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.