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Week3: Understanding Twenty-First Century Public Relations (Pt2)

As for the second set of readings, Understanding Twenty-First Century Public Relations, I find it useful as we definitely need to know how Public Relations has evolved over the years through various factors. I strongly agree to the fact that what (Chia, 2009) has pointed out, public relations is developing in different stages according to social, political and economic circumstances, and to the developments of countries and regions, and is underpinned by ideologies that often reflect dominant cultures. Just like how Western cultures are different fro non-Western cultures such as countries in Asia, the Public Relations methods tend to be different as well. I feel that the definition of Public Relations: discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing public opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between and organisation and its public (Edward, 2006) is a precise and good way of defining PR. However, the issue about how far should Public Relations consider the interest of the public and the organisation still remains as an ethic issue that has raised much controversy. This will be discussed further in the debate that is held on Week4.

Once again, the importance of theory was stated. I was quite amazed by the fact that in Public Relations itself, there are so many components. This includes "internal communication management", "external networking", "crisis management", "research" etceteras. Of all the components, I personally feel that Im most interested in the "external networking" component. This is so as I hope to have a change to work in different environment and I feel that if I can do external networking, I am able to work with different organisations. Towards the end, I feel that being a Public Relations practitioner is not easy at all. In fact, it is quite tough and as I look at the case study given, a lot of research and planning has to be done, goals, one has to be sure of objectives and strategies as well.

Indeed, every job has its own challenges.


Week3: Theoretical Context (Pt1)

During lecture, we have learnt about media relation. Media relation is actually a sub-field of Public Relations. Also, there are different tactics and I realised that the choice of tactic is really essential because it is actually the force that leads us to obtain our objectives and ultimately, reach our goals. However, there are both uncontrolled and controlled tactics as well. We were asked to look our for new and feature story from PR for our next lesson. I did not know about the difference between these two at first and now I know that feature story tends to emphasize more on things that interest people or products that are unusual and not widely known. I find it quite amazing that Public Relations practitioners have to use different angles to accommodate to different types of medium. Also, good Public Relations practitioners should be able to use different angles as a strategy to put their important message across effectively cause different mediums have different types of readers and as PR people, we need to know this aspect very well. Once again, trust was emphasized as the relationship between media and PR is very important. It is funny when Ms Tanya told us that Public Relation practitioners have to always give in to journalists and also, get into their good books as they have to rely on journalists. Undeniably, I really wonder if I am able to bear with someone whom I do not share the same views just for the sake of being professional. Well, that is a challenge in this line and we should always be positive about challenges.

During lecture, we were told to study another case study. This time, it is about promoting healthy food to busy people cause they always skip their meals in the midst of their hectic lifestyle. Somehow, it is really something we should look into as it is not good to skip meals as it will affect our body. We were told to identify the Goals, objectives, strategy and tactics. I was quite confused between strategy and tactic again. Then I realised, the strategy is for them to increase media coverage in order to let more people know about this healthy packed lunch, the benefits of it, the risks of skipping meals and all while the tactic is the actions taken according to their strategy. They invited Sports celebrities to be ambassador of their campaigns, created a website etcetera. Ms Tanya also shared with us a case study about OCD (Organizing Chaos Daily). It is really interesting cause this girl is the first person who set up this business in Singapore. It is through the different angles for mediums that she became so successful. Through different angles, she managed to grasp the vital points to attract readers and I think this is something that we should all learn cause it is a very useful skill. It is because of her being able to do so that she is saving a lot in advertising cause practically different mediums are writing about her business. Next, we were told to try writing a press release. Somehow, it is quite different from the usual press release we did for other modules. We have to know what is our main focus before typing and not simply put recent activities in front.

