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Public Relations, Sociology and Psychology


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A guest lecture prepared by Nevena Semova for second year Communication students from Andjenie Soekhoe at Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen. Oct. 2011

Published in: Business, Technology
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Public Relations, Sociology and Psychology

  1. 1. PR, SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGYNevena Semova“PR man not only needs to be smart andintuitive, he needs to understandpsychology, sociology.” E. Burnays
  2. 2. CONTENTS PR and Sociology  Public opinions PR and Psychology  Consumer behaviour
  3. 3. ABOUT ME
  4. 4. DEFINITIONS Sociology:the science of human society and social relations, organization, values, beliefs and change Psychology: the study of the human mind and its functions, esp. those affecting behavior
  5. 5. QUESTION 1Your big launch is only 10 days away when you learn that the CEO has to go abroad and your biggest customer will no longer endorse you. All press and broadcast media have been invited. Do you:A. Ring round every editor and cancel?B. Try to find another tame customer?C. Turn it into a "Thank You" party?
  6. 6. PR AND SOCIOLOGY- Public opinions-Silvio Berlusconi and the cucku PRmodel
  7. 7. PUBLIC OPINIONS The complex collection of opinions of many different people Term first used in 1588 by Montaigne Jacques Necker The Overton Window
  8. 8. SOCIOLOGY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS Closely related to each other Society can form and receive the message Public trust Lobbyists Video 1 (Sociology and Crisis Management) Video 2 (Lobbying)
  9. 9. QUESTION 2 You’ve worked hard for weeks to get everyone to sign off on a Press Release making a major announcement and now you’re ready to circulate it - but time is short. Do you:A. Email it to everyone listed in the directory?B. Spend the night on the phone asking each recipient how they like to receive releases?C. Pay an agency to distribute it for you?
  10. 10. SILVIO BERLUSCONI IN THE SOCIETY Unprecedented media  Vertical and propagandistic influence communication Consistent message  Inability to adapt to the Match the needs of the change in communication public – “Football, reality (Internet buzz: The shows and pretty girls” untouchable) Asocial behaviour  Control Popularity: decreasing 30% now vs. 60 % last year
  11. 11. THE “CUCKU” MODEL OF PR  “Cucku policy - saving the country from the worst impact of the recession” – B.  “Listening to others and playing with them” – B.  It is „cute‟ and that „it works’ – B.  Using people‟s motives to gain their support  Impersonating values, shared by the public  Italians love Berlusconi The cucku policy is gaining consensus and imitation and not only in Italy.
  12. 12. MESSAGE AND MEDIA “Italians love me and I‟m right in everything I do” Criticism towards centre-left opposition Attack the magistrates: I‟m innocent; I‟m a victim of law persecution. Italian irony TV dominance Internet is a threat
  13. 13. OBAMA VS. BERLUSCONIObama’s message Berlusconi’s message Advocate sacrifices on  Have fun and sex, use behalf of the public high heel shoes to good appear taller, be rich, play games, tell dirty stories, play cuckoo to international leaders individualistic and self-  collectivistic culture concerned culture  Decreasing followers Decreasing followers
  14. 14. QUESTION 3 You’ve sent out the Press Release you’ve been working so hard on to your target media. How do you follow up? Do you:A. Phone editors personally to ask "Did you get our release?"B. Phone friendly journalists and ask them to make discreet enquiries about whether your release is being used?C. Forget about it and start on your next release?
  15. 15. PR AND PSYCHOLOGY-PR and Psychology – a long partnership-Edward Bernays - Propaganda and PR-Mc Donald’s-PR and changes in consumer behaviour
  16. 16. PR AND PSYCHOLOGY – A LONG PARTNERSHIP Understanding and influencing human psychology Balance theory  Cognitive dissonance  Selectivity Influence of Sigmund Freud  application of Freuds theories about the irrational, unconscious motives that shape human behaviour  Repressed feelings and primitive forces drive us  Exploiting peoples‟ subconscious desires to manipulate the mass opinion and behaviour
  17. 17. THE FATHER OF PR - EDWARD BURNAYS Influence from Sigmund Freud From NEED to WANT/DESIRE – changing the consumer behaviour Propaganda in War - 1st World War Public Relations in Peace Torches of Freedom
  18. 18. QUESTION 4 A low-rent magazine that’s not even on your target media list rips off some of your pictures from the Internet and prints them. They are low resolution and badly reproduced. To add insult to injury, you are not even credited. Do you:A. Phone the editor, give him a roasting about breaching copyright laws?B. Write a letter of complaint to the editor, asking him not to do it again?C. Put high resolution pictures on your website, phone the editor to congratulate him and invite him to help himself to pictures in future?
  19. 19. MCDONALDISATION Fast Food Facts:  50,000,000 consumers per year (US)  $ 110,000,000,000 spent on fast food  Fast food leads to obesity and health complications  Fast food demand abolishes natural resources and is a great threat to the environmental balance » Supersize me » Big Mac
  20. 20. PR AND CHANGES IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOURBefore Now One-way communication  Participatory culture Spin messages  Consumers choose Manipulating  Two-way communication  Online societies The all American  Enlightening consumers Breakfast  Encouraging choice  Lays – Maak de smaak
  21. 21. QUESTION 5 You work for a company that makes/sells gold watches. Your CEO conceives a PR plan – "Let’s give everyone who comes to the press conference a gold watch. Put it in the invitation - - that’s not bribery, just a product sample!" Do you:A. Talk him/her out of it, losing Brownie points for lacking audacity?B. Go along with it, but omit the offer from the invitation – leaving it to individual journalists on the day whether they accept or not?C. Ask if you can have one of the freebie watches for your Mum?
  22. 22. DISCUSSION Is society less susceptible to manipulation? How much do we actually know? How does globalization change Public Relations? How does Social Media change the field of Public Relations? How can you show your added value as a PR practitioner?
  24. 24. SOURCES: Unleashing the power of PR (ISBN0787982792) Integrated Communications, M.Vos, H Schoemaker (ISBN9789460942976) ciety+trends&ots=Mdsc355zbQ&sig=F9YWgcLZbq0Ki41xmorpqR52QF8#v=onepage&q=global %20society%20trends&f=true politics theorise-his-cucku-model-of-public-relations-is/ Questionnaire: