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>)

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