MASTERAT: Comunicare şi relaţii publice

Communication and interconnections

Coordonator ştiinţific: Lector universitar dr.: Codruţ Şerban Student masterand: Florea Loredana- Anişoara - Mureşan



INTRODUCTION……………………………………………… page CHAPTER I
I. 1. The beginning of PR …………………………………..........page 7 I. 2. What Public Relations are and how they work? ..........page 13 I. 3. Public relations and mass-media interconnections…...page16

II.1. PR Strategies and Techniques ……………………………page18 II.2. The role of technology in PR ………………………..........page 22

III.1. Mass-media system ………………………………………..page 30 III.2. Press relations, press files and press release……….....page 34 III.3. Working with the media………………………………..…page 41

IV.1. Media effects research for public relations practitioners.........................................................................................page 43 IV.2. The communication with the press during crisis……..page 46

V. Public Relations - Much more than media, analyst and blogger relations…………………………………………………page 52

CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………….........page 56 Bibliography……………………………………………………...page 59


The organization that a Public Relations’ practitioner works for must use all the media forms. know and use all that is new appearance in any of the media domains. as this channel of communication is the only one that has a global reflection of a society. 4 . you must. What is the importance of relations with mass-media and why public relations have any connection with these ones? Why are they working together and not find themselves in an exclusion report? What is the status of each of them? Is this the best way to professionalism? In the spirit of the guide of PR practitioner’s good manners. but in the most professional way possible. In the next pages we will show what PR is. and practiced as a profession after the year 2000. the notion of public relations has begun to be acquainted after the ’90. a person that wants to understand how it works the professional mechanism of public relations as a way to achieve the success of the organization he works for. To consider yourself a very good practitioner in the realm of Public Relations. A good knowledge of the society itself means to be aware of the advantages he must use but also of the risks he must forecast and avoid. first of all. the PR specialist must understand. first of all. People tend to confuse public relations with the relations with the public and in order to embrace better the theme of public relations I decided to bring some light in this matter. how it works and how it collaborates with the mass-media. in order to be consider efficient and successful.INTRODUCTION In our country. the society in which the firm he represents develops it’s activity. This thing can’t be realized only by reporting his activity to mass media.

active work to an agency or a department in the domain are vital demands in the field. The domain grew slowly in the beginning. And he also needs an “ingredient”: passion for this job. its essentiality for the activity with the public relations reveals from the fact that mass-media was. After 1990. Experience. many people started to be interested in public relations and began to gather materials. The practitioner must have specialized studies (achieved in a state university that is totally dedicated to public relations. books. to the improvement of social communication –the public relations’ practitioners. at a department specialized in public relations within a state or private university). Having an efficient relationship with mass-media. but after 2000 it started to be considered the key to success. seminaries. classes of public relations. economic and cultural 5 . event. or. campaign it will not be obtained true performance. the second being the one that broadcasted for the first time a press release. But this truth signifies the assumption of all responsibilities tied to the complex processes of communication by the leaders of different institutions but also by those who have the mission to mediate between these institutions and the great public: the journalists. and to support this idea we can exemplify the authors Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810. Together with them. institutions evolve in a more dense domain. Its importance. In our days. If is not heart in every activity. the representatives of another profession try to contribute/concur to the fast circulation of a correct information. with social. They even traveled long distances in order to participate to courses. the public relations’ practitioner will develop a positive image about his clients but also about himself.The main idea of this work is that a good collaboration with mass-media is more than necessary.1934). from historical point of view. at least. The fact that equilibrium and good function of the modern society depend on the quality of communication is no longer a novelty. Also mass-media was at the basis of public relations in Great Britain via its implication in the propaganda during the second world war. political. at the roots of public relations’ profession. documents about it. being connected with various human categories. in Romania.1891) or Ivy Ledbetter Lee (1877.

The universities began to take interest in public relations and formed public relations’ specialization. That’s why the organizations resort to mass-media. 6 . In our country foreign materials were brought by people interested in this “field” and in time. translated in our language and modeled for our society. and even specialized PR universities focused on this domain and it’s relations with other branches. It’s impossible that only one institution to be able to deal with the communication of different problems in relation with a changing public. The bond between the institution and mass-media is realized by the press bureau or the practitioners that work in specific departments and accomplish the duties of such a bureau. We even have the opportunity to improve other models and bring our contribution in this area. In this paper work I intend to show the importance of public relations and their collaboration with mass-media. things that can be put in practice. typologies. documents that would be able to reveal to them definitions. with traditional and new currents of ideas. and also how public relations and mass-media work together not only abroad but in our country too. We have the fortune to study these things in legitimate institutions and also to access the patterns of foreign pioneers. the type of problems that the practitioners had to deal with because of the society they lived in. and via it’s huge impact and function to be able to transmit the messages they consider important for the public interest.institutions. The specialists and also the students that are studying public relations need manuals. all in a clear and accessible language. working techniques and strategies.

Assyria. wrote: “The three main elements of public relations are practically as old as society: informing people. Babylonia. persuading people. public relations in the formal sense took shape. or integrating people with people.” For Bernays and other historians of the practice. nobles. Of course. leaders of ancient civilizations such as Sumeria. In Egypt much of the art and architecture (statues. With the invention of writing. tombs) were used to impress on the public the greatness of priests. professional public relations has always gone hand in hand with civilization. much of recorded history can be interpreted as the practice of public relations. In their eyes. temples. and scribes. more advanced cultures depended on discussion and debate. whom many have considered the founder of modern public relations. the Bible and 7 . the means and methods of accomplishing these ends have changed as society has changed. The beginning of PR Edward Bernays. and Persia used poems and other writings to promote their prowess in battle and politics.CHAPTER I. Persuasion became less and less grounded in force and more and more grounded in words. “Whether they were promoting their image as warriors or kings. Whereas primitive societies ruled mainly through fear and intimidation. I 1. In ancient Israel.

it explicitly acknowledged the need for a third party to facilitate communication between government and the 1 “Mini-Me History” by Don Bates Copyright © 2006. It was not until the Renaissance and Reformation that the foundation of the modern world arose—and with it the underpinnings of the kind of public relations that has become vital to the management of public and private institutions.C. Constitution. Oratory flourished. the “congregation for propagating the faith. Don Bates Published by Institute for Public Relations www. a woven wall hanging that extolled the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. it relied on eloquent speeches and letters. Recognizing the power of news to mold public opinion. such as the Bayeaux Tapestry.C. Caesar published a daily paper called Acta Diurna (“daily acts” or “daily records”) that continued for 400 years.E. the Magna Carta—the thirteenth-century English charter of rights and liberties—inspired the U. and the public interest became a central concern of philosophical speculation. With the growth of the Hellenic world. In ancient Rome. Great documents of liberty crystallized the power of public opinion. both written and spoken. Public relations continued to develop even during medieval times. such as Paul’s epistle to the Romans.E. And the Athens marketplace became a center of public discussion concerning the conduct of business and public life. it set up its Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.other religious texts became a powerful means for molding the public mind. vox Dei (“the voice of the people is the voice of God”). to win converts and guide the faithful.) on his epic achievements as governor of Gaul. the word. exploded as a force for social integration.” Julius Caesar carefully prepared the Romans for his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 B. For example. the force of public relations was evident in phrases such as vox populi. using the “new media” of that day. In the seventeenth century. by sending reports such as “Caesar’s Gallic Wars” (52 B. Most historians agree that he also wrote his Commentaries as propaganda for himself. and res publicae (“public affairs”).” In doing so. which means “republic. The word “propaganda” originated in the Catholic Church.”1 Once the Christian church took shape.org 8 .S.instituteforpr.

pamphlets. Many American legends are the result of public relations campaigns. The other great documents produced by the founders of the United States—the Declaration of Independence. Adams has been called the great press agent of the American Revolution for fashioning the machinery of political change. the Constitution. Press agency was so successful that it became an essential undertaking for companies that depended on the public’s attention. Samuel Adams. John Peter Zenger. and the Bill of Rights—may all be seen as masterworks of public relations. James Madison.people. “The Greatest Show on Earth. 9 . The master of all nineteenth-century press agents was Phineas T. committees. Barnum. meetings. Hamilton. Along with the spread of new knowledge in new forms—such as translations in the fifteenth century of the Bible from Latin into everyday languages. newspapers. Benjamin Franklin. Alexander Hamilton. It was part of the Ministry of the Interior and it was called the Bureau d’Esprit. and John Jay. Madison. In their Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens (1789). When the French Revolution arrived. essential to the notion of tying one’s destiny to the public interest. the leaders of the French Revolution proclaimed the right of citizens to express and communicate thought freely. also helped establish the United States as the breeding ground for pursuing public relations as a profession that represented the diverse interests of democracy and free enterprise.” an irresistible draw in every city and town it visited after its inception in 1871. and newspapers—there was an explosion of public communications. England’s rebellious American colonies produced a host of public relations experts who used oratory. mass printed books.” It subsidized editors and sent agents to various parts of the country to win public support for the French Revolution. Included among them were Paul Revere. and correspondence to win people to their cause. and Jay are credited with winning ratification of the Constitution by publishing letters they had written to the press in 1787–1788. the stage was set. Barnum created a wave of publicity stunts and coverage that made his circus. These letters became known as the Federalist Papers. or “Bureau of the Spirit. In 1792 the National Assembly of France created the first propaganda ministry. These documents.

