Intoduction to Public Relations

Author Archives: julierudd

Social Media is a tool that every business should take advantage of. In Spencer Dalzell’s White Paper about a restaurant named GiGi Trattoria, he mentions that they could use help with the social media aspect. In many of my classes, we have discussed that social media is a great publicity tool. Not only is it free, it can also reach hundreds of thousands of people in less than a second. Spencer explained that many famous people have visited this restaurant, including Bill Gates and Oprah. They both have over 5 million followers on Twitter. He suggested that the restaurant should ask the stars to simply shout out to them in a tweet. With the amount of publicity this restaurant would get in the matter of seconds, it is inevitable that they would receive more business. This seemed like the most practical social media plan because if the celebrities enjoyed the restaurant, it is easy for them to write a tweet promoting it.


Matt Berry’s White Paper about the St. John Fisher College Student Government Association was one of the most creative ones I saw presented. The reason why I liked it so much was because of the fact that it’s close to home. We can all relate to something that it happening on campus. Matt had many ideas that he clearly expressed, one being getting rid of “The Nest”. He explains this as the “Facebook of campus clubs”, but he doesn’t buy it. Although his opinions were very strong, he had the information to back it all up. Matt was full of different ways to execute the way campus clubs are promoted, and it doesn’t have to do with using The Nest. Not many people would think to use the campus government for a White Paper, and that is why I thought his was the most creative. Matt has the ability to make the changes he has implemented.

 


Amanda did an overall very good job of writing the White Paper. This White Paper appealed to me, not only because I am a Ben & Jerry’s fanatic, the most because of the graphics and the way it was set up, along with the writing. The first paragraph and background information made me want to read more about the company, which is what any good writer should do. The writing style was more relaxed instead of opinion based. Corporate Social Responsibility was a main aspect of the paper, which is Ben & Jerry’s mission. It was interesting to read about how many different things Ben & Jerry’s does to keep up their brand name. When eating their ice cream, you are unaware of what actually goes into it. Amanda did a great job of showing that it is not only ice cream that you’re eating; it is actually the brand as a whole that you help support. She conveyed the brand message greatly using quotes, images, and video.

 

 


Question 1

Heepo was not very familiar with the concept of manipulation. I had to explain to home how important manipulation is in the art of public relations. Some believe that the public relations work is all about fooling the human mind. A public relations professional needs to deliver a specific message from the  brand or company that they are working with. It is unusual for them to communicate a bad message. No matter how much negative backlash the company is receiving, the p.r. person is required to deal with it. It is important for them to perceive the message as a good and well-thought out one, even if it might not be the case.

To go into further explanation, I told Heepo about the BP scandal. I explained how it was important for the company to start manipulating the public to think that they were doing good for the earth after the oil spill.

Businesses are constantly using the manipulating tactic to show that they are better than their competitors. For an example, check out this commercial featuring Pizza Hut and Papa Johns.

Manipulation is inevitable because they need to convince the public that their company is great. It is up to us as the receivers to decide what is genuine and what is not.


Question 2 
In my own words, public relations is the connection of an organization and the public by controlling the information from the organization to the public. This flow of information is usually initiated by the company to the public and gives information that does not require payment by the company to the media that is delivering the message. This strategic communication has a goal of developing a positive relationship between the company and the public.
I think of public relations as the best way to tell the public about a company to create a positive image of the company. The role of public relations in the United States, which is a democracy in which the flow of information is not controlled, is changing. The rise in popularity of social media has increased the speed of communications, so public relations experts, in many cases, will no longer be able to control the time or outlet for their information. The viral effect of social networks requires that public relations personnel continually monitor these networks.  At the same time, the role of public relations is also an expanding one in the United States. More companies, groups and politicians are relying on public relations to get the good news out.

Question 3
Public relations exists for a lot of reasons. Without it, we would’t be able to continue in most of the business practices today. If your company was ever to get into trouble with the public, who would take care of it if it wasn’t for public relations? Many scholars feel the history of public relations started during the Revolutionary War. The many activities of the Patriots and the staging of the Boston Tea Party might be the first public relations events in the United States.
The real start of public relations can be accredited to Edward L. Bernays. During World War I, The Creel Committee, of which Bernays was a member, engaged in a massive verbal and written communications campaign to gain support for the war. Bernays, who is considered by many to be the father of public relations, was instrumental in creating positive public relations in the US. The future of public relations will be much different than its history.
First, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter spread information much faster and reach many more people. The viral effect causes almost immediate transmission of information across the networks. This could create more spin and dark public relations because of the ease of transmitting. I think people will become more wary of all public relations and will become more suspicious of information posted on social networks, but I do think that more and more companies will continue to use public relations.
 

Question 4
Heepo explained to me how he was interested in something called “The Arthur Page Principles of Public Relations Management”. Arthur Page was a vice president of AT&T in the 1930’s. Page has been considered the dean of public relations and communications. One of the most important things he established were the seven principles of public relations management. First, I decided to tell him what the seven principles actually are. Below they are described.
1. Tell the truth
  • He felt you should let the public know what is happening in an organization and let the public become aware of the group’s character, ideals and practices.
2. Prove it with action
  •  The public will view a company not by what it says, but by what it does.
3. Listen to the customer
  • A company should always know what the public wants and it is the job of the company to keep informed on public opinion.
4. Manage for tomorrow.
  • Anticipate public reaction and eliminatepractices that create difficulties. Generate goodwill.
5. Conduct public relations as if the whole company depends on it
  • Understand that public relations in a manager’s job and the whole company are depended on goodwill.
6. Realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people
  •  The strongest opinions — good or bad — about a company are those formed by the employees
7. Remain calm, patient and good-humored
  • Consistent and reasonedattention to information and contacts; when a crisis arises,remember, cool heads communicate best.
Heepo was also curious about how these practices are applied today. These principles of public relations are still sound advice to companies and many companies still follow these guidelines. No matter what media you use, these are principles that help a company gain goodwill. These steps can be applied to any business atmosphere and they should be followed.