Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The final chapter is about asian perspective of pr. It is interesting to read and learn about the development of pr in other countries including my own, Singapore. This information is useful especially since this class is made up of differing groups of people from all over Asia. It is even more surprising to read a review of Singapore's pr climate and how press agency is still very much active here. It is true our definition of pr is very different from the 'model' definition or from the most developed. However I would like to point out that not all pr industry go through the same development and end up being the 'model' type at the end of the day. In different cultures, because pr is an adaptive and highly volatile career, practitioners take on what is needed. Hence, if there is a need for pr practitioners to work with, and indeed sometimes as, marketing or advertisers, then they will. And even though somehow a cross-boundary results, jobs get done in the best possible way. Even if it is not in the 'model' way.
New media (internet) is increasingly and extensively used by people all over the world, especially in developed countries. Statistics have shown high rates of internet usage in Singapore (66% in 2005). New media is more popular with the younger generation.
Some of the new media applications pr practitioners can use include blogs, podcasting, second life, social networking and twitter. They reach out to a greater audience and in applications like blogs and twitter (micro-blogging), audience feedback can be obtained. However, ethical issues must be considered (astroturfing or flogging). A well-known case for example is when the pr practitioner for Wal-Mart started a blog promoting itself as a grassroots organisation.
At the same time, new media is different and therefore captures the attention of the younger generation who have grown tolerant of ubiquitous adverts and billboards (conventional marketing). Two examples of how new media can engage people are shown below:
1) ImSocial campaign (a facebook page set up to promote Motorola Dext through a competition)
2) MGMT concerts (location of concerts are revealed online, tickets obtained through a game)
Monday, March 15, 2010
A very good example of crisis management would be the SARS case study we did in class.
In situations of emergency, pr practitioners must be able to think on their feet, act quickly, but also carry out correct measures. In this case, Tan Tock Seng Hospital were alert and appropriate actions were duly taken. To build trust with the public, information was made available and nothing was concealed. A doctor was also made the spokesperson. Information coming from a person of authority is more credible. It was also a good platform to disseminate info about how to prevent SARS.
Another example of how a crisis was handled. This is about the recent recall of Toyota cars.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Systems theory is a framework in which pr practitioners view organised groups of people in a company or organisation. Within an organisation there are systems, which are further broken into subsystems. For example:
- production or technical (concerned with the production line)
- supportive (ensure availability of inputs)
- maintenance (maintain social relations)
- adaptive (monitor and respond to environment, crisis-management)
- managerial (coordinate and control other subsystems)
This classification helps us understand what each department's roles and responsibilities are and how they interact and work together to run the whole organisation. This is important to a pr practitioner because of the nature of our job. We are required to communicate to people from all over, hence, knowing the situation would be advantageous in communication.
Friday, March 12, 2010
To come up with an excellent pr plan, personally, I would start with tactics. Smart clever tactics that initiate actions from the audience is the most difficult to come up with. Once a feasible idea comes up, everything else (strategy, objectives, target audience) will fall into place. Of course, the tactic must first be able to meet the goal.
Personally, tactics are most important to me because Singapore is a metropolitan city. Every single day, people are spammed with adverts, promotional articles etc. I find myself ignoring since they are all useless to me in some way (if I want something, I know where to get it, hence, I dont need adverts). So when I see something clever that is able to grab my attention, I am impressed. Here are a few more examples that I grin at:
http://www.droga5.com/ (many videos under case studies that show what was done)
http://pb4000xl.com/ (Pervert Designs case studies under archives)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
In dealing with the media, the skill of writing a press release was learnt in journalism module. For example, how to write articles using the inverted pyramid model, how not to write it in a promotional style as journalists often re-write it anyway, and to pitch a press release using a certain angle that is interesting to the reader etc. The picture on the left actually reveals how the public/journalists views pr practitioners through press releases. Due to its promotional nature, press releases are often exaggerated and unbelievable, hence, pr practitioners must often keep in mind ethics while at work.
Something else that interest me was media kits and case histories. I think it is a smart all-in-one package that is useful for a journalist. However, care must be taken to ensure it is not packaged too much like a 'bribery kit' instead.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Public Relations research is probably one of the more boring topic or activity pr practitioners carry out. However, it is very much needed in every stage of a pr campaign. Before anything, research is done for situational analysis. During an event, research is still being carried to monitor progress. At the end, research is done to determine if target is achieved.
An area of interest would be the links between attitudes, opinions and behaviour. Attitude is described as having 3 components: cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling) and behavioural (doing). A pr campaign is aimed to change either one, two or all three components. To result in attitude change, occurrences in chronological order ususally starts with audience understanding of case facts, then feeling or believing before they start doing. However, behaviour may also be influenced by other factors (situational, motivational etc) and constraints. The cognitive element will then come in later to justify the action.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Ethical issues usually consist of decisions that may be acceptable in one culture but not in another. Good intent of one pr practitioner may not be enough to ensure ethical behaviours, and may affect reputation of the organization or company. If pr practitioners do not take a proactive role in upholding ethics, the organization may be seen as incompetent.
As already mentioned, ethical behaviour means different things for each individual. Hence, a grading system of some sort is needed for everyone to follow. Examples are deontology, consequentialism, inclusion and proactive ethics. These are ideas or school of thoughts that help pr pratitioners carry out their duties ethically.
I personally relate most to is consequentialism. This enables one to see the big picture and to do what is best in the interest of the masses. This is similar to utilitarianism. However, a major disadvantage is that the ethics of the means of achieving goals is not considered. This can result in disastrous outcomes. Take for example, Ford Motor Company, which ignored a design flaw of the Ford Pinto due to economical reasons. Analysts calculated that the amount to correct this design flaw would cost more than the insurance pay-out derived from the probability of accidents and deaths occurring. Although it is economically beneficial, Ford's decision to ignore flaws was undoubtedly unethical.
Another infamous case study> Enron