Bernays viewed public relations as an art applied to a science—the art of communications applied to social science. Bernays is credited with coining the term public relations counsel in his first book on the subject. Bernays was among those who lent his talents to the war’s publicity front. World War II had the Office of War Information. and with good reason. He and his colleagues went well beyond publicity in their roles as consultants to business. Edward L. the railroads. former newspaper reporter George Creel. to this day. From all. It was in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century that professional public relations bloomed. was organized to help sell war bonds and generally to promote the war effort. Page. Bernays and his associate and wife. government. Bernays. when industry. the media still harbor skepticism toward anything that suggests commercial promotion. He helped develop many of the techniques and principles that practitioners follow today. Arthur W. Many believe that his major contribution was to humanize wealthy businessmen and to cast big business in a more positive light. which organized one of the largest public relations campaigns in history to muster support for America’s entry 10 . Edward L. He believed in open communications with the media. Corporations quickly learned the value of combating hostility and courting public favor through professional public relations.Indeed. Vail. were among those who competed with Lee for prominence. Theodore N. the Committee on Public Information. Among the pioneers of Public relations we mention Ivy Ledbetter Lee. during World War I. Ivy Ledbetter was perhaps the most famous of the early public relations practitioners. and he was candid and frank in his approach to the press. He understood that good corporate performance was the basis of good publicity. and not-for-profit enterprises. and utilities exploded across the face of the nation. the success of Barnum and his colleagues in manipulating the press was so great that. originally published in 1923. Doris Fleischman. also known as the Creel Committee after the name of its chairman. In 1917. Crystallizing Public Opinion. This was the era of America’s wild and woolly development as the center of capitalist enterprise.

who joined the company in 1879 as a manager. One author said. When he became President in 1907. suppliers. it was known as “The Bell System” or more affectionately. government split it into several different companies in January 1. Between world conflicts. in addition to his books – to educate generations of practitioners and the institutions they serve in the value of public relations as a tool of management and human relations. had an almost monopolistic control over telephony. Two individuals stand out in the crowd of AT&T executives who made public relations a core value of their company: Theodore N. Ma Bell. “He was the first major business leader in America to recognize that good public relations will build the proper climate in which to build a successful business. The practice was integrated as the critical tool for communicating and managing its relations with employees.” In Vail’s first Annual Report to shareholders. Bernays remains the preeminent figure in the field of public relations for his tireless efforts – in articles. including Bell Laboratories. founded in the 1870s. he immediately added public relations to this mix of tools and techniques. a central aspect of the company’s success over the years was its use of professional public relations. a manufacturing and supply unit (Western Electric). Vail: Vail. he titled the first section "Public 11 . consumers. Until the U. speeches. after having been ousted from the company for several years during which it went into a tail spin. the Roosevelt administration relied heavily on public relations techniques to promote its New Deal legislation. Collectively. and thrived on high-end technical research and development. and several other technical and research entities.S. legislators and.into the war. lectures and professional consulting. Although it made great products. with its 23 Bell Telephone companies. most important. One of the most famous corporations in history was the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). Despite this criticism. Bernays actually became a full-fledged public relations counselor in 1919 when he established his own counseling firm with his wife. published in 1908. it was the most formidable telecommunications giant in the world. 1984. got to the top by applying the latest tools and techniques of modern management.

A former writer and editor for World’s Work Magazine and other publications. 12 .” Arthur W. Arthur W.” he wrote. Page. He had to be involved in the development of policy. but it wasn’t until 1927 that it truly became a core value in everything that Ma Bell thought and did. That was the year that the company hired its first vice president of public relations. the Vail legacy continued. Page Society to promote and publicize his ideas to other companies and in other contexts. 1997). • To create a system giving contact employees (those having direct dealings with the public) the knowledge needed to be reasonable and polite to the public. he promulgated five principles of corporate public relations that the company would follow: • To make sure management thoughtfully analyzes its overall relation to the public. just before the breakup of their beloved company. Page made it clear that he would not take the job unless the company met certain conditions. and what it hopes to do. The organization’s membership is composed of leading corporate communicators and public relations counselors. In 1983. Page: Over the years. "If we don't tell the truth about ourselves. it follows that business should be cheerfully willing to tell the public what its policies are. And the company’s performance would have to be determined by its public reputation. • To create a system drawing employee and public questions and criticism back up through the organization to management. He stated his philosophy as follows: “All business in a democratic country begins with public permission and exists by public approval.” To cement his position. • To ensure frankness in telling the public about the company’s actions. but his philosophy and principles continue to retain their currency and value. • To create a system for informing all employees about the (company’s) general policies and practices. This seems practically a duty. (Seitel.Relations." To him. what it is doing. good public relations meant honest reporting. “somebody else will. If that be true. He would not serve as a publicist. Page retired in 1947 and continued his work as a consultant until his death in 1960 at the age of 77. AT&T executives founded the Arthur W.

The Bell System may be gone. of counseling the leaders of one organization and of implementing/ deployment some acting programs that will serve to the interests of the organization as well as the public’s interest”2. The effort of defining public relations or to put order in the existing definitions is hardened by the fact that the respective formulations contain conceptual aspects (what public relations are?) and also instrumental aspects ( what is their efficiency. competitors. commercial or non-commercial. suppliers. page 4 13 . investors.” The International Public Relations Association established at the Annual Convention in 1978 the next definition: “ The practice of public relations is the art and social science of analyzing some tendencies. but the practices that it and legends such as Vail and Page spawned live on. I. These publics may include any of several possible constituencies: customers. employees. But there are hundreds of definitions of the term mentioned above.What Public Relations are and how they work? Viewed as a professional endeavor. In general. and the audiences or "publics" on which the success of these entities depends. what work 2 D. it’s known that public relations presume establishing and maintaining some mutual profitable relations with different kinds of publics. of the anticipation of their consequences. 2. public relations is most often defined as the management function that seeks to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between an organization. 1993. government officials and other “influentials. legislators. Newsome et alli.

ignores the public’s interest. d) two-sided communication – public relations bank on taking the information from the environment where the organization operates. f) managerial dimension – public relations’ activities are more efficient when they are integrated into the leading structures of the organization.words appear at the majority of formulations.L. we notice that some key. on transmitting new information and on checking their feed-back. Working within the context of the prevailing public opinion.procedures use those who practice them). At an overall look on the existing definitions. e) public’s interest – the purpose of public relations’ activity is “satisfying the public’s needs. these words would be: a) deliberation – the activity of public relations is premeditated. public relations’ intercessions can’t win the public trust for a company that. due to this. benefits for the organization. as the results of these activities are various and the tools that practitioners use are more diversified. not obtaining. politics and societal norms of the country or countries in which they work. public relations practitioners develop programs and craft messages aimed at creating favorable support for the goals of the organizations they represent. Obtaining significant. laws. it is the product of an analysis and of some choices regarding the winning modalities of public’s trust. positive news and feature coverage in the print and broadcast media is a key objective. and the strategies are conceived on long terms. 14 . Wilcox and his collaborators. through its activity. All these multiply the elements that compose the definitions. After D. c) performance – public relations are based on results and their efficiency depends on the exact activity of the organization. b) planning – the activity in public relations is organized: the problems’ solutions are discovered step by step. with any price.

