Intoduction to Public Relations

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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.

Question 5

Contact Information:

Client Contact                                   Agency Contact

Julie Rudd                                          St. John Fisher College

315-941-8949                                    585-385-8000                        

Blinded By The Light

Heepo, The Space Alien visits Earth

Rochester, NY- What would you do if you had an encounter with an alien? This is a question that doesn’t cross our minds regularly or in my case, at all. While enjoying my night off, I decided to go star gazing. As I was looking above I noticed a very bright star. It started coming closer and closer and I began to think that it was coming straight at me.

As soon as blinked, I realized it wasn’t just a star or a planet or an airplane, but it was a UFO. Once it landed, a strange look alien creature crawled out of it. He introduced himself as Heepo, and he came to earth to discover the world of what we call public relations.

Heepo explained to me why he was so interested in public relations. In his world, they don’t have any thoughts to themselves. Therefore, whatever you are thinking it is automatically put out there. Public relations isn’t possible on his planet. Heepo wanted to know what public relations was and how it’s important in the United States. I answered all of his questions in detail using my WordPress blog. I hope that Heepo will take away from our encounter how amazing public relations is. I gave him two books that I have read during my time in the public relation class at St. John Fisher College. These books include Stuart Ewen’s PR! A Social History of Spin and Tom Kelleher’s Public Relations Online.


Make sure to tell your friends using Twitter or Facebook all about Heepo’s visit. He said he would be back very soon! And if you do see him–let us know!

Ethics and public relations have had an ongoing battle for as long as we can remember. The biggest question, along with when will the world end and how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop, is if public relation practices are ethical. We are exposed daily to news moments that we think are unplanned, but potentially could be in the hands of a P.R. professional. The truth is that no one is 100% when something is tainted by a public relations person. That is the whole beauty of public relations. If this seems wrong to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Now who is to tell whether something is ethical or not? It is all in the eye of the beholder, according to Kathy Fitzpatrick author of Ethics In Public Relations: Responsible Advocacy. Fitzpatrick believes in access. She claims that “two interests are dominant in free speech jurisprudence in the United States: the speaker’s right to free expression and the listener’s right to receive information important to informed decision making.”. The company is allowed to have complete access to the people. There are no laws expressing that a public relations professional can not reach an audience with certain practices. We must remember that it is the company’s right to say what they want. It is up to us as the consumers to either believe or brush off what is said.

For an example, lets use blk. beverages. Blk. is water that is naturally turned to black due to the addition of fulvic and humic acid. This company has faced a lot of negative feedback due to the fact that health experts claim there is no need for these extras. Could the additive of these two acids be all in the works of a public relation scheme?

It’s all up to you whether you want to believe public relations is an ethical practice or not. As the old saying goes, some things are just better left unsaid.

When discussing public relations, it is hard not to mention the name Edward Bernays. He was considered to be the “Father of Public Relations” for reasons such as creating different methods and philosophies that we still use today. Throughout his 103 years of life, he was involved with multiple campaigns that influenced the world of public relations. Without Bernays, the public relations field would not be what it is.

One of the highlights of Bernays career could be the work that he provided for Proctor and Gamble (P&G). He was involved with the company for more than thirty years. Some of the methods he used included community relations, crisis communications, public affairs, and media campaigns to advance P&G’s position.

“Coincidence of public and private interest, of the supremacy of propaganda of the deed over the propaganda of the work, of the desirability of a large corporation assuming constructive leadership in the community.” -Edward Bernays 

In an innovative move, P&G hired Bernays in 1923 to promote Ivory soap. He first set out to see if America was interested in a soap like Ivory, a plain white non-perfumed soap. In an unheard of move, he surveyed consumers and found that most preferred such a soap (plain, white, and non-perfumed). At the time, Ivory was the only soap with those features on the market. The results were published  in newspapers providing plenty of free positive promotion for P&G. He involved the company with other events to receive more media coverage. These events include a soap yacht race in Central Park, soap carving contests for school-aged children, and plenty of others.

Like said above, Bernays created a contest for school children to carve sculptures out of the soap. For 25 years, the National Soap Sculpture Competition inspired millions of school children to find “creative and artistic expression… Children, the enemies of soap, would be conditioned to enjoy using Ivory.” Sculptures were displayed in many places giving P&G and Ivory soap even more easy media coverage therefore, P&G made this an annual event. Bernays innovative work with Ivory soap created a product base which lasted and, to this day, is still a leading soap.