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2/28/10

Week11: Focus on Asian Public Relations Management


I think this chapter is extremely interesting because it relates to me since Singapore is part of Asia. I agree to the point which states the importance of of understanding and engaging with the sociocultural in a global and regional sense in order to act effectively (Sriramesh, 2004). Public Relations is important because we need to rely on other countries such as China, which has a strong economic position to boost our own economy. Therefore, every country is dependent on each other and we count of public relations to maintain these good ties with one organisation from another. However, challenges may arise as well. language barrier, control of the internet are some possible factors that may pose as hurdles in communication. As what Hung & Chen (2004) had mentioned, there is a more valuable opinion-forming mechanism in Asia as compared to the West.

However, I feel that even within Asian countries, the media law is different as well. Therefore, the extent to which news can be published varies as well. Of all the countries which I have read about, I feel that Japan is the most unique place and if given a chance, I would like to gain some working experience there. Being the world's biggest circulation news media, a lot of organisations engage in advertising rather than public relations. However, they have the Public Relations Society of Japan. Members of this society are exclusively selected as unlike their neighbouring countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, they do not have a broad availability of scholarships. Due to the reluctance of Japanese businesses and Governments to outsource major specialists such as media relations, it is a challenge to be a Public Relations practitioner there. Therefore, I think this is a good opportunity to experience a different kind of working environment.

All in all, I feel that the readings are really useful and it gives me examples and detailed explanation about Public Relations. With that, I have a deeper understanding of the expectations of Public Relations.

Second part: WRITING A MEDIA RELEASE BY CANDY TYMSON

Upon reading, I feel that of all the points listed, a media release is the most important because it can reach out to many people at one go. Public Relations practitioners can save a lot of time. As for the elements (Tymson, 2006) had listed, I feel that the correct angle is the most important cause it actually determines if the piece of media release article is newsworthy. This reading is good in the sense that it is extremely useful to us as we do our assignment. We can always use this as a guide to follow.

Yes, we must always follow the structure of a media release:
-Headline
-Lead
-Body
-End

In my opinion, although the headline is short, it is one of the most important elements because it is at the beginning and it somehow is the element that attracts readers to continue reading. Therefore, an interesting, short and sweet headline is vital to the success of a media release.

It is also good that an example of a media release was shown as it allows students like us to connect and understand how to write a media release. I feel that we can always ask close friends of ours to check our piece of writing before confirming it as a piece of media release as they may be able to give us good comments and advice as to how to improve it.

Overall, everyone has their own style of writing a media release. What really matters is the grasp of a good angle and most importantly, we should follow the structure of a media release.


p/s

Finally reached the end of all the readings. I feel that although the readings take up quite some time, the readings are beneficial to us in the long run as it allow us to be able to comprehend theories, guides better and understand this whole module at a more in depth level. This blog reminds us to be more consistent in our readings and I feel that it is a good tool for us to voice our own opinions and also seek friends' useful comments. (:

Week10: New Media and Public Relations


In the recent years, practically all households in developing countries have access to internet. I agree to Barr's (2000) paradigm shift in for public relations as he stated that there are new ways of communicating to the public. As there is a shift in the communication ways, these communication ways become more complexed as well. Unlike the past whereby organisations provide information and the public just absorb the information like the hypodermic theory, people, who are more educated now, have the capacity to generate these information and challenge organisation's information, I agree that most used new media platforms such as websites to disseminate information rather than promote dialogue (Weaver et al, 2003). Websites are really easily accessible and thus, organisations are using it to reach their target audience.

The role of new media is actually to balance out communication. With technology, there are greater opportunities for the public to participate. Once again, we can see that we are moving from a one-way communication to a two-way communication. Ethical issues are discussed once again, I agree that integrity is something that all organisations should strive to have. From the code of ethics, being fair and honest is the first demand. I personally feel that Astroturfing is a very unehtical way of trying to promote or spread one's message because through the practice of creating fake entities that appear to be real grassroots organisations, when they are part of the organisation, it clearly speaks of the extent of how people can do stood so low to do things just for reputation or publicity.