Owing to its subtleties. professional public relations is more “soft sell” than “hard sell. 15 . it is occasionally viewed as “propaganda” or. in these definitions. The PR practitioners plan and fulfill the communication for the organization. in the same time.Unlike advertising or marketing. inside it and also in its relations with the environment. Public relations blossomed as a professional endeavor in the 20th Century. they help the public to understand the specific of the organization and to trust it.” It emphasizes information and persuasion as opposed to packaging and paid media.” the intentional manipulation of public opinion without regard for what is accurate or true. PR help managers to get acquainted with the attitudes of the public and make them to be able to take the right decisions. in more current jargon. with which it is often confused. level of understanding. of mutual trust and support. Although professional public relations has certainly been misused from time to time. “spin. diplomacy as opposed to force. its record of historical achievement suggests a much deeper and abiding respect for and adherence to openness and honesty in its dealings and communications. between the public and the company and also between the organization and the public. Considering what was written so far and the above definitions. They assure the correct circulation of the information between different subsystems of the organization. the key-element of public relations is “reciprocity”: the two partners. we can say that public relations appear as a way of communication between one organization and its public. most conspicuously in the United States.

2003 showed an improvement of image of public relations’ practitioners in front of the one of journalists. The press bureau must be organized in a professional way. having marked quite clear the professional tasks. to know that the relation between him (the press bureau representative) and the journalists is one of collaboration. in the same time. professional. but also. a performance of the journalistic act and the one of public relations. In order to realize an efficient communication with massmedia. an improvement of the communication with the press. sincere. the press bureau representative must take in consideration what journalists values signify. an awareness of the necessity of a trusting atmosphere and a collaboration between journalists and practitioners. accurate and done just in the right time for both participants. one that has to be transparent/ clear. A study made in our country in the years 1997.Public relations and mass-media interconnections For public relations practitioners. updating constantly the files of the 16 .I. to know how to mediate between organization and journalists.3. understanding the way press works is of crucial importance.

but also from the inside. 17 . the goal for it to be broadcast and the channels that it is broadcasted on. without having the tendency of manipulating or presenting just the favorable news of the organization. in order to make efficient the working way and the performance of the employees from the perspective of the organization. The specialist in public relations must gather information from the outside and inform the company on the things that must be improved. the message wished to be transmitted. Transmitting the organization’s message to the aimed public it must be taken in consideration multiples factors: the title of a press release. the manner it is written.organization he works for and giving the journalists the asked information promptly.

The journalist that works with the PR practitioner must understand very well what his interlocutor wants to transmit and not to deform the information. like planning. simultaneously. many practitioners move straight to tactics. It’s important because it focuses effort. CHAPTER II II. rather than thinking carefully about how the overall programme should be shaped. Mass-media is the ideal instrument if it’s used properly.1. unfocussed effort which lacks any underpinning direction or driving force. everything else rolls off the back of it. If the strategy is right. Rather than thinking of a cohesive and proper strategy. A press conference has as purpose to transmit some important information. applies to total programmes as well as individual activities. Strategy. to many journalists and /or to multiple mass-media channels. from the historic point of view. PR Strategies and Techniques Devising the strategy for a plan or campaign is the most difficult part of the planning process. Otherwise it would be in jeopardy of creating a precedent of a precarious collaboration. the “What shall we do?” part of the programme. The main idea is that a good collaboration of public relations with the media is more than necessary. Strategy is the overall approach that is taken to a programme or 18 . They end up with a fragment. Its major importance for the public relations activity reveals from the fact that mass-media is at the origins of PR’s profession. it gets results and it looks to the long term.

Some times is called “the big idea” and sometimes even is –it can be an all-embracing concept. Planning . It is the coordinating theme or factor. the big idea. If the strategy was carefully thought through and is the right one to use. It is the foundation upon which a tactical programme is built. . as it was shaped after the evaluation. Action – implementing the PR plan 4. the guiding principle. - Choosing the most appropriate means of mass communication in order to reach to every segment of the public. than it should always be changed tactics before changing the strategy. Evaluation . consideration has to be given to the specific media to use. Strategy is dictated by the issues arising from the analysis of the information at a disposal.campaign. the rationale behind the tactical programme.taking the decisions . 2. Having made the decision about which broad techniques to employ.Assigning the available resources. Strategy is the principles that makes things work. Public relations’ strategy is made considering a complex of activities that include: 1. Research – research of the organization’s public and its environment. 19 .Programming the schedule of the activities and responsibilities for their achievement. It is not the same as objectives and it comes before tactics.evaluating the fulfilment of public relations’ actions and the accomplishment of the objectives of communication . . Planning must build in some flexibility of approach. A strategic review is a major step. – segmenting the public of the organization.establishing the objectives of the communication for every category of public and the evaluating modalities. 3.modification/ adjustment of the communication plan in a new situation.

you need to make 20 . He believes there are 5 top strategies in this domain: 1. From the point of view of the communication ways. notions. have one on your side and you've immediately got an inroad into getting the media attention your story needs. technology in public relations I found interesting things that are applied by the practitioners nowadays. an agency specialized in search engine optimized press releases and promotional campaigns. Journalists and especially editors are busy people and don't have time to look at every news or media release. It's all about credibility . we encounter two aspects: a) direct communication.one of the old-age prerequisites for good PR is making sure the media picks up the campaign.Public relations have on base a core well defined by objectives. particularly in this day of blog power.having strong ties to the media will give you an immediate advantage. has kindly shared his theories with us. It doesn't matter if it's a single press release or a full-blown PR blitz . b) mediated communication ( via mass informational means) Among the specific PR techniques we mention: Press conference Press briefing The interview for the written press The interview for television The interview for the radio Elements of electronic communication Speeches Reading recent documents and articles about strategies. However. An owner of a Press Release Bureau.Media relations . theoretical representations that are although applied via a complex category of practical procedures and techniques. These techniques differ depending on the chosen channel or modality to transmit the wanted messages to the chosen target public. tactics.

or react. Social Awareness . Use everything at your disposal to keep abreast of the latest news. I find that to be just a little scary there's no quicker medium than online for breaking a big news story. positive or negative.There's no better PR strategy than local awareness. Use Technology . 3.just look at how successful eco-friendly businesses are compared to non-green competitors.make sure you use it to your advantage . Social media giants like Facebook.PR is probably one of the fastest changing markets around along with technology . you have to be on top of your game and be ready to build on positive news or counter negative news. they're only as good as you make them. 5.sure your story is newsworthy first. Having a newsworthy story is half the battle in getting a media source interested. Consumer created content is the fastest growing medium on the web today . Where else can you have a medium that allows instant interaction between you and your customers. . Digg and Youtube are now being heavily used by PR agencies for their clients. or potential customers? Additionally. Monitoring any news on your product niche will soon let you know of any reaction to it. 4. Blogging is another vital cog in the online promotion of a business. you'll be in a far better position 21 . Consumers especially are more likely to buy into a product or idea that gives back to the community . The best way to ensure this is to make sure your news is timely and interesting.As much as social media offers a wonderful tool for any PR campaign.Know your Market . Viral marketing and video campaigns are just two of the ways that businesses are reaching a wider audience. . Monitor the Web . If a business can offer something to the community as a result of a new product or service. a blog allows you to offer a more personal side to your "business speak" and can help you connect to your key audience in a way that would have been almost impossible before. .you need to know what's happening around you to be able to act immediately to keep your clients ahead of the game.In today's predominantly online business world. 2. You need to know what's being said so you can act. With the most influential bloggers having the power to instantly make or break a product or story.

(Eds). Savery (2005) agreed with this view noting that the Internet and 3 Springston. to pay attention to the events that could change the attitude and openness to different kinds of topics. 22 . but it has turned into an essential medium for the circulation of public relations messages. "Public relations and new media technology: the impact of the internet".Handbook of Public Relations. “The transformation to digital technology has far-reaching implications for the practice of public relations”3. Essentially digital technologies are changing the practice of public relations from every angle. Thousand Oaks. II. distributed. CA. R. in Heath.to receive positive PR. The Internet in not only an information tool. New technologies have dramatically changed the way public relations works by providing new and more efficient ways in which communication messages can be produced. displayed.2. and stored”. Nowadays technology is forcing the practitioner to know any “change of the moment”.L. he must always be up to date with the new media forms and to know how to use them. The use of digital technology transformed the entire field of public relations.K. Sage. J. (2001). The role of technology in PR The public relations’ practitioner aware of all new things in the field. .

