Revision pr 500 (principles)


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Revision pr 500 (principles)

  1. 1. 6/4/2010 Public Relations (Principles) 500 REVISION Dr. Ulysses Chioatto Final Exam • preparing for the final exam. • divided into 3 sections each worth 10 marks for a total of 30 marks. • Y must answer 3 questions in t t l ( You t ti i total (one f from each section). • Each section has a choice of two questions. • Sections A and B contain essay questions. Exam Sections • Section A • focus: fundamental question of what is public relations and importance of ethics to professional practice. • Section B • questions about theoretical concepts in public relations. – use of relevant real life examples VERY IMPORTANT 1
  2. 2. 6/4/2010 Section C develop concise PR plan • based on a hypothetical scenario provided. • Do NOT write an essay in section C. • Present answer as a mini-PR plan • use of sub-headings and dot points. • Focus on the key elements in a PR plan, i.e. – PR Goals; – Publics/Stakeholders; – Strategies; – Tactics; and, – Evaluation. Ethical Practice • Introduction • What is ethics? Ethical Practice • The Potter Box Technique • The truth (the principle of objectivity) – Conflict with advertisers – Puffery y • The one way communication model – See (the 4 Grunig models) • Demand to fill editorial space • The circus & stunts • Phineas Barnum 2
  3. 3. 6/4/2010 Ethical Practice • Manufacturing news – Photo opportunities – Planting stories – Stopping stories pp g • The US Office of War Information • (recent example Bush speaking to soldiers in Iraq) • Newsreel, radio and newspapers in the 1940s Ethical Practice • PR Institute of Australia (PRIA) • 1950s • Still mainly publicity or press agentry • Banks • Airlines • Government • In 1961 3 million pounds spent on PR Ethical Practice • Television in 1956 • Conflicts between newspapers & TV • 1970s – Video clips • Multinational PR firms come to Australia • The first PR degrees – Charles Stuart Uni – Queensland Uni 3
  4. 4. 6/4/2010 Ethical Practice • 1980s and 1990 PR continues to be emphasized in universities • 25% growth 1994 to 1999 • M t unis now offer PR Most i ff • PR is now much more than just publicity Ethical Practice • News outlets have a public responsibility • Governments have a responsibility to ensure the press can be free • H i af Having few owners of media outlets f di tl t limits opposing voices Ethical Practice • Social Responsibility Theory – Servicing the economic system but • Promotes the democratic process • Keeps the public informed – Provides entertainment but • Entertainment must be good • The press must be accurate, fair, good quality information 4
  5. 5. 6/4/2010 Ethical Practice • Grunig’s models Press agentry Public information Sports No sell Entertainment Public sector Product promotion Non commercial Two way asymmetric Two way symmetric Mostly to advance the of the Unrealistic or idealistic projects or organizations in question PR’s Questionable Ethical Reputation • The very term “Public Relations” implies unethical behaviour for some people • Th late Harold Wilson, B iti h P i The l t H ld Wil British Prime Minister in the 1960s and 70s, is said to have described PR as “organised lying” PR’s Questionable Ethical Reputation • Well publicised cases such as: Hill and Knowlton’s work on the first Gulf War have added to popular perceptions C Company, 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment, 1st UK Armoured Division 5
  6. 6. 6/4/2010 PR’s Questionable Ethical Reputation • Hill and Knowlton: – Kuwait government influence American opinion; – spectacular false accounts; spectacular, – Citizens for a Free Kuwait was formed in the U.S.; – public relations firm Hill and Knowlton hired by Kuwaiti government ($11 million). PR’s Questionable Ethical Reputation • campaign describing Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals and letting them die on the floor. • US TV networks; • false testimony in Congress and the UN Security Council. • fifteen-year-old girl witness was the daughter of Kuwaiti ambassador; • surgeon witness was a dentist who admitted to lying. PR’s Questionable Ethical Reputation • There is a climate of cynicism and suspicion today in which the boundaries of fact and fiction seem to merge – Consider for example the plot of the 1998 movie Wag the Dog 6
  7. 7. 6/4/2010 Why the stigma? • The critics probably perceive PR activities as purely falling into the categories we have previously described as: – Press Agentry/Publicity; and – Two-way Asymmetrical • Much professional public relations work can be characterised by those two models • While this does not necessarily make such practice unethical, PR - like any profession - has its share of unethical operators Why the stigma (cont.)? • Some practitioners behave like “technicians” rather than responsible professionals/managers – “We can’t be blamed for what the media release says - we’re just the PR firm that issues it” • However the two way symmetrical approach However, two-way has ethics “built-in” as it systematically attempts to harmonise organisational behaviour with the needs and expectations of relevant publics Business Ethics • Recent events (e.g. Enron, WorldCom, HIH) have put the spotlight on business ethics and corporate governance – Corporate governance refers to the system by which organisations are directed and controlled g • Many companies now have in-house codes of ethics or codes of conduct 7