As for the readings:Theoretical Context
I have always thought that learning theories are a waste of time and effort cause it consist of merely words and I usually cannot connect to it. However, upon reading, I have realised thad theories are not useless, but in fact, extremely beneficial to us. It is true that learning theories actually helps us to predict outcomes, develop strategies and tactics that are essential. Also, I find cybernetics quite important because feedback and appropriate adjustments should always be the concern of a PR in order to improve the image of clients. Moving on, grasping communication theories is also part of Public Relations as we need to know communication theories in order to effectively communicate with the public. We should always be aware that models such as the transmission model is no longer as applicable as it was in the past because people are now more educated and thus, they have a wider range of perspectives which brings feedback. I find the point stated about the Excellence Theory really interesting. I cannot agree more to the point that excellent public relations have a participative rather than authoritative organisational cultures. This is something that most organisations should learn from as it really helps to boost not only the image of the company but also, the entire working environment. Once again, trust was stated in the readings and this only goes to show that trust is really vital in relationship management. Cultural theory is also something PRs shouldt ake into account. This is so as different countries, different organisations have their own distinct set of beliefs. By understanding this theory, practitioners can then be more aware of the way they should handle authority and power.
All in all, communication theories set a guideline for Public Relations practitioners to follow and ensure that they can carry out their professionalism effectively.


Week2: Applying theory to practice

It's the second official week for this module, learnt about quite a few things during lecture. This includes setting goals and objectives, then thinking of strategies and lastly, implementing tactics to conduct campaigns to advertise. Basically we've learnt about the things we should take note when planning and also, even after planning, we have to constantly monitor and evaluate our strategic public relation plan. I find the SWOT analysis really useful and interesting cause it's the first time I heard of it. Personally, I feel that knowing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threatens are important in almost everything and this does not only apply to research results. Also, one has to be realistic in setting targets such as goals and objectives as it has to be definitely what we want to achieve in the end.

As for tutorial, we have a debate to start working on. My team will be the first team to do the debate and our topic is about ethics. I find this topic quite interesting as we are bound to be exposed to such dilemma in future if we are working in this field. Also, we went through a SARS case study. Trust is indeed a fundamental trait that we should have or should work towards gaining as it definitely makes things work out. It was due to the open communication that Singapore practiced during this crisis that enabled us to fight the battle, not alone but with the cooperation of everyone. Besides that, we went through different case studies that we have came across while browsing the website. The case study that I thought was interesting was the Doodle for Google one as I feel that the tactics they have implemented are really brilliant and I am sure that this is due to their good planning and clear goals and objectives that they have set. There is also another case study about Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse and Neglect. The Abuse Child Trust is a leading non-governtment group that is trying to break this cycle. As we can see from their name, they are trying to position Trust as a credible, well-informed and reliable source in bringing their message across. They used true life stories and tried to get them published on newspapers. Also, in depth research was done. Upon being exposed to more case studies, I feel that having a goal is a must as it is something that we can work towards to and it is only through having a form goal that we brainstorm about ideas and strategies to reach and obtain that particular goal.

Lesson 2 was indeed enriching as the things that I have learnt definitely makes me a more organised person.
Chase your goal
aim high, but aim realistically


Week1: Introduction

It is the first lesson this week! Personally, I'm really interested in this module. However, I'm not exactly sure on what is public relations all about and I guess this is the time when I can finally find out more about it and see if I'm really interested. All along, I only know that public relation is about getting to know, working with different people all the time. I like the idea of getting to meet different people cause it is quite different from the mundane jobs in the society. However, I also heard that it is not an easy job cause besides meeting different people, people in PR have to deal with all the complaints from people and all. This may be kinda stressful in the long run. Therefore, I am going to take this opportunity to see if my interest lasts. We were told to introduce ourselves and also, share about what we intend to do in future. I also found out what is the main difference between advertising and public relations. Really quite glad upon hearing that we do not need to memorise definitions and all from books and it is more of understanding the topic. The module seems fun and I'm definitely looking forward to know more about public relations. Well, first lesson is always a brief yet good introduction of the module.

Till then!