p. 2007. innovative public relations tools. such as e-mail. more publics are turning to these new. public relations has needed to evolve with them”4. 1). “The news release provides pertinent information about the pp. As society and the media adopt and use new technologies. 1994. utilizing these tools in the practice of public relations has yet to reach a critical mass even though the Internet meets the requirements for a convivial tool. This diffusion is causing a change in the way traditional forms of public relations are conducted. Meaning the use and acceptance of these technologies is self-sustained by individuals within the social system. public relations practitioners also have to adopt and use of new. It is important for the public relations field to understand and utilize emerging technologies. especially since the media and potential target publics are already doing so. New technologies are diffusing throughout the practice of public relations. page 13 4 23 . However. and Internet-based communication tools have been adapted to the point of critical mass. News releases were also often included in hard copy media kits. Pavlik.alternative communication choices are causing the practice of public relations to go through a period of great change. and changing traditional public relations practices. “As audiences have increased their use of the Internet and have grown more savvy with digital media of all types. Certain technologies. Internet. “These innovations allow public relations practitioners to target their publics directly” (p. “One of the many ways to get into the media. many different public relations tools can be used. With the popularity of online technologies and the trust in traditional media declining. News releases were first mailed and eventually faxed to the news media. Depending on the audience a public relations practitioner is trying to target.603.Mapping the Consequences of Technology on Public Relations. which are potentially diminishing the power of the mass media. the most commonly known and the most often misused is the news release” (Howard & Mathews. interactive news sources. Media relations is an important part of any strategic communication plan. John V. 31).

that are moving away from their traditional means. including news releases and newsletters. and most importantly must understand the best way to deliver a news release. feature story. 5 Lordan E. is essential for public relations practitioners to be effective and keep up with the societal and media diffusion of technology. or product” (Diggs-Brown. the World Wide Web. 70). as communication technology has progressed. Public relations research indicates that the Internet and World Wide Web has developed into an essential and key public relations tool for practitioners around the world. “nothing seems more important. than mastering the world of new technology and the advent of interactive workplace: the Internet. specifically the Internet and Internet-based tools.J(2001). program initiative. Lordan (2001)5 stated that new technologies will not replace traditional public relations practices. cyberspace. CyberSpin: The use of new technologies in public relations 24 . media kit. There are a multitude of traditional public relations tactics and strategies. Also. traditional media relations materials such as biographies of leaders. For example. Many organizations are now utilizing some form of technology for development and delivery of these tools. Internet has tremendous potential power for public relations and other communications disciplines” (p. etc. 166). Finally. the most common and encouraged way to send a news releases to reporters or any news organization is via e-mail. 2007. Both Diggs-Brown (2007) and Howard and Mathews (1994) agree that practitioners should have a current media list and specific media to target. The definition of new technology is constantly changing and shifting to a new focus. fact sheets. newsletters are being digitally developed and posted online or e-mailed for a target audience to receive. 588). The use of advanced technology. and press archives (traditionally known as ‘clips’) are now being used on Web sites. but. According to Kirat (2007). event.organization. the rapid growth of technology is “creating tremendous pressure on public relations practitioners to increase their use of emerging systems” (p. organizational history. society has adopted and developed high expectations for the use of the technologies. According to Pavlik (2007). p.

both consumers and the media and everyone in between are creating content at unprecedented rates” (Paine. Measuring Public Relationships: the Data-Driven Communicator's guide to Measuring Public Relationships was published in December 2007 6 7 25 . According to Paine (2007)7. “In social media and the blogosphere. 2007. Pavlik. both internal and external” (page 1)6. but also for communicating directly with specific target audiences. non-profits and government agencies world wide. another important aspect of blogging is the opportunity to assess a company’s reputation within the blogosphere. Katie Delahaye Paine is the founder and CEO of KDPaine & Partners LLC. However. Nearly once every two seconds a new blog is developed. not only for researching stakeholder and public opinions. Companies not monitoring the John V.Mapping the Consequences of Technology on Public Relations. for both their organizations and the stakeholders to achieve a mutually beneficial end state – established and maintained through a collaborative and dynamic process of negotiation and facilitation with each stakeholder group. reputations managers. more than boundary spanners. 2007. “Content analysis of blogs should look for messages and themes to determine how your customers and constituencies perceive your organization or brand” (page 6). Reading blogs provides a useful information tool for practitioners. and responsible advocates. track and compare the results is a requirement for determining next steps and strategy” (page 3). practitioner bloggers believe that blogging provides a way for practitioners to truly establish themselves as prestigious experts in public relations”. or brand.According to Pavlik. Public relations managers must now be relationship builders. page 2). and more than strategic advisors. a New Hampshire based research consultancy that provides measurement and accountability for corporations. product. the Web represents the ultimate communication tool for building relationships between an organization and its publics. It’s obvious that today’s public relations managers must be more than communications specialists. “properly used. Technology has “made it incredibly easy and virtually free to create content. Blogging is becoming a key aspect of public relations. Well known practitioners suggest corporations to understand and monitor what is being said about their company. Her book. being able to measure.

PR Newswire sent the first electronically transmitted press release on March 8. Photography and 26 . According to Pavlik.blogosphere are taking huge risks. Public relations must still be able to reach their audiences. 1954. press releases are now produced on a computer and delivered via email. a variety of competitors offer a wide range of online media services. By 2007. much of which is available online not having to navigate through traditional media outlets. ranging from an RSS (really simple syndication) feed to ProfNet expert source services to free media monitoring. Adoption of these technologies is imperative for public relations practitioners to communicate efficiently and effectively with journalists. as it is a fact that journalists rely on PR contacts and on web sites for story information and ideas. one reason practitioners must adopt these new technologies is to keep up with the media and society whom both utilize the technologies. making it important to master these online technologies. mainly due to the speed that something can become an instant “hot topic” throughout the Web. The electronic press release was sent to 12 media outlets in New York. individuals have many choices on where to get information. thus throughout the world. Video news releases are delivered digitally via satellite or the Internet. Public opinion surveys are conducted via the World Wide Web. Technology has long influenced how public relations practitioners do their work. In the technologically advanced society of today. Once typed on paper and sent via mail or fax.

44% did. This is up substantially since 1999. A growing portion of journalists prefer receiving photographs. Some of these adaptations have been strategic and intentional. Typically. 12% have six or more. possibly adversely influencing practices. • 24% of journalists used instant messaging in 1999. practitioners have adapted their methods as well. • 81% of reporters go online daily to do searching. when 42% would use the Web to scoop the print product. efficiency or efficacy of various tactics or techniques. corporate Web sites are the top choice for information. In other cases. This is more than double the percent (25%) who used email to receive story pitches in 1995. • 46% of magazine editors favor receiving digital images. 27 . by 2004. the changes have been perhaps more subtle and unintentional. • 92% of journalists go online as part of their story research. • 53% of journalists use email to receive story pitches. Because much of the strategy and tactics of public relations rely on use of the media. • 76% of reporters go online to find new sources and experts. Internet use by journalists in general has grown dramatically since the 1990s to become a routine part of the normal work day for reporters and editors. designed to improve the effectiveness. audio and video. • Most journalists have two email addresses. The 2004 Media in Cyberspace study found: • 98% of the journalists say they are online at least once a day to check email. • 73% of reporters go online to find press releases. Magazine journalists in fact report that for breaking news when a live source is not available. • 55% of print media sites at least occasionally use their Web site to scoop the print product. • 15 hours a week are spent by journalists reading and sending email. A growing portion of journalists use corporate Web sites to obtain information.videography are widely produced and delivered digitally. different addresses are used or given out for different purposes. as media have evolved technically.

Most often. With the rise of video tape technology.• 26% prefer slides. Having started as oftentimes amateurish promotional video on analog tape. VNRs emerged in the 1980s as a video version of the traditional news or press release. Spring 2006. mailed or sent by overnight delivery to selected television stations for possible 8 Marken. those work-related tasks involve finding story ideas. • About a third of all broadcasters welcome receiving audio files from Web sites. A.202 journalists in North America and around the globe. • 61% of newspaper editors prefer to receive digital photos or other images. • 20% of broadcasters receive video files online. • “43% of journalists use blogs for researching and referencing facts and finding sources. Some research also confirms that regardless of the medium. Public Relations Quarterly. G. Losing Our Most Precious Asset.8 A notable example of how technology has influenced public relations messages is the video news release (VNR). “More than 51% of journalists use blogs. • “Most notable is that 33% of journalists say they use blogs as a way of uncovering breaking news or scandals. 51 Issue 1. The study found that: • “70% of journalists who use blogs do so for work-related tasks. evidence suggests that journalists are gradually turning more to posting to their own blogs in order to have independence from traditional editors or media gatekeeping. page 45 28 . This is much of what attracts millions of citizens around the U. writing quality is still a deciding factor in effective communication. Few blog-using journalists are engaging with this new medium by posting to blogs or publishing their own.” But.” reported the 2006 .11th Annual Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University Survey of the Media. • 26% prefer camera-ready art. with 53% of journalist respondents reporting using blogs for such purposes. The study surveyed 1.S. • “36% of respondents use blogs to find sources. including blogs. Vol. and persons around the world to publish their own blogs.

