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 www.oanabarbu.com
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
There is a reason why we have two earsand one mouth – we must listen twice as much as we speak.
What are Public Relations? Public needs Organization image (a projected identity) PR = manage image and reputation by fulfilling a public’s needs! HOW?
“Thisis who we are; What we think about ourselves; What we want to do; and Why we deserve your support.”
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
Determine what people need (and want) and give it to them.
Persuasion vs. Manipulation Whatdo you think is the difference between persuasion vs. manipulation?
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”
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
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
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
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)
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
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?
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
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
Decision-making Process Exists on a continuum Depends on: The information itself Personal psyche or disposition Socio-cultural context
Decision-making Process Some key factors: Socio-economic status (class) Religion Gender Intra-familial status
Moderate-Effects TheoryA “middle ground” Recognizes that media is not all-powerful in its influence However, under certain circumstances it can have a very strong effect
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
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
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
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.
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”
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
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
Diffusion and Adoption Five steps to acquiring new ideas 1. Awareness 2. Interest 3. Trial 4. Evaluation 5. Adoption
Diffusion and Adoption In PR, the first two stages (awareness and interest) are most relevant
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?
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
M-A-O Model Usethe M-A-O model to lure a passive audience into action Motivation Ability Opportunity
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
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!
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.
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
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