There are different forms of new media and I feel that the social networking system is the best media that organsiations can use to spread their messages. Launched in 2005, Facebook is a social networking site that has garner large support from people all over the word. People can locate friends whom they have not seen for years through a few seconds. Similarly, organisations can create facebook groups to invite people from all over the world to join their group. This will somehow leave an impression in people.

As new media is taking over the traditional forms of media, organsiations have to work towards building a high standards of transparency and accountability. Users can now construct their own meanings from messages and this means that practitioner's control over the public is becoming quite limited (Fawkes & Gregory, 2000). Now, members of the public can write reviews on websites that other people can easily read and decide if they should trust the product. Therefore, Public Relations practitioners should strive to engage the public through these years as they are the ones who decide if they should support the organisation.


2/22/10

Week9: Reputation Management: A Driving Force for Action


Reputation is undeniably essential to building an organisation's success. This is so as with good reputation, people tend to believe, have more faith in that particular organisation. As such, we are seeing more organisations participating/ sponsoring community events as they believe that by doing so,they are gaining reputation, which is good to their company in the long run. Take the Nike in London for an example, Nike donated 50,000 pounds to the national youth charity Fairbridge. Upon knowing that Nike is organising such marathons and also, contributing part of their revenue to charity, people will have a good impression of Nike and thus, Nike is working towards gaining better reputation.

One of the main challenges that organisations face with the public is Corporate Social Responsibility as the public and the organsiations have different aims. Organisations main motive is to gain profits while consumers want oranisations to work in a way such that the society benefits from it. I agree to the Moris Research by Lewis (2003) as he stated that it is hard to see how business can do things that benefit the society unless it is profitable. Furthermore it is true that in today's society, people will be skeptical about what is being done. Just like how the company BP which tried to promote their "Beyond petroleum" that is supposed to be environmentally friendly. Skeptics came out with terms such as "Beyond Preposterous" as they think that they do not truly mean what they are promoting but doing so mainly for profits. On the contrary to what Scott Cutlip thinks, I think that reputation and image can be used interchangeably as both words can be used to describe the impression, like good image and good reputation. Whether is it long term or short term, image and reputation are quite similar.

Moving on, I find Corporate Identity Structures really interesting. Whenever I walk into supermarkets, I realised that some brand logos are really interesting and it is these logos that are able to leave an impression in people's minds. It is truly a strategy that can be used to attract consumers in the long run, after a large group of people notice it.

Overall, it is the the planningof the organisation that can build up the organisation's reputation through creating of logos, brands. It is definitely a need to have a clear vision of what each organisation intends to achieve at the end of the day.

Week9: An Issue-Crisis Perspective (Part1)


As i read about this chapter, I find it quite shocking when a study (Farmer & Tvedt, 2005) was conducted and identified that 27 percent of organisations which undergo crisis cannot survive. A crisis often occurs when issues are well managed. The reaction of key publics during a crisis will determine if the company survives and is able to recover. In this case the media is a very important source as it is the medium that organisations use to communicate with their key public. Therefore, public relations practitioners have to develop a precise strategy in order to save the organisation. As technology improves over the years, it is undeniable that the internet is very important today. Public Relations practitioners are also using this widely known tool to spread their messages across as the web is accessible to almost everybody through a click of the mouse.

It is only now that I realised that a crisis is quite different from an issue. An issue is something that seeks to identify potential, emerging trends, concerns while a crisis usually catches organisations unknowingly. An example of an issue would be AlGore coming up with a documentary called "The inconvenient Truth" to alert people about issues on global warming. In line with what Hath (1997) had mentioned, I totally agree that issues management is a function dedicate to assisting organisations to understand and strategically adapt to their public policy environment. Through that, I feel that it somehow makes one more prepared. Issue monitoring is extremely important in my opinion because it is something that needs to be done constantly.