These citizenproduced online media can be influential and widely seen and accounting for them may be essential to a public relations campaign.inclusion in the evening newscast. Conducting public opinion surveys online is now a common practice in public relations. at least from the point of view of communication. with all of the attendant public relations issues. We are witnessing the rise of decentralization. particularly at the local level9 Further. the VNR has evolved into a sophisticated digital public relations tool and a frequent part of television news.pdf 29 . This also means organizations can be more open and transparent to facilitate better understanding between and among various groups. particularly from the point of view of public relations. new technologies have made it increasingly effective to distribute VNRs in digital format via satellite or other broadband technologies. etc. John.3 Disguised_as_news. One of the challenges raised by social networking sites and other new technologies is the notion of privacy and security in the digital age. Gauging public opinion can also involve the use of online media. Typically. Practitioners monitor such online sources alongside traditional media outlets.net/tvq_36_3/media/articles/36. Many organizations of various types will likely be confronted by privacy and security concerns as online technologies bring together both increasing ability to track individuals and data about them and facilitate 9 Pavlik. with increasing use of collaboration (intranets have succeeded Lotus Notes. Technological change presents many significant implications for the structure. http://www. culture and management of organizations.tvquarterly. It is also possible to better transcend time and distance constraints via digital communications. Organizational openness and transparency are increasing as online technologies have become ubiquitous and powerful. Perhaps among the most significant is the opportunity to flatten the hierarchical nature of many organizations.) and group decisionmaking software. journalists can view or download VNRs online before deciding whether to use them. including both internally and externally. Digital communications makes it possible for more efficient management of organizational communications.

Data Security: A New Concern for PR Practitioners. The written press. the bigger is the frequency of appearance. 30 .is classified after: a) the rhythm of appearance we classify daily. Yet. 1.the paper sheet) and the audiovisual press (the text is “fixed on” hertz waves). term. monthly. semester and annual newspapers. weekly. between the rhythm of appearance and the type of public a particular publication has. Christy .convenience at the potential sacrifice of personal privacy and data security10. we further distinguish the written press (the text is fixed on solid support. much research remains to be done in this regard. For each category function more types of classification. Summer2005. CHAPTER III III. Public Relations Quarterly. pages 25-26. Mass-media system The simpler way of mapping the big universe of the press is the one that has as main criteria the support on which the message is sent. Research has much to tell us about how technology influences the practice of public relations.1. This correlation offers a first useful clue for the press bureau representative who wants to identify the proper publications when placing information: if the dates he wants to 10 Kelly. a tight interrelation is bounding: the numerous and changing the public is.

if the information aim a restraint public. The audio-visual press classifies after: a) the diffusion area – the stations can be locals. Readers Digest etc) and others of only few thousands. than he must look for specialized publications’ journalists. he collaborates with the journalists. Both of them can have national and international broadcast. Still.general or specialized. for the press communication specialist. with specialized people in certain domains that must be respected for their ability. e) The content of newspapers and magazines : general or specialized.transmit aim a wider public (the dates are of general interest or of maximum actuality) he will address to those journalists that work to daily magazines.the publications can be: nationals. c) The publication’s pattern – generally we distinguish magazines and newspapers. with a socio-professional shape well defined. 31 . without having national vocation. in the last category making part the journals with a press run of only thousands of copies published by some unknown community and also the big daily newspapers from modern big cities with a circulation of publication of couple of thousands copies. regionals and nationals. the circulation of newspaper shouldn’t be a discriminating criteria. regionals and locals. Each of them can be at standard format ( the so-called A2 format) and the tabloid format (A3). competence and not the number of copies a publication sells. those that have a profile column in daily newspapers. 2. b) The circulation of newspaper/ press run : some newspapers have a press run of millions of copies everyday (Wall Street Journal. d) The area of circulation. b) The content . and eventually.

c) The financed way and the assumed role (this is the most important criteria). because it permits him to evaluate the broadcasting area of some information and to avoid wasting energy by contacting other local stations. television. or the working field (economic. engineers. From this point of view. Knowing the grid of programs is highly important for the press bureau representative. Work inside the press environment is based on stressed specialization. sport. press agents). A publication or station is divided in 3 main professional fields: 1. sketches. internationals) and professionals (journalistic. political. managers. sketchers. the journalists are specialized depending on the media features (written media. image etc). big city areas. photo. the journalistic field ( known as “editorial office”) 2. An editorial office is organized in departments that can be: thematic (economic. social. on zones (interns. cultural etc). marketing or distribution specialists etc. culture) or the type of activity they’re doing ( searching and gathering information or analyzing written materials and publishing them). the technical field (the specialists that assure the material process of the product). Some stations are integrating themselves into a network television. Also. radio. that affects the journalists world and also the one of the specialists involved in manufacturing and obtaining press materials: technicians. they affiliate to a central station and take over part of its programs. we distinguish public service stations and commercial stations. regional areas. editing. 32 . the managerial field (that groups the ones that administrate and finance the production and broadcasting process) 3. social.

economic. what must be published. how the subject must be approached. to respect them and comply to their demands.In order to realize an efficient mass-media communication. the press bureau representative (part of public relations system) must take in consideration what represents “the personality” of that field. the press bureau representative must accept the fact that the journalists (editors and reporters) are the ones making an information being of interest. a personality that derives from the specific conditions of working in an editorial office but also from the values that journalists are relying on when taking decisions or fulfilling some activities. juristic acts etc). in what form or style. The main value that journalists are very fond of is the liberty of the press: this assumes the recognition of the journalist’s right to search information and express opinions without being obstruct/ enclosed by any authority (political. administrative. with what tone etc. a “news”. That’s why the people who work in the field of press communication must know certain characteristics of the journalists’ work. The journalists must have the freedom to present the information that the press bureau is offering the 33 .

The journalists appreciate mostly the professionalism and the correctness. D. 1986. 34 . the one he is engaging with in the big responsibility process of informing the public. in extreme situations (crisis. the public relations’ practitioners must know the specific of the mass-media system and to adapt to it. press files and communications To realize a good communication with the press.100-102. pp.E. Newsom et alli. T. pp. 145-149. honesty of the working partner. 1992. 157161.W. 1994.M. Grunig. Dunn. Wilcox et alli.way he consider best. and during a time pressure the journalists appreciate those press bureaus and those spokesmen that know how to facilitate obtaining essential dates and transmitting them as efficient as possible.280-299) we reach the following synthesis: a) The daily newspapers have the following advantages: . Gathering dates from many such studies (S. pp. when the public needs to receive accurate information.2. either some departments of the organization or locations where the organization is represented. the different types of mass-media present specific advantages and disadvantages. accidents.Tucker et alli. 1994.Hunt.they are an important source of high reputation. pp. Although the press bureau representative mission is to mediate between the organization and journalists. 266-290. III. he must facilitate contacts between them and the authorities. pp.L. J. S. Cutlip et alli. K. 1993. pp. catastrophes etc).137-141. the appearance of some material about one organization in a daily newspaper that benefits of wide distribution and reputation strengthens the reputation of that organization.300-302.349-351. this doesn’t mean that he has the communication’s exclusiveness or that he must stop the access of journalists to the organization’s management. He also must support the journalists when they want to go to certain places to obtain documents. 1994. On the contrary.Press relations. D. From the point of view of press communication’s objectives and techniques.

the information has more chances of being identified and memorized.long life time of some information: because the reader doesn’t finish the publication from only one lecture. he doesn’t read all the papers and columns. more than that.represents wanted goods achieved in a selective way. .assures the distribution of information on a wide geographic area and in divers social backgrounds. besides.selectiveness: these publications have well defined target-publics. some weekly publications are read particularly by powerful people from different social environments (“opinion leaders”) and the message has the chance to penetrate those environments.attractive graphic presentation. which allows directing the information to those segments directly aimed by the message of the organization.permit the presentation of information in graphic shapes and attractive typography.the space dedicated to the news is smaller every day. but with different levels of concentration.the reading of daily press is not equal: the reader takes 30-40 minutes/ day.the need of information and interesting topics. d) Disadvantages: 35 . .the news from newspapers have “short life”: the contain information is accessible only one day. c) The publications with weekly or monthly appearances have as advantages: . b) Disadvantages: . . only those interesting him or the habitual ones. . . . coming back on reading the publication more than once. .guarantee the presentation of information in terms of professionalism and exigence. ..

f) On the other hand. and secondarily to his reflexive availabilities. that’s why obtaining an appearance time is an extremely difficult operation. -credibility. investigation. the radio imposes some advantages: -fast receptivity: due to its specific technical conditions. -capacity of affective mobilization: tv has an increased power of “touching”. especially during great audience hours. -promoting local dimensions. -the image precedes the word. the television can advantage the press bureau messages through: -big social impact: every day. watching with maximum attention and perception.-the delay of distributing some information: because of larger periods of time between appearances. television has also boundaries: -mobility of tv spectator. but to some distances from the moment it was sent to the editorial office. interview etc). they can’t spread the information immediately. sometimes simultaneously with the rolling events (“live” transmission). addressing in the first place to the affective dimensions of human being. portrait. 36 . -difficult access: due to its attractiveness. millions of people stand in front of tv. starting from it (story. the messages transmitted on radio get fast to the public. television is looked for by the representatives of all institution. -the rigidity in terms of space ((the information can be placed only in certain pages) and deadline. -“the mass” character of the audience. g) Finally. e) Due to its numerous qualities. -the tendency of not publishing directly the press communication and other materials: the coordinator of these magazines prefer to take over the information and to ask the journalist to develop a more ample material.

