PR basics


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A short introduction to PR's role and activity field.

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PR basics

  1. 1. PR & MediaCommunication Basics PhD. Oana BARBU Communication Strategist Part-time Lecturer at West Univrsity of Timisoara Communication Director – Rugby Club Timisoara Social Media Specialist at SymplySocial Inc. Owner of
  2. 2. Basic Review Four elements of communication  1. Sender  2. Message  3. Medium  4. Receiver  Who is your message aimed at?  There may be one or multiple publics  Who is affected by the actions?  Stakeholders
  3. 3. There is a reason why we have two earsand one mouth – we must listen twice as much as we speak.
  4. 4. What are Public Relations? Public needs Organization  image (a projected identity) PR = manage image and reputation by fulfilling a public’s needs! HOW?
  5. 5.  “Thisis who we are; What we think about ourselves; What we want to do; and Why we deserve your support.”
  6. 6. PR’s role? Management and counseling function Enables organizations to build and maintain relationships Through an understanding of audience attitudes, opinions and values Planned, deliberate and two-way Conscience of organization Overseer of reputation Relationship management
  7. 7.  Determine what people need (and want) and give it to them.
  8. 8. Persuasion vs. Manipulation Whatdo you think is the difference between persuasion vs. manipulation?
  9. 9. Persuasion Persuasion is an attempt to influence a person’s actions through an appeal to his/her self-interest A PR person must be aware of what the audience wants to know Gained knowledge is “mutually beneficial”
  10. 10. Manipulation The audience might not need to know the message, but they are coerced or tricked into that knowledge when there is little of no benefit to them Can result in loss of credibility or negative feelings
  11. 11. Media Theory Does the media have an effect on viewers and listeners? There are several theories that support the extremes and the middle on this  Yes, it impacts us  No, it does not  Yes and No... somewhere in between
  12. 12. A. Hypodermic Needle Theory One of the earliest theories held that mass media was highly influential The media could “shoot” beliefs into people’s minds as a doctor shoots a hypodermic needle into a patient Examples: WWI propaganda, “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast This theory is no longer widely held
  13. 13. 2. Two-Step Flow Theory Media messages observed, analyzed, interpreted and passed on by opinion leaders The mass public gets information via these tastemakers 1. Opinions are formed 2. Perceptions are created 3. Knowledge is gained (or repressed)
  14. 14. Opinion Leaders? serve as a powerful conduit in the flow of information have more direct access to the media and/or a better media literacy than the masses have credibility with individuals that the mass media may lack:  Political candidates  Celebrities  Community or religious leaders  Teachers  “Media analysts”  Journalists  Your very best…FRIENDS
  15. 15. Example Scenario  Paris Hilton has a T- Mobile Sidekick  She is shown in public using it  To some of the public, this communicates that the item is “hip”  Other brands?
  16. 16. The friendly-PR Many of us know an “early adopter” who is always the first on the block to own the coolest technology gadget  This person serves as an “expert” that we may directly or indirectly learn from
  17. 17. Limited-Effects Theory Media often does not have a direct effect on subjects and decision making However, it is just one of many influences, including:  Opinion leaders  One’s prior held beliefs  Influence of family, friends, peers
  18. 18. Decision-making Process Exists on a continuum Depends on:  The information itself  Personal psyche or disposition  Socio-cultural context
  19. 19. Decision-making Process Some key factors:  Socio-economic status (class)  Religion  Gender  Intra-familial status
  20. 20. Moderate-Effects TheoryA “middle ground” Recognizes that media is not all-powerful in its influence However, under certain circumstances it can have a very strong effect
  21. 21. Powerful-Effects Theory Media has the potential for a huge influence on the audience Influence increases if:  Audience has little or no opinion on a subject  Subject is non-ego threatening  Audience has no direct experience with the subject
  22. 22. Framing “Framing” is the shaping of views and discussions through selective choice of facts, themes and words Sender makes the selection PR has a huge influence in “framing” how the media will discuss a product, person, development or ideology “Framing” creates the context in which the discussion occurs
  23. 23. Examples of framing Apple Computer makes a “comeback” with the introduction of iPad The war on Iraq is a “war on terrorism”A movie’s success is discussed in terms of opening weekend box-office numbers
  24. 24. SO, what are PR?The practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news itemsThe aim of public relations to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or of political decisions.Common activities Events and campaigns, conferences, CSR, winning industry awards, working with the press, and employee communication.
  25. 25. Perceptions of Reality – howdoes PR WORK? Does what we see on TV impact our view of reality? For many people, the TV serves as a key way we learn about the world  Particularly, when it exposes us to things or places that we might not normally encounter in “real life”
  26. 26. Uses and Gratification Theory Communication process is interactive  It is a selective process People consume the media (and absorb messages embedded within it) for a reason It meets their needs  Entertainment  Information
  27. 27. Racial, Ethnic, and Sex-RoleStereotypes Are we really seeing accurate portrayals of race, ethnicity, and sex roles in the media? Example:  Women in Media  Men outnumber women 2 to 1 in starring roles, yet women make up 51% of the population  When women are featured, they are usually in subservient or younger roles
  28. 28. PR communication strategies
  29. 29. Diffusion and Adoption Five steps to acquiring new ideas  1. Awareness  2. Interest  3. Trial  4. Evaluation  5. Adoption
  30. 30. Diffusion and Adoption In PR, the first two stages (awareness and interest) are most relevant
  31. 31. What causes change? Adoption may be due to several factors:  Is the idea better?  Does it fit into my existing paradigm?  Do I understand it?  Can I safely try it out?  How observable is it?
  32. 32. Application of Theory Asa PR professional, your goal is to persuade and communicate an organizational image  Persuasion is easier if the audience has an interest in the topic and is predisposed to accept it  Active audiences are already aware of the product and have an interest in it  Passive audiences must be lured into accepting your message  An inactive public has less interest in the topic and, thus, will be even more difficult to persuade
  33. 33. Strategy for an inactive public?
  34. 34. M-A-O Model Usethe M-A-O model to lure a passive audience into action  Motivation  Ability  Opportunity
  35. 35. Motivation You must motivate the audience to become aware that your message even exists Can be done with various tactics:  Design and style of message  Unique form of delivery  Reliance of credible tastemakers  Bribe the audience
  36. 36. Ability Enable easier understanding of the message (once the public is aware of it) Can be achieved various ways:  Simplify the message  Relate the message to what they already know  Talk their… slang!
  37. 37. Opportunity Structure the message for optimal processing  Repetition  Create an environment where message is most likely to be heard  Keep it interesting  Don’t stop the message. Don’t stop texting. Don’t stop giving information.
  38. 38. Example: M-A-O Model Progressive Direct car insurance campaign Many consumers do not “shop around” for car insurance They stick with their existing insurance…even if there is a price advantage to shopping around
  39. 39. EXAMPLE Motivate: make would-be consumers to think about their rates so that they may build awareness of their service They “bribe” people with free airline miles to request a quote Then, the consumer is exposed to the information and interest is generated due to the anticipated reward Once the consumer gets the quote, it is hoped that they will take action on their knowledge of the competitive rate