Public Relations• Public relations: the
entire range of efforts by an individual, an agency, or any organization attempting to reach or persuade audiences• Social and cultural influence is immense. • Convinced many American businesses of the value of nurturing the public • Most significant impact has been on the political process.
The Practice of Public Relations•
2,900 PR firms worldwide, including 1,900 in the U.S.• Growing academic field since the 1980s• By 2010, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) had nearly 10,000 members, 284 chapters at colleges, universities
Approaches to Organized Public Relations•
$13.6 billion in PR revenue in 2009 for the WPP Group • Burson-Marsteller • 138 offices in 81 countries • Clients include Sony, Coca-Cola, and IKEA. • Hill & Knowlton • 70 offices in 40 countries • Clients include Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, and Nestlé.
Performing Public Relations (cont.)• Media
relations • Promote a client by securing publicity or favorable coverage in the news media • Crisis Management • Recommend advertising to clients when it seems appropriate
Performing Public Relations (cont.)• Community
and consumer relations • Designed to sustain goodwill between its clients and the public• Government relations and lobbying • The process of attempting to influence lawmakers to support and vote for an organization’s or industry’s best interests
Public Relations Adapts to the
Internet Age• Web sites are the home base for PR efforts.• Clients of PR professionals can interact with audiences via social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs).• PR still needs to control messages. • Firms have edited company Wikipedia entries, paid bloggers to promote products.
Public Relations during a Crisis•
PR firms must help companies handle a public crisis or tragedy.• Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 was benchmark for how April 2010 BP oil spill was judged.• BP’s PR mistakes included multiple underestimations of damage done and the CEO’s lack of empathy.
Tensions between Public Relations and
the Press• Flacks • PR people who insert themselves between their clients and the press• Sources of conflict • Facts brought to light by journalists are spun by PR people. • PR people block access to important officials. • Agents promote advertising as news. • Bigger agencies are able to secure a disproportionate amount of coverage for their clients.
Shaping the Image of Public
Relations• PRSA Member Professional Values • Advocacy • Honesty • Expertise • Independence • Loyalty • Fairness
Public Relations and Democracy• Politicians
hire PR firms to improve their images. • Richard Nixon• PR campaigns that result in free media exposure raise questions regarding democracy and the expression of ideas.• Journalists need to become less willing conduits in the distribution of publicity.