A professional press file permits: a) the account of journalists from press institutions that might e interested in the distributed information. “he is a communicational environment from man to man. invitations for press conferences or press voyages for the appropriate persons.makes it personal –the radio uses the spoken word to broadcast information. The public relations practitioners need journalists to be able to put in circulation the messages and information they want to transmit to their public. how the press institutions that you’re working with are organized. -small duration of messages. the journalists need the practitioners to get faster to sources. at the right moments. c) keeping up the connections with the journalists after sending certain information.. to benefit of proved information and press materials elaborated after the journalistic standards. who lives especially through conversations”11. page 291 37 . -omnipresence: we can listen anywhere. 11 Cutlip. press files. anytime. Press files You can’t have a good communication with mass-media if you don’t know whom to address to. h) Disadvantages : -perishable messages: immaterial character and the small passing through duration “on air”. who is or could be interested in your messages. 1994. anyhow. b) sending the press releases. d) prompt reaction after the information was “put in circulation” by the press.

after hobbies. afterg periodicity : daily. . for children. a) the systematic file of journalists: .foreign press correspondents. Deschepper (1991.for weekly publications of general information. pp. J. in central. otherwise they have no value. after the aimed public: feminine.for the press agencies.local press journalists and zonal newspapers correspondents of press agencies. a. medical press etc. b) the alphabetic file of journalists. where they can be grouped after the name criterion. monthly.national press journalists. b. b) press file regarding the specialized press can contain the following types: - after domain: economic.Press files are complex documents and extremely well structured. It’s important to remember that the public of organization is also the public of some press institutions. publications. two regarding the press institutions and the other two regarding the journalists. Press files for press institutions can be classified: a) press file regarding the press of general information: . teenagers. financial. semestrial. This represents an essential part of the process of creating 38 . cultural. retired people etc. . weekly. based on logical and functional criteria. The press files must be updated permanently. Each of these files can be categorized after geographical criterion. scientific and technical press. . central and regional press. Press files regarding the journalists can be classified in two big categories: - . regional and local. 35-36) consider that press files can be devised in 4 major categories. radio stations and television. Knowing the press agencies’ specific assures the broadcasting of messages to the public.

solid boundaries of communication with the society. The meticulous work of creating and permanent updating press files realizes a stable relation with the press institutions and journalists and also guaranties success in transmitting some information or in organizing some event with public resonance.

Press Release
A press release is a document issued to media and consumers to announce an organization or a product. A well-written release can dramatically increase sales, expose a company to the masses, and greatly enhance the image of a business or products. A professionally written press release can make the difference between a successful press release and an utter failure. A release must have a general interest to the target audience and a strong news angle. In addition, it needs to be written in journalistic rather than marketing style. It should be objectively written and needs to inform people, not just sell them something. The focus of the story should not be on the subject of the product itself but on the creator of the product. A human-interest story or a hint of controversy helps create interest. Preface the opening sentence of the release with the place and date of the release. It should aim for absolute clarity and avoid too many adjectives or adverbs, consider using bullet points where appropriate. Both the headline and the first paragraph should summarize and sell the story. A press release should accentuate what is new, unusual, different and extreme. For journalists, the press release is “an instrument of work and reference” or a “finished product”. The main evaluation criteria of a press release importance are, for journalists, the novelty of information, its interest for the newspaper, publication or station’s public, the quality of the written text. Press releases are often sent alone, by e-mail, fax or snail mail. They can also be part of a full press kit, or may be accompanied by a pitch letter. A press release is different from a news article. A news article is a compilation of facts

developed by journalists published in the news media, whereas a press release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop articles on a subject. A press release is generally biased towards the objectives of the author. A press release is written in order to highlight an important event, program, or piece of information by an organization that succinctly describes the who, what, where, when, why and how of the story. The first thing to be done by the press bureau representatives is to check the press review, and in this way to establish in how many publications the text appeared, how many radio and TV stations have broadcasted it, how it was broadcasted and if it was reproduced correctly or it was accompanied by commentaries or information belonging to the editorial office. Such an analysis is very important because it shows: the publications and journalists interested in the messages of the organization, their attitude towards the organization, the way, via mass-media, the public could intercept the organization’s messages.


fig. A press release template


or communications director).” They are people trying to do their job and report the facts on topics about which they are often not experts. clients or legislators. Remember. but with some preparation and practice it can be a highly rewarding endeavor. Good media can work FOR you. Media coverage of your organization’s work and leadership helps establish your credibility in the community. 4. Your issue and work can grow from something that only a small staff and board discuss regularly to something that families. Working with the media is an integral part of accomplishing an organization’s mission by informing the public and influencing public policy. or anyone interested in your organization. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes. Those messages serve as your guide to answering questions from media. Working with the media Improving media relations and earning news coverage for your organization is critical to raising awareness of your mission. board chair. its cause and its programs. Identify one key spokesperson to speak for your organization (usually the president. Having one media liaison makes it easier for the media to contact your organization (thus more likely to do so) and helps avoid sending mixed messages. and sways public opinion. share it with your board. and community leaders begin to address. keep a copy for your files. show it to your donors. if relevant. other boards. prospective donors. A few keys to success are: 1. 3. Getting good media coverage is often seen as a daunting task. 2. attracts allies.III. Good publicity can bolster your organization’s membership or volunteer efforts. 42 . Develop a message or a short set of messages that you constantly refer to. They depend on people who are experts on topics to give them the information they need to compile their stories. with a few exceptions. When you do get good media coverage. legislators. the media are not “out to get you.3.

he/she can call you. but don’t send them so frequently that people get sick of them and quit reading them. If an article is run that you wish you had been interviewed for. Sending regular press releases is good.5. contact the reporter and let him/her know that if they need a contact on that topic in the future.ColoradoNonprofits. “Working with the media is about building relationships.12 12 www. When a good story is run or you are well quoted send a thank you to the reporter responsible. It is good to generate media coverage on a regular basis. The media are usually not experts at subjects they cover – they depend on the people they interview and the research they do to provide them the information they need. The role of the nonprofit sector and the free press sustain free and open dialogue which is vital to sustaining a strong democracy. Reporters and nonprofits hold a special responsibility to the public to voice opinions and act responsibly based on credible information. but it is not good to overwhelm the media. Establish yourself as an expert in your field by reliably providing good information. Take advantage of media opportunities in addition to press releases”.org 43 .