  8. 8. 6/4/2010 Business Ethics • Triple bottom line reporting (3Ps) is becoming commonplace – People (social performance) and – Planet (environmental performance) – as well as Profits (the traditional bottom line) • Companies like Shell and McDonald’s have issued Statements of Business Principles and Social Responsibility reports Defining Ethics • A value system for making decisions about what is right or wrong • The conduct of individuals and organisations is measured not only against their own consciences but also in relation to societal and professional norms Defining Ethics • Different people, organisations and cultures frequently have different standards and conflicting values • Ethical behaviour implies a higher standard than merely obeying the law - the law is a “floor” 8
  9. 9. 6/4/2010 The Potter Box Define situation Identify values Choose loyalties to Select principles stakeholders (McElreath 1993) Ethics - Two Basic Approaches • Deontological – Also referred to as intuitive or absolutist • A philosophical approach based on duty – Every decision is either right or wrong regardless of the th consequences • The end does NOT justify the means – Leading historical proponent: • Immanuel Kant – Kant’s Categorical Imperative states you should only do something if you would be happy for everyone else to do the same thing » I.e., moral principles are universal Ethics - Two Basic Approaches (cont.) • Teleological – Also referred to as inductive, naturalistic or situational • Focuses on the consequences of particular actions – If the consequences of a particular action are good, the act is ethical. If they are bad, the act is unethical. • However, from whose point-of-view are we to judge whether the consequences are good or bad? – Leading historical proponents: • Utilitarians such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill • The principle of utilitarianism is “the greatest good for the greatest number” 9
  10. 10. 6/4/2010 Combining the Two Approaches • A combination of the intuitive and naturalistic approaches is very common • Basic values like honesty, keeping p promises, reliability, loyalty and , y, y y commitment can be used as the foundation for making decisions in particular circumstances – Beyond that the consequences of proposed actions can be considered Combining the Two Approaches • Aristotle proposed a system of virtue- based ethics founded on the notions of habit, the mean, and nobility or beauty – Aristotle’s mean teaches that virtue is often Aristotle s found between two extremes (such as deontology and teleology) Why Ethical Dilemmas are Especially Common in PR • PR frequently deals with highly controversial and sensitive issues • PR deals with relationships on interpersonal, organisational and societal levels • Often there are conflicts between the needs and Often, expectations of diverse publics – E.g., employees, customers, shareholders, local communities, pressure groups, government etc • PR professionals must act as advocates of external and internal publics whilst also representing the interests of their organisations 10
  11. 11. 6/4/2010 PR - Serving Several Masters • PR practitioners must consider the ethical imperatives of: – Employers/clients – Organisational publics – Professional bodies, e.g. PRIA – Themselves as individuals • What if the employer’s or client’s values, the publics’ values, professional codes of ethics and/or the practitioner’s personal values are in conflict? Ethics and PR - The Realities • Ethical dilemmas are common in public relations as in other management fields • Ethical choices are rarely black and white • Oft the “right” d i i i Often th “ i ht” decision involves l choosing the lesser of several evils • A good rule of thumb: – Would you feel comfortable if your decision/course of action was outlined in a front-page newspaper story tomorrow? Professional Associations in PR • In Australia, the peak professional body for public relations practitioners is the – Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) • There are similar bodies elsewhere, e.g. – IPR (UK), – PRSA (US) and – IPRS (Singapore) 11
  12. 12. 6/4/2010 Professional Associations in PR • There is also the • International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and the • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) • In common with its overseas counterparts, the PRIA has a Code of Ethics which all members must agreed to uphold – see text book appendix Why Does Ethics Matter? • Companies with good records on ethics and social responsibility are likely to enjoy better public relations than less ethical competitors • Good public relations creates a climate of acceptance for organisations – a key source of competitive advantage What is a professional? • Many people think a professional is merely someone who gets paid for doing something • But the real meaning of a ‘professional’ is very different 12