I feel that Fink (1986)'s crisis life cycle is a bit confusing. The different phases are actually represented through time, like how things will worsen after more and more people find out about the crisis. Overall, I think that we should always be prepared for any major hiccups along the way cause hiccups are usually unavoidable. However, it really depends on how we go and face it and what actions we take to actually solve the problems.

2/21/10

Week8: Public Relations Management in Organisations

Management is important in the organisation, and every department requires proper management, including Public Relations management as well. I agree to Skyttner (2001) as he claimed that theories are needed for people who attempt to solve problems, make recommendations and predict the future through using theories as a basis.

As I continued reading, the part on Adjustment and Adaptation left me thinking. I think that it is really not easy to be able to adapt and adjust accordingly cause sometimes, Public Relations practitioners may not feel the need to do so. However, it is the role of Public Relations practitioners to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships that are good for the organisation. Sometimes, people may be too accustomed to their environment. It may become problematic when an organisation faces conflicting needs from another. Thus, it is the Public Relations practitioner's role to help decision makers in the organisation through this predicament and ensure that it results in positive outcomes. Besides the external environment, I do agree that employees in the organisation are equally important. This is because they are the ones who make up the organisation, thus it is vital for them to be committed to the organisation and also, for them to adapt to the organisation's policies, rules, or decisions. This can be further supported as Chia and Peters )2008) found out that employees are becoming social capital investors as they take a key role in growing the organisation's internal and external relationships. This shows that employees can mean a lot to the organisation as they become an intergral part of a public relations communication management program.

All in all, I believe that employees, community, environment (internal and external) are important in the growth of an organisation. That is why terms such as community engagement, corporate social responsibility, employee communication channels come about. They are all inter-related and Public Relations practitioners should look into these factors when completing their task for the organisation. Everyone should work together to make the working environment a comfortable place.


I personally prefer the open systems as compared to the closed systems because i think that it is important to view environment as important to survival. As the saying states "No man is an island", I believe that organisations cannot survive alone and are definitely affected by the external environment. Unlike the closed system whereby the Public Relations department only react to crisis or when problems arise, I think that Public Relations practitioners should be more proactive and constantly seek information at any point of time. This also makes the role of a Public Relations practitioner more interesting and challenging. Also, a two-way communication approach is definitely better in the sense that as compared to a linear communication, feedback is important as it allows organisation to improve.

I also agree with Gurnig (1992) as he stated that public relations department should seperate from marketing function because there is still a fine line between these two and if the there is a mix between these two, it will seem very much similar to advertising. We have to remember that besides customer relationships, public relations practitioners have to take into account non-customer public which include employees, communities and shareholders.

Even animals can live in harmony.

2/15/10

Week7: Strategies to Proactively Manage Activity

As public practitioners, they have to choose appropriate strategies and tactics to achieve certain goals. This chapter is quite similar to what we have learnt in the first few lessons. I agree to the fact that Constructionism (Crotty, 1998) are constructed by human beings as they engage with the world they are interpreting.This leads to the new meanings to different issues such as new social networking tools for teenagers in this society.

I find that following a systematic way to come up with a strategic plan is very useful:
1.Research (By studying campaigns)
2.Analysis (Finding out SWOT, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
3.Goal setting (Coming up with something you want to achieve)
4.Setting objectives (Something measurable, specific that can assist you to reach your goal)
5.Identifying publics or audiences (Understanding and knowing who are the ones you want to reach out to)
6.Developing strategies (How to reach your goal)
7.Devising and implementing tactics (The actions that you take to implement your strategies)
8.Monitoring (Constantly check that you are doing what you should do)
9.Evaluation (See if you've reached your target)

The above are the steps that PR practitioners should seek to adhere to as it is a good guide for them.

Although this chapter is quite a short one, I'm glad that it did help me understand how to plan a proposal that is important to me, especially for this upcoming assignment. From the case study on Educating School Children About the Census by Melanie James, I like the fact that it is so detailed and easy to comprehend. By coming up with educational games it educate children, I think it is a brilliant idea as the games are definitely attractive to children. It is really important to think of a good tactic in order to be successful.
Some environmental strategies...

