Thursday, 19 March 2009

Week 11

I think the two key points to remember from this week's readings were that PR practitioners have to prepare an issue or crisis management plan in any project undertaken and the rise of the third sector.

Recovery from a crisis/issue is no easy feat and may take a long time to achieve. That is why having a crisis management plan or procedures help PR practitioners to quickly resolve the issues especially in cases of emergencies whereby immediate attention is demanded. In this new soft world order, risks are inevitable and are becoming almost necessary. PR practitioners cannot afford to overlook the risk factors.

The readings made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that concern must be given to not only the financial problems that arose out of a crisis but also to the emotional despairs that plague those affected. Stakeholders are the most emotional because are gambling an insurmountable amount of money which may cause them to be bankrupt. PR practitioners cannot lie through their teeth. Honesty is the best policy. Both parties need to be aware of what is at stake and how the road to recovery can be designed in a way that more benefits can be reaped in the future, reducing the impact of the setback.

Week 10

I think the two key points to remember from this week's reading were the importance of setting realistic objectives and selecting media suitable to achieve those objectives.

The reading basically enlightens us on the process of planning a campaign. Experience is an excellent bonus because that would mean less time spent on researching what is good for the company. In other words, experience teaches a PR practitioner to be more efficient and the relationship that he has forged with the suppliers will give him a competitive advantage over his peers.

The reading made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that it all boils down to knowing the right people for the job. A PR practitioner should not be afraid of knowing many suppliers at once instead of feeling obliged to stick to a particular one out of loyalty. Different projects require different types of material and only certain suppliers are specialised enough to meet the demand. Therefore, a PR practitioner should always keep updated on the public's taste and reception. Feedback may not be an option many would like to take but it is undeniably relevant to help improve the product/services/events held by the company. The audience now are no longer passive so the transmission model of communication has become redundant these days. Audiences have become more active hence, they prefer playing a part in searching for fulfillment of their own needs and gratifications. After all, they know themselves well and this enables PR practitioners to avoid wastage.

Week 9

I think the two key points to remember from this week’s readings were the importance of research before undertaking a project and the difference sponsorships and special events can make for a company.

The chapters relate the reason why PR practitioners need to be selective of the information gathered and the type of tactic they wish to adopt in order to successfully market the company.

The readings made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that a good research saves a lot of time and resources in planning a campaign. A review on existing literature helps PR practitioners to quickly identify developments made in the area of research that they are working on hence, there is no need to revise old studies which may become highly irrelevant. Current trends are what they should look out for so that the campaign is well-adjusted to this new world. New media has become an important tool in the field of PR, marketing, and ultimately business. It provides competitive advantage if used well. Tactics such as sponsorships and special events need such aids as the risk involved is relatively high. The Internet, for example, can help a social event to realise more objectives that the PR practitioners have in mind due to its timeliness and accessibility my many worldwide. However, the Internet itself may not be reliable because of uncontrolled incidents like power outage, server outage, etcetera. This will instead jeopardise the strategy. PR practitioners therefore need to be well-equipped with IT knowledge and work their magic (in this case creativity).

Week 8

I think the two key points to remember from this week's readings were the need to look at the feasibility of tactics used in marketing and the need to keep up with development of PR in the world of business.

The chapters basically tell us about the events that require the utmost attention and specialisation from PR practitioners from internal (mostly corporate) to external (mostly community) events. Such events have gathered more demands ever since the use of technology has helped to propel quality and quantity of a particular task/product/etc.

The readings made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that annual reports may sound like the most boring thing on earth to an average person but in the business world, it almost defines a company's reputation. Looking at the amount of effort that PR managers have to put in to publish an annual report, it seems clear that each company now strives to maintain a healthy reputation by being transparent to the publics. Annual reports make up an example for corporate events. Community events are the more worrying ordeals that PR practitioners have to face. A company does not want to be seen as being philantrophic for a quick publicity stunt. Rather, the company would like to be seen as a trusted agency within the community itself. Whichever event in hand, solid strategising is put in place in order to optimise the effectiveness of the tactics used. Promotional materials create a huge impact on the audience unwittingly because they paint an image of the company. This form of image may also be seen as branding. Just how would the company want to be seen as by the community? Classy? Family-oriented? Fun? In any case, the image adopted must be well-aligned with the company's mission and vision statements. We can't have McDonald's looking like a posh restaurant to dine in now, can we? The kids will definitely not be able to enjoy their happy meals in such a serious place.