Effects can be broadly based. More specifically. the messages they generate.). 44 . Historically. media effects may be defined by a categorization scheme such as type of effect or duration of effect. Early institution about media effects assumed a direct effects magic bullet model from the early 1900s to the 1940s.CHAPTER IV IV. The promise of understanding media effects can be seductive –a search for knowledge of cause and effect and the relationship between human behavior and consumption of media. New York. “Mass communication involves the scientific study of the mass-media. Most mass media were in their infancy. NY: Macmillan. the scientific empirical study of media effects has evolved from the fields of psychology and sociology. The term mass media has grown to include print media. He will have to know the strengths and limitations of all forms of media. ranging from a child’s fear reaction to an R-rated film to undecided voters casting ballots for a third-party candidate. electronic media and computer generated media. Discovering how mass-media researchers define media effects is complex and typically is inferred from context. was met with public fear about potentially harmful effects as the consequence of exposure. Mass communication theories and research (2nd ed. the audiences they attempt to reach and their effects on these audiences”13. including the internet.1. from effects on an individual to societal effects. S. from film to radio to television. Media effects research for public relations practitioners A public relations’ writer is expected to understand the media. The limited effects model also is supported by 13 Tan. and the emerge of each new medium. A. (1985). Effects generally include any of the psychological or sociological outcomes following mass-media consumption. with content ranging from advertising to news and to informational and entertainment programming.

g. leading to an increasingly larger group of people who choose not to voice their opinions. Second. This tradition gave way during the 1970s to a powerful media effects model. Spiral of silence has a similar attitudinal/public opinion focus. The increasing number of people who obtain information from the internet pose an interesting problem for researchers concerned with form versus content.Klapper’s (1960) work. television messages use attention-getting production techniques. Cost and size audience might be the most pertinent criteria given that the research shows little processing differences across media. print is used to complex information). First. Public relations practitioners often might face the dilemma of deciding where their messages should be placed. It predicts that people who believe that their viewpoints are in the minority will be less willing to speak publicly about it. Are information-processing assumptions changed when printed text is presented in a more traditionally visual (monitor) format and information from a screen is downloaded and printed in text form? The theories of cultivation. a target audience’s cognitive abilities need to be assessed to aid in determining how the message is constructed. agenda setting and spiral of silence all may be considered powerful effects theories. which concluded that the media have very limited power and might only be capable of reinforcing preexisting ideas. consumers approach media in a predetermined way. message designers should exploit the formal features of the chosen medium to maximize effectiveness (e. Agenda setting postulates that media consumers will determine that issues predominant in media messages will be correlated with those issues they find to be important such as the danger of nuclear weapons. Third. Cultivation theory predicts that heavy media use will result in consumers expressing opinions and beliefs similar to those messages featured predominantly in the media such as a belief that the world is a mean and scary place. Opinions presented in the media as being those of the 45 .. but this ultimately has a limited impact on information processing when the message is the same. It may be visualized as a softening one.

majority become stronger and face less and less vocal opposition. The audience is the necessary lynchpin underlying media effects. All three of these cognitive based theories have been referred to as “theories of accumulation” because they predict cumulative effects over a long period of time. the practitioner should be knowledgeable to the individual’s psychological processes. 14 Eduard L. First. public relations efforts can have wildly successful and powerful outcomes when content is carefully matched to an audience. he summarized three points for public relations practitioners. practitioners can then tailor efforts for maximum effect. Third. Public relations practitioners could see in time that. the practitioner should be knowledgeable about sociology and anthropology to know how attitudes are formed through culture and social structures. regardless of the time period. the practitioners must be a careful student of media to know how people develop their “pictures of the world”14.“Crystalising Public Opinion”. In “Crystallizing Public Opinion” (Bernays. Bernays. and in a public address in 1925. Second. 1923). 1923 46 . Bernays’ writing from more than 80 years ago continues to sound fresh and applicable for public relations and media effects. leaving the media as a powerful developer of public consensus.

however. As part of crisis scanning. This would include important blogs for your industry. The blogs could provide warning signs of an emerging crisis. Stakeholders can post comments/give feedback and ask questions. managers should be observing the social media relevant to their industry. The KFC video of rats in a New York City location was very popular. or its services. RSS can be used to reach employees or 47 . Observing can be as simple as conducting regular searches and analysis of blogs for mentions of your organization. Videos were used to spread information about the “defective” Kryptonite bike locks and the flaming laptop batteries as well. The other side of crisis communications is sending messages during a crisis. If you look at training seminars and webinars for crisis communication. its products. The practice of crisis communication is ahead of research in terms of social media. YouTube is the location of choice for most online videos. Blogs can be an effective way for providing updated information about a crisis. blogs can be updated quickly. Monitoring of social media should extend into the crisis response and post-crisis phases to check how your crisis management efforts are being received. Like dedicated crisis sections of a web site. social media is emerging as a “hot” topic. It might also be a bad sign if customers form groups on sites like Facebook to complain about your organization. The need to respond to queries increases the time investment for the crisis team. There is a need to elaborate and build greater knowledge about crisis communications and new media with an emphasis on social media.IV. The communication with the press during crisis The rapid evolution of new media often results in the practice of public relations getting ahead of research. A basic definition of social media is the use of technology to facilitate interaction and the sharing of information. Another warning sign could be online videos. Blogs have the added feature of interactivity.2. We should start by noting that social media are a useful way to identify warning signs that a crisis is developing.

Jet Blue’s apology video on YouTube is frequently given as an example of an effective use of video in a crisis. and community. partners. The idea is to use multiple channels to release your crisis information. Businesses. Crisis communications is a branch of PR that is designed to protect and defend an individual. company. from time to time. brand. or organization. and organizations will. Crisis communications and reputation management were relegated as a reactive response. The traditional crisis communications planning and response workflow: > Crisis Planning > Negative Groundswell > Crisis Response > Public Relations > Assessment/Monitoring 48 . and employees related to almost anything. individuals. Whether it's an oversight or a matter of deception.other stakeholders that would like to subscribe to updates. make honest mistakes or in some unfortunate cases. manage and attempt to positively spin the potential backlash from customers. facing a swelling public challenge to its reputation. usually from a reactive response. savvy companies usually employ and deploy a crises response team to prepare for. while the groundwork for a potential predicament and the development of strategic communiqué is among the best practices for proactive crisis planning. intentionally support unethical decisions to dissuade or conceal something significant from its public.

engagement. There may be a time when the organization faces some kind of crisis. viewers or listeners. It might be a natural disaster or something man-made." It’s compulsory to built a good working relationship with the press and media through periodic news releases. and to correct misinformation picked up by journalists. press conferences and interviews on aspects of the organization's work. This plan must be in writing. earnest people who take pride in their work and their service to the community. if not a majority of potential crises are now avoidable through proactive listening. and your organization's members must know where and how the operations center is established for dealings with the media during the crisis. Because the organization's activities are of interest to the community and perhaps beyond. but either way. The people involved in the media relations must know who does what. They are professional and realize that cheap "ambushing" techniques used by some who are less than professional lead to poor press relations and disfavor from the community. It will talk to others between each conference but at least the company will have the opportunity to tell its own story once or twice a day. 49 . The organization should have a good working plan for the handling of a crisis. Reporters need information. it will be a time of distress. organize it and produce a story of interest to readers. The media should be informed of the times of press conferences. the crisis will be "news. response. decision making and even frustration. The great majority of reporters are hard-working. It is their job to collect it.In the Social Web. An organization should have a good working plan for handling of a crisis. conversation. The groundwork should have already been laid to establish a working relationship with the press and the media. Those steps make the task of media relations during a crisis much easier. and transparency (repeat). They work diligently to achieve their objectives. humbleness.

can destroy an individual's reputation or even destroy the organization." A misstatement can put someone's job on the line. it must be professional looking with no misspelled names. The cardinal rule is "be honest.Anytime the company uses a written release. Opinions and hunches have no place in the communications with the press. It should limit with the facts and the truth. information sheet or other written memo for the press. Accuracy is vital in both written and oral communications with the press. In such a case. There may be a situation when the organization's administrators decide that all the information on the crisis cannot be given in order to protect a legitimate concern (such as hostage negotiations. no typographical errors and no misinformation. the spokesperson certainly does not have to give all the information 50 . the safety of law enforcement teams or whatever else might be a threatening situation).

on the crisis and may release only part of the information. grooming and manner. The spokesperson of the organization must be someone who will not be nervous before the questioning of reporters. The spokesperson must anticipate the journalists’ questions likely to be asked. It is critical to remember that the spokesperson represents the organization. it is wise to be established a media center where all interviews. Thus. That might be possible in some situations. but in others. getting too close to the site might be dangerous or might destroy evidence. Part of the problem of a crisis is that sometimes. press conferences and written releases originate. Much nervousness can be dispelled by role reversing. The press learns quickly that the site is 51 . That means the spokesperson must put forward a professional appearance in clothing. But that partial information must be true. the media want to get to or near the site of the problem.