2/6/10

Week6: Engaging With The Media

In my opinion, media is indeed important to PR practitioners cause it is a very powerful tool that PR practitioners can reach out to the audience. According to the two-step flow theory, (Katz & Lazersfeld, 1995) stated that before we can reach out to our audience, we should first try to convince the opinion makers, in this case the media, as audience tend to listen to what the opinion maker states through the media. As human beings, we will tend to feel more convinced as we follow our opinion makers. As for controlled and uncontrolled communication, I feel that PR practitioners results in more uncontrolled communication because they can never guarantee how the story will be told or in what way will it be used. Controlled communication is somehow similar to advertising as there is a specific form to publish or reach out to the specific audience.

Similar to what Miss Tanya had shared with us, it is important for PR practitioners to maintain a good relationship with the gatekeepers as they are the ones who control if he/her story should be published. Undeniably, besides maintaining a good relationship, the story has to be interesting and must fit certain criteria as well. Also, convergences are happening fast. When I totally agree when the writer wrote that different types of media are used currently in today's society. Once again, like what we've shared in class, as people try to introduce Wii into the market, they allow people to test it out and see the advantages of the product themselves rather than just publishing news, posters about it. From here, we can witness that there are more ways to promoting and it is important for us to keep up with the trend.

I totally agree to the keys to success stated in the book. Of all the keys, I feel that having up-to-date databases is the most important. This is because we have to constantly be updated so as to be able to compete with other Public Relations firms. Also, it does widen our experience in some ways. Professionalism can be showed and prov
en as PR practitioners are constantly aware of changes and are clear of what they are trying to find or trying to tell.

However, I do feel that it is quite tedious to know what is news and what is not and I think that it is something that i should try to improve on as the years go. I do agree with (Stanton, 2007) when he advised that we should find an angle that localises the whole event. However, I do not think that it is easy to find that particular angle. This is an essential tool in writing a good media release that PR practitioners will most probably do in future.

Overall, there are seriously a lot of things to take note of when engaging with the media. conducting news conferences, having a spokesperson, dealing with legal and ethical issues, copyright issues and all. A lot of planning is needed and one must be patient to be able to deal with the above. Even if there seems to be a lot of effort that needs to be put in, we should always think of the end result and do our best.
Media owns the soul

2/4/10

Week5: Public Relations Research (Part1)

Research is actually vital in everything that we do, not only in Public Relations. From the readings, it is true that research carried out during a program allows us to fine tune the activity to ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved. Personally, I feel that by doing research, we can always ensure that we are working towards a more holistic way. However, being able to conduct a research effectively is not a simple task afterall. There must always be a reason behind conducting a reasearch, one needs to always get into the research mindset beforehand. I find that the Hierarchy of Effects model (McElreath, 1993) is quite useful in the sense that practitioners can refer to it and incorporate tasks to be undertaken.

Also, upon reading, I've realised the close links between attitudes, opinions and behaviour. Before one can change his/her attitude, they have to be able to accept opinions and this leads to the change in behaviour as well. Moving on, public relations practitioners should also take into account the public opinions as upon grasping the preferences/likings of the public, it is always easier to plan to reach our to specific target audience.According to (Seitel, 2007), public opinion is what most people in a particular target audience think about an issue. Through this, perceptions are based and planning can be done.

As for the types of research, there are quantitative and qualitative research. Sometimes, the use of one type of research method is sufficient, however, most of the time, I feel that the use of both quantitative and qualitative research is better as it ensures that the research is conducted both in depth and in quantity and therefore, is able to cover more areas. I am quite amazed that research have to be done throughout the whole process. Like during the implementation stage and at the outcome stage.

It is true to large extent that planning is difficult as besides the need for intensive research, researchers have to consider time and budget as well. I feel that in order for all these to be done well, the researcher have to be patient, clear of his/her objectives, limitations, strengths. Although this takes a lot of time and effort, the fruits at the end are worth the hard work.


Week5: Public Relations Practice (Part2)

For this chapter, it is mainly about the role of public relations practitioners. I feel that being a public relations practitioner is quite beneficial as the expectations of PR actually makes one a more organised person. From the readings, it is stated that public relations thinking is documented as a plan or a program and planning is definitely required. The act of planning leads to actions, which leads to results. I think this can be applied to us in our life as well. We need to do constant planning and take appropriate actions in order to obtain and achieve what we want in like. Therefore, we can witness that there is great interdependence between a good PR practitioner and an organised person.

I agree to the point that actions are guided by our values. According to Featherston (1995), people are engaged in an ongoing process of observation, interpretation, prediction, and control of their external environment. During this process, values are created and people usually do things that they see as only right to do it.

I particularly like the Day-to-day challenges and pressures section as I think that it really applies to our future regardless of the job we are taking. The good relationships, processes, time management, budgets, being proactive and ensuring the happiness of both clients and managers etcetera. However, I feel that the point to be "open to opnions/suggstions/advice" has been left out as not everyone in today's society is able to accept criticisms or are open enough to accept people's opinions that may be a step to improvement. Some may feel that they are always right and that they do not have to change themselves for the sake of others.

The case study on Mindarie Regional Council is a good guide to me as they used the partnership approach, which further proves the need for bringing in the community in order to get things done.

Practice makes things perfect.

2/2/10

Week4: Public Relations Ethics

In this chapter, I've learnt more about ethics. Once again, from readings, ethicsis about standards of behaviour, concern for 'good' behaviour and consideration of how our behaviour, as in individual or an organisation affects the well being of others or the society as a whole. I feel that it is important because any action that we take will affect others and not only ourselves. However, it is not easy to be ethical at all. This is because people it is only human nature to be tempted at times, to work for revenue in order to have a better standard of living. Although surveys have shown that Public relation practitioners usually think that they are ethical, things may seem otherwise when we look at some examples from the reading. Media headlines about public relations spin abounded when a government department media log, obtained under freedom of information la, recorded that public relations staff agreed to lie in unison (Fountaine, 2005). It is indeed disappointing to see people defying their conscience for the sake of other temptations. Once again, this seeks as a reminder to myself that if I were to become a Public Relations practitioner in future, I should always resist upcoming temptations and seek to give the best of my ability through being ethical.

I strongly agree to the cross-cultural communication the
ory (Gudykunst, 2005) as in this multi-cultural society, everyone should be mindful of what they say and be responsible for their actions. This theory states that we should always try to adapt the three part approach to being an ethical practitioner. Firstly, being willing to see ethics as important. Secondly, is aware that being ethical is not an easy task and lastly, to constantly assess and improve one's skill. I find this e
xtremely useful as I feel that we can always control ourselves if we have the strong will power to do so and therefore, if we try to focus on the objectiv
es of this theory, it will somehow help us to become more ethical in one way or another.

Moving on, (Hage, 2003) introduced ethics of inclusion. As he is from Leban, he illustrated ethics of inclusion using his first language which meant "Hey, include me in your dreams" to remind communicators to recognise the views of others during communication. I find this a good way because it is interesting and therefore, unforgettable. Another way to illustrate it can be seen using the ethics pyramid (Tilley, 2005), whereby people work their way up starting from the base. The base can be doing research, coming up with ethical expectations, then moving up to shared ethical objectives, then appropriate ethic tactics and lastly, check and report the outcomes. I think the systematic way that ethic pyramid provides serves as a good guide and assistance to people.

Overall, there are many ways to ensure that we are on track to becoming an ethical public relations practitioner. Therefore, it is really up to one to be determined and to stick to his/her moral values. We have to always control our own thinking and not let temptations lead us astray. This chapter is quite enriching as I feel that we will definitely experience such difficulties and challenges in time to come.

Do not give in to temptations
as
we should never contribute to the DECLINE OF ETHICS.