And I want my happy meal and be happy with it.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Week 6

I think the two key points to remember from this week's readings were the shift from communicating with the publics to building relationships with them and that strategy is designed to gain competitive advantage.

Chapter 13 aimed to define the meaning of community and distinguish it from society and publics. This distinction made is actually essential as a community would imply a specific group of people with their own culture and characteristics which may not be shared by other groups. Therefore, it would be easier for a PR practitioner to recognise instantly what is and what is not accepted by their target audience within that given habitus.

"Strategy and Tactics" by Melanie James zoomed into the process of optimising the effectiveness of strategy and tactics in the contest for space. The problem with space is that it limits the amount of information that PR practitioners can provide thus, becoming a potential hindrance to a campaign's success.

The readings made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that there has to be a clear goal before embarking on a campaign. Without having a clear idea of what the client wants to achieve ultimately, the campaign would be a flop because the target audience will not gain anything out of it. A lot of messages are being thrown at the publics so it is very hard for a particular brand to stand out unless it is able to relate to the consumer, which is why PR practitioners must recognise the norms and values of the community before strategising. If the community is cynical, taglines such as the infamous "NSWow!" can be misinterpreted as "NSW-Ow!". It is evident that a meaning can be deconstructed so easily and then reconstructed into something that represents an entirely different meaning.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Week 5

I think the two key points to remember from this week's readings were understanding the use of ethics in practising PR and how PR practitioners are to present themselves.

Chapter 5 of the textbook touched on the issue of ethical practice in PR. It divided the manners of which ethics can be worked upon into four roles: counsellor, advocate, corporate monitor, and corporate conscience.

The readings by Drew, S. (2001) and Van Emden, J. & Becker, L. (2004) provided tips on how to make effective presentations which is very essential in practising PR. Therefore, we must not mistake presentations and/or groupwork as tools to be used only in classrooms.

The readings made me think more about public relations theory/practice in that conflicts are bound to arise from issues that involve ethical complications and/or even moral dilemmas which can disrupt the relationship between PR practitioners and their clients. On one hand, the burden of upholding ethical codes of conduct as expected by the publics rests on the tactics proposed by the PR practitioners. On the other, the clients themselves must bear responsibility on the dire consequences brought about by bad publicity. Either way, it either strengthens or weakens the bond between both parties. The trust factor is hence a key ingredient in ensuring that both parties are willing to work together despite having different ethical codes of conduct. Better yet, they should form a standard set of codes so each is aware of the procedures involved in tackling an issue. As the counsellor/advocate/corporate monitor/corporate conscience, PR practitioners need to know how to effectively present their proposals so that the client will accept a more ethical approach more readily rather than stubbornly insist on the strategy they've mapped out themselves.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Week 4

I think the two key points to remember from this week's readings were knowing the right people in the media to contact and choosing the right mode of medium to effectively release a message.

Submitting a press release to the right people in the hierarchy will ensure its timeliness. Time factor is very important as it gives depth to the scale of its importance. It also ensures the relevance of the press release.

Choosing the right media tactic is important as well because the level of importance of the press release demands a certain medium. For example, if the matter is pressing at hand, a press conference may be called for to address the woes of the public.

The readings made me think about public relations theory/practice in that a PR practitioner can only do his best to effectively compose the media release because thereafter he has limited or no control over how it is delivered to the public. A PR practitioner's use of promotional language may be excessively undermined by the journalist's use of formal hard news language which may not heighten the company's image as well as intended by the PR practitioner. This conflicting nature of the two jobs has often caused misunderstandings between the two. Nonetheless, both have to cooperate fully because they are mutually interdependent. Furthermore, most of the news stories actually come from media releases.