" if a situation arises wherein the spokesperson does not (or cannot) reveal certain information. It doesn't matter as long as a professional image can be maintained and as long as the spokesperson. "I can't comment on that now. About the use of the term "no comment. putting personal feelings in a secondary position. That controlled access gives the media its photos and gives reporters a first-hand look at the situation without letting them endanger themselves or others or the evidence. you want the organization's story to be put before the public. tent or site outside. try a diplomatic and tactful. You don't want someone else creating or slanting a story. try to structure the press conference or interview in such a way that the term or its alternate do not have to be used." That leaves the door open to a future time when the comment might be forthcoming. It’s necessary to be developed a crisis plan for dealing with the media. Additionally. when conditions change.the only place to go for information if the organization makes that clear and sees to it that staff route all media inquiries to the media center. Inside information offends the outsiders left out. Sometimes "no comment" makes the person or organization look guilty. the organization might permit limited access to the crisis site or access to a point near it. Better yet." Unfortunately.it can be an office. After all. representing the organization with a professional image. support staff and media can be accomodated. 52 . It is a kind of control point to keep the media from accessing the site of the crisis. the term carries a negative connotation. Give media training to any staff who might be involved in a crisis so they know how to deal with the media to present a professional image for the organization despite the crisis. It doesn't have to be a huge meeting room -. Beware of "scoops" or playing favorites among the press. realizing they must receive what they came to discover and that the facts are accurate. Rather than "no comment. The spokesperson must remain professional. Preparation is vital. probably because it has been misused so many times. Give the reporters the truth and the facts.

CHAPTER V V. heightened with the proliferation of the read/write Web and the impending semantic Web. As described in the book of Brian Solis with Deirdre Breakenridge. analyst. it’s not adapting to the new landscape of influence and engagement. psychological motivations and how they could be exploited or steered through communications and top-down influence. A nephew of Sigmund Freud.Much more than media. Public Relations . By simply adding bloggers to the organization’s e-mail merge or the “hit” lists. and their in boxes are just as chaotic as those of their journalist counterparts. “Putting the Public Relations. and blogger relations to instill messages and attempt to manipulate public behavior. Now that the creation and distribution of content has been democratized. only contributing to its state of crisis. analyst and blogger relations The business of PR slowly evolved away from public interaction and eventually transformed into a mechanism of media.” the Web. It’s an opportunity to engage directly customers and peers who either purchase or recommend the decisions of others. This view of PR can be traced all the way back to Edward Bernays in the early 1900s. Social Media is bigger than simply integrating a Blogger Relations branch to a PR strategy. is forcing the integration of the “Public” back into Public Relations. Bloggers are people too. Engaging and inspiring 53 . Applying the current process of pitch development and distribution has little to no impact on the organization numbers and it’s potential to survive the evolution of communications. PR of today is more aligned with Media. everyday people are earning a level of authority that fundamentally works against the current model of current PR. As a result. Bernays’ experimented with Freud’s ideology related to people's unconscious. Analyst and Blogger relations and not necessarily “Public” Relations.

It's the only way. is intensified as impassioned individuals now have access to new mediums that directly and indirectly influence the decisions of their peers in the real world and through their extended communities online. Traditional word of mouth. these online environments become increasingly relevant to the communication strategies for organizations. relationships and authority as a person and as a professional. contributed articles and now blog posts. prioritize. in micro-media communities. engage. This is PR of old. passion.. At the same time. The process of actively observing and documenting relevant conversations not only enables the communications team to create an accurate social map of important and relevant networks. and grow in the communities that affect your development. but it also produces a more informed and empathetic assembly of sincere. humanized ambassadors. methodologies. This is a critical observation and lesson. and an undeniable understanding of who they write for and why they should care about what you represent. Listening is the fundamental characteristic that separates the experts from the theorists. Yet. Listen.. It embodies the same spin that defines most press releases along with the disingenuous voices associated with ghost-written executive quotes. As millions of users populate such Web sites and spend increasing amounts of time immersed in them. expertise. Social networking sites such as MySpace and video file sharing sites such as YouTube also have enormous implications for public relations. online groups and social profiles and review sites. consumers are empowered by digital technologies to voice their 54 . The new world of influence demands customer empathy. and knowledge – everything else is disposable and takes away from your focus and potential. how to appropriately participate or communicate in these online environments where sometimes the social and cultural rules are stricter than the legal requirements can present a slippery slope. This isn’t participation.these individuals requires new techniques. reputation. Many PR people attempt to either pose as “users” or offer boilerplate comments and reviews across the blogosphere. at the consumer level.

opinions more easily and more powerfully via social networking sites. immediacy and clarity are among the key elements in the process of responding effectively. What began as mainly a U. sometimes griping against corporate practices they find objectionable. enterprise in the early 1900s. “Professional public relations will always be an imperfect “art. Transparency. with a few agencies and a few hundred practitioners. to become a global enterprise. PR practitioners have prospered as the issues with which they concern themselves have grown in magnitude and impact. As long as free enterprise drives the economies of progressive nations professional public 55 . professional public relations has more than fulfilled its role in society despite the many setbacks that seem to go hand in hand with the practice from time to time. far surpassing what even the most visionary of its early proponents imagined. but as I hope this modest history has shown it has served as a powerful voice not only for its employers but for the publics which it serves and with which it stands. almost inexorably. Looking back.” depending as it does on imperfect information and imperfect relationships.S. has grown. including creating and posting their own videos.

May its practitioners never forget their central role in helping to preserve that enterprise in the public interest. 2006.”15 Cutlip and Center.2 15 “Mini-Me History” by Don Bates.relations will continue to thrive and flourish. Published by Institute for Public Relations 56 . fig 8.

the more influence they can exert on the media. Through areas such as brand management. The more and better relationships they can build. PR people can control access to information which journalists want.Conclusions The Public Relations industry is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships between clients and customers. The power of the big agencies and “spin doctor” goes beyond this however. PR practitioners want to place their stories in the news or other publications and programmes. they must build their relationships on an atmosphere of trust and mutuality. one of cooperation. trust and belief in a product or company. As the primary point of contact between businesses and the media. The media in turn has become more dependent on PR to supply content to fill air time or column inches. media relations and crisis management. 57 . Without being able to do this. advertising. mainly. PR would lose one of its main avenues for communication with the public. Many journalists have a distrustful attitude to public relations. the relation between the public relations and the journalists is. Sometimes. In order to overcome this barrier. The media is the central vehicle for much of the PR industry's messages. and the ever growing ranks of PR are happy to help fill the pages. They need to have a wariness of professional story-pitchers. Whilst newspapers have been steadily shedding staff over the last couple of decades they have simultaneously managed to produce ever thicker publications. The relationship between the news media and the PR industry is a complex and increasingly symbiotic one. the PR agencies aim to build ongoing relationships with journalists and media sources. Even though. the difficulties appear when the PR people must define the values and the means to reach these objectives. PR practitioners seek to foster interest.

employees. or organization may have (i. implicitly with the publics. due to the horizontal evolution (internet. wikibloggs etc). and press conferences are examples of instruments used in public relations.e. since advertising is publicity that is paid for. Publicity releases. Although the press is helping in fulfilling many of the organization’s objectives. individual. The on-line environment gives the practitioners the possibility to optimize the content of the information but also the way the information is transmitted. Public relations uses publicity that does not necessitate payment in a wide variety of media and is often placed as news or items of public interest. bringing to public relations the possibility of becoming a form of the media itself. The practice of PR is used to build rapport with the various publics a company. specialized publications.At the base of their professional relations must be: sincere behaviour. competitors. quality of transmitting the information. The practitioners depend on the quality of the journalist act and that’s why they sometimes feel vulnerable.. Form of communication that is primarily directed toward gaining public understanding and acceptance. Each of the parts must take in consideration the ethics of each job and to respect each values. bloggs. PR practitioners are aware of the importance of the press in reaching the communicational objectives they propose to reach. the practitioners can accomplish all alone many of these objectives because of the communicational channels available. voters. stockholders.in the on-line environment could be replaced accuracy and offering 58 . It tends to deal with issues rather than specifically with products or services. they offer a legitimacy that advertising does not have. or the general population). professionalism or competence. the main goal –which in the relation with the media was obtaining worthy news . They state the journalists help in transmitting their messages. but sometimes it happens that their collaborators to modify the messages. employee-training seminars. In such terms. Because public relations communications are placed in this manner. customers. The evolution of the media horizontally brings deep changes in the relation of public relations practitioners and the media.

The addiction of the public relations to the press was diminished in time. The PR relation with the publics evolves toward transparency and openness. 59 . than the support of media professional attitude is required. The public relations’ practitioners must use the most appropriate media mix. but a great campaign is made not only with professionalism but with the aid of journalists as well. as the PR publics is no more mediated by the press only and the content of the messages gets directly to the sources in the shape that the organization wants to.publics’ relation. The organizations must gain respect via bidirectional conversations and transparent debates. If the impact is wanted to be big. this is the key of a successful management in public relations.detailed information.

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