PR by the Institute of Public Relations Singapore: 

"Public Relations is a professional discipline that aims to enhance an organisation’s reputation and stakeholder relations, to achieve its objectives through communications and related strategic tools.” (Institute of Public Relations Singapore, n.d.)

And since being Malaysian, I thought I might as well have a look at PR in the Malaysian context: 

"The determined, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. Also understood as reputation management, the PR craft can be categorised into several broad practice areas, such as media relations, investor relations, corporate social responsibility, corporate communications, marketing communications, issues management, government relations, employee communications, stakeholder relations, change management and crisis communications." (Institute of Public Relations Malaysia, 2009)

I used to perceive public relations as something similar to advertising. But I guess today, it opened my eyes to what PR really is. Public relations, looking at the two definitions given, it is  simply put; coordinating the relationship between people and the organization in different ways and situations. 

So it's not just "selling brands", it has to do with coordinating people, managing crisis, counseling everyone in the organization and... I was shocked that when Ms. Tanya Wilson said that PR professionals will never say "No comment" to the press. PR professionals must always have a statement ready. And also, PR professionals are creative. Talking about creative, just to share a little video we were introduced during the tutorial. Check this link out... 

I think this is just so much for the first lesson. Looking forward to future lessons!