  13. 13. 6/4/2010 What is a professional? • Five broad characteristics of a professional have been identified: 1. Belief in values • E.g., importance of service to others over economic reward • Professional freedom • Ability to operate independently without close supervision • Ability to say and do what is right - not being forced to conform for the sake of money or position 2. Membership of strong professional organisations 3. Adherence to professional norms • E.g., Code of Ethics of professional body 4. An intellectual tradition and a body of knowledge 5.Technical skills acquired through professional training • Professionals stay in the same field throughout their careers (Grunig and Hunt 1984) Examples of Ethical Issues in PR • Lying for a client or employer • Making exaggerated claims • Telling only part of the truth to give a misleading impression • Helping to conceal an illegal, unethical or hazardous situation • Using deception to gather information • Offering expensive gifts or other benefits to journalists or politicians Attempting to use clout as an advertiser to influence editorial coverage • Denigrating fellow professional practitioners or the profession in general • Poaching another practitioner’s clients/employees • Promising clients editorial coverage • Working for clients/employers with questionable ethics – The “hired gun” syndrome Examples of Ethical Issues in PR (cont.) • Conflicts of interest • Failure to disclose sources of funding/sponsorship - establishing “front” g organisations • Insider trading • Respecting client/employer confidentiality • Whistle-blowing • Accepting benefits/commissions from suppliers or anyone to whom you refer business 13
  14. 14. 6/4/2010 PR Theories Overview • Agenda setting theory • Systems Theory • Semiotics • Critical Theory • Rhetorical Theory • Social Exchange • Social Learning • Communications Theories- Hierarchies of Effects Why theory? • ‘Theories in PR come from a variety of other disciplines including management, marketing, communication studies, sociology, psychology, etc. sociology psychology etc • Theories have also been developed specifically within the PR field – E.g. The ‘four models’ (Grunig and Hunt 1984) Agenda Setting Theory • Assumes a two-step flow when PR uses mass communication: – From PR practitioner to the media – From media to target publics • Suggests the significance of mass media lies not in telling people what to think but what to think about, i.e. the media is very good at setting the agenda for public debate 14
  15. 15. 6/4/2010 Agenda Setting Theory (cont.) • Media Coverage can – Build awareness of issues – Increase the importance a person attaches to an issue – Increase the priority attached to particular aspects of an issue • Achieving media coverage depends on the ability of the PR practitioner to make the issue newsworthy • Repeated media exposure is often needed to have an effect Systems Theory  A management theory that provides an ideal framework for PR  Views organisations as systems with permeable boundaries  The systems are comprised of various sub-systems  Public relations practitioners adopt a “boundary- spanning” role  Open systems must constantly respond to and interact with their environment  Closed systems do not take the wider environment into account Major Systems Concepts Boundary Environment System Input Output Throughput Feedback 15
  16. 16. 6/4/2010 “Once, the job of management was to keep an established production organization smoothly functioning. Now, management seeks constantly to adapt a k t tl t d t flexible organism to dynamic and complex environments.” Baskin and Aronoff (1992, p.44) Semiotics • The study of any cultural product (e.g. a ‘text’) as a formal system of signs – Associated with American logician C. S. Peirce and F P i d French li h linguist F di i t Ferdinand d d de Saussure • The media and others manipulate signs in order to construct understandings of self- identity and social structure Semiotics • Signs comprise: – The signifier • The form the sign takes – The signified • Not so much the represented entity as the p y mental conception of that entity • Many signs are culturally specific • ‘Texts’ can be ‘deconstructed’ to reveal hidden meanings which may be conveyed subconsciously for deliberatively persuasive purposes 16
  17. 17. 6/4/2010 An image ripe for ‘deconstruction’? • Source: Powerful images • Source: Past images • Source: 17
  18. 18. 6/4/2010 Meaningful image • Source: Strong images • Source: & Critical theory • Associated with Jurgen Habermas • Essentially a critique of contemporary global capitalism, public relations and marketing • Refers to ‘ideal speech conditions’ ideal conditions – Discussants genuinely want to reach understanding – Rational not emotional discussion used – Cogent reasoning used as basis for validating arguments 18
  19. 19. 6/4/2010 Critical theory • However these conditions cannot exist unless there is a power balance amongst the discussants • Habermas argues modern capitalism is not g p conducive to creating such conditions of equality • Therefore public relations helps to maintain a system Habermas views as unfair Rhetorical theory • Goes back to Aristotle and the philosophy of Ancient Greece • Modern PR scholar Robert Heath is an advocate of rhetoric as a theoretical framework for the discipline • Assumes the existence of a ‘marketplace for ideas’ in which professional communicators compete to have their ideas accepted • To be ethical, parties involved in a debate must have an equal right to speak Rhetorical theory • Ideas stand or fall on their merits as a result of rational argument • Particularly applicable when PR deals with ‘big picture’ issues • Faces similar criticisms as Grunig’s Two-Way Symmetric model in terms of unrealistic assumptions about power balances • Note contrast with relationship management model of public relations 19
  20. 20. 6/4/2010 Social Exchange • Suggests a target public will seek to reciprocate if provided with something of value. Typically, the ‘something’ provided in return by the public could be goodwill goodwill, support or favourable attitudes • This is the underlying rationale for many sponsorship activities and corporate community contributions Social Learning • Relies on concept that people will be more likely to adopt new behaviours if they have the opportunity to see examples of those behaviours being performed • Impact is stronger if observers identify with or admire role models depicted and if the outcome of the behaviour is in their own self-interest Communication Theories: The Communication Conundrum • The word ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin words for ‘coming together’ or ‘union with’ • Other words with a similar origin include common, community and even communist • Communication aims at the sharing of meaning but there are many barriers to effective communication • As semiotics teaches us, words are mere signs - code for the meanings we are trying to convey 20
  21. 21. 6/4/2010 The Communication Conundrum (cont.) • To communicate effectively, the sender’s words must mean the same thing to the receiver as they do to the sender • This may be relatively straightforward when discussing, say, physical objects. But what about abstract concepts, e.g. ‘free enterprise’, ‘human rights’? The Communication Conundrum (cont.) • There are many other types of symbols we can use to communicate, e.g. pictures and even body language • A politician once threatened to sue a TV interviewer for defamation because he claimed the interviewer’s eyebrows were strategically raised throughout the broadcast! Mass Communication - From One Step to Multi-Stage • Mass communication was once seen as a one step ‘injection’ – The ‘magic bullet’ theory • Later as a two-step process from sender two step to opinion leaders to broader population • Today mass communication is viewed as a complex, multi-stage, multi-directional process 21
  22. 22. 6/4/2010 The Basic Elements of Effective Communication • There are five basic elements in any effective communication - all essential in public relations practice – Sender – Message – Channel – Receiver – Feedback The Communication Process Event or Information Source Message encoded and sent by sender Through a channel or medium of communication Noise Decoded by receiver Received at destination Feedback Must be decoded by original sender Key Factors in Successful Communication • The sender must have adequate information and credibility in the eyes of the receiver • The sender must transmit in codes the receiver can understand. Encoding and decoding is g g carried out in the context of the knowledge and experience of sender and receiver respectively – The message must be within the capacity of the receiver to understand 22
  23. 23. 6/4/2010 Key Factors in Successful Communication (Cont.) • To be influential, the message must be relevant to the needs of the receiver • Communications aimed at behaviourial effects usually motivate through appealing to the self- self interest of the receiver to act – ‘What’s in it for me?’ • The receiver is not passive but a selective user of information for his/her own purposes • Uses and gratifications theory The Effects of Communication • As communicators, it is essential always to consider the effect we hope to have on our audience. • Broadly, there are three possible ‘levels’ of effect we might seek. In ascending order of difficulty these are: – Knowledge effect • Seeks a cognitive change in the audience, e.g. create awareness – Attitude/Opinion effect • Seeks to modify or reinforce attitudes and opinions – Behaviourial effect • Seeks to modify or reinforce behaviours Hierarchies of Effects • The relationship between attitude and behaviour is complex and not necessarily unidirectional • Sometimes new knowledge leads to Sometimes, attitude formation which leads to behaviour 23
  24. 24. 6/4/2010 Hierarchies of Effects • In other circumstances, people have to experience something for themselves before forming attitudes • Different channels of communication are more effective at achieving different objectives, e.g. g j g • Mass media for creating awareness • Interpersonal communication for influencing attitudes and opinions • Ultimately personal experience and self-interest are key to determining behaviour A Hierarchy of Communication Channels • The effectiveness of a message often depends on the channel used. Volkmann (1991) provides the following list in descending order of effectiveness. PR practitioners should force communication up the ladder of effectiveness. – One-to-one, face-to-face conversation – Small group discussion, meeting – Speaking before a large group – Phone conversation – Personal note – Mass-produced, non-personal letter – Brochure or pamphlet sent as direct mail piece – Article in an organisational newsletter – News carried in the mass media – Advertising in the mass media – Billboards, skywriting etc The communication conundrum revisited • “To be successful, a message must be received by the intended individual or audience. It must get the audience’s attention. It must be understood. It must be believed. It must be remembered. And ultimately, in some fashion, it must be acted upon. Failure to accomplish any of these tasks means the entire message fails.” – Therkelsen (1995) 24
  25. 25. 6/4/2010 Section C develop concise PR plan • based on a hypothetical scenario provided. • Do NOT write an essay in section C. • Present answer as a mini-PR plan • use of sub-headings and dot points. • Focus on the key elements in a PR plan, i.e. – PR Goals; – Publics/Stakeholders; – Strategies; – Tactics; and, – Evaluation. 25