PR Research

PR Research is the process of answering questions, solving problems and working through methods to design assumptions.

Why are we using research? to find information out! What does it help us to do? Identify and define issues and how people think about feel about them! If we decide to identify the research process we have your inputs, outputs and incomes. For example, the planning stage where its all about the communication process, the tactics and messages (inputs). Next you have that planning stage which involves and identifies the implementation phase which the specific tactics of the actual campaign (outputs). Lastly, the measuring process to figure out the success of the communication plan (outcomes).

Some of the main types of the research which we would use regularly is your primary and secondary research. For example, you’re studying a topic for a uni assignment so you will have your primary research, so your field research which involves the data collection (qualitive) and then the secondary (quantitative) which is your first hand research, so internet, electronic files and the list goes on.

I believe it’s important to be organised and conduct focused groups of similar characteristics. When I was doing my research project, I conducted surveys for students who were of the same age group, then used various sources of primary and secondary data because you are going to find different views and opinions from many different research sources.

I absolutely LOVED this weeks tutorial! We really interacted with everyone and communicated on a personal level. We read through this article on Generation Y givings work woes and how bosses are struggling with younger staff. We structured a focus group and because all of us were categorised under Generation Y our opinions were pretty similar on what questions and opinions we thought about. I was the facilitator from my group and I really thought how communication is the main key advice when having any problems in a work place especially as most of our managers are from an older generation. I took that into consideration as I was having a bad week at work and actually confronted and communicated with my boss the next day, I felt like all this weight was lifted of my shoulders.

Yes, we do come from different generations and think differently, but the younger generation a lot of us do now how to communicate which is a HUGE part in working in every job, whether it is working in tele sales or working in PR. This task really was based around qualitative research, working in a focus group! It helped us actually use that form of method without even realising!

Communication and research are always going to be something important in the way I think in life. If you cant communicate properly, it’s going to be a struggle finding a job and getting people to actually like you, and if you can’t research properly a job can’t be done perfectly.

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Media Management:

ATTENTION ALL: A MEDIA RELEASE IN 5 STEPS!

1.concise
2.timely
3.catchy heading
4.factual
5.honest

always use who, what, where, when, why AND how!

Firstly, a media release helps communicate with the target public. What we need is more media outlets to free publicity! What happens is we have journalists who are very busy people, so what they are looking for from a media release is something which can appeal to them. This means a catchy title! If they are intrigued by a title then you have a better chance of them reading it.

If i was to get a job as a PR practitioner, my goal would be to push media out there and develop good relationships with the media! How can I do this? This is a question I would ask myself! I guess some things I could do would be providing accurate and timely information in a non-obstructive manner and acknowledge news deadlines and daily print and television times. Something else I could take into consideration is maintaining online activity through social media like facebook and twitter and also update my websites and have a contact page, because if not only a journalist, but someone in the public wants to contact me, it would be crucial to have that information on there.

In the tutorial we did a really cool task which helped us to have a clear idea of how to write a press release. Fae provided us with information about Adelaide auto tech itself and there grand opening festival which was happening. As a group we had to take in information, like the catchy headline and a strong opening paragraph to engage our reader and also remember in the body content we were telling the public a story of what was happening. 

I guess i see a press release as an official statement which is issued to newspapers and the media in some sort of way giving information on a particular topic! We need to constantly make sure we have a good relationship with journalists and make sure more people are seeing more news!

The Media Agenda

“The medium is a message” – Marshall Mcluhan

This is closely linked within media effects, and its representing a message determining peoples interpretation and understanding, and may play an important role with various social backgrounds.The message delivered is very important.

We receive so much information around the world from different styles of mediums, which is crazy. They range from print media, so your newspapers, magazines, journals, to film, broadcasting, telephones, Internet, television and the radio. We focus on a story which is published in at least one of those mediums if not more and then we think about the truthfulness, the proximity, if there’s conflict, eminence and prominence, consequence, impact if its timely, which most of the time it is and if we have any sort of emotional connection with it.

I guess we don’t see all the time how manipulating the media really is. For example we have all probably experience the magic bullet affect where we in advertising, we see something, we like it and we therefore purchase it.

A huge thing in media is the way people are interpreting something and trying to be like someone else. “Beauty is about being thin.” So many girls are now doing anything to be skinny. I have this new blog app called instagram, and its crazy how many friends of mine I see seeing post gym progress photos and drinking shakes and healthy foods and having hastag sayings like “clean eating” and “thinspiration”. Its great to want to be healthy, but another extent to want to be ridiculously skinny just to look like a model. What we aren’t realising is that is their job, it’s what they do for a living, we aren’t expected to portray the same image as them. I have seen this quote all over social media saying “nothing tastes as good as what skinny feels”, things like this are why people are starving themselves to keep up and make society happy.
skinny

We watched this video called Doll Face in our lecture, it was about this robot who was watching the television and trying to keep up with the changing  screen images of what society’s idea of beauty is. Eventually she can’t reach it and keep up that she breaks down. It was really powerful and it was talking about in our lives we are working hard to live up to others expectations and trying to fit the ‘mold of society’

In our lives, we work hard to try to live up to other’s expectations.  We all try to change who we are to fit the mold of society.  Whether we try to change our clothes, our shoes, or our hair, we all try as hard as possible to be like everybody else. We are following the media and trying to feel we need to fit it.

What we also don’t take into consideration is everyone’s social background and what they have seen and experienced at their age and their different emotions which can lead to peoples actions.

Everyone interprets the media differently and messages can be carried through one thing and another.

PR and the community

What is a community? Are we involved in a community? Yes, we are, we used to be involved in a school community, we are involved in work communities, neighbourhood communities, church and sporting communities, and the list can go on forever!

A community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It is firstly broken up into the demographic and the geographic. The geographic is more of the region category, while the demographic is more of the people, for example, age and gender.

I guess the way we look at things in todays society is by breaking it up into community groups and the opinion leaders. We look at the community groups, for example there’s cultural, business, social and religious groups and then the other side where we automatically think of opinion leaders as ethnic leaders, bankers and educators.

For example, when I first started University this year, I looked at the demographic side of things, as in I automatically spoke to people who were girls and looked in a similar age group range to me.

Fae shared with us information about a really amazing disability not for profit organisation she used to work for called Minda. There plan is to identify the public (families, volunteers, association members) and the opinion leaders chief executive) and get them involved in the campaign.

Ways, in which people can help to get involved or really find out about not only Minda but also other organisations like it, is by obviously having some part of participation in it and getting involved. By making sure they are aware of it from the company from awareness raising strategies’ such as newspaper advertisements, social media, word of mouth and even talk back radio.

Minda got an agreement of their plans last year which is fantastic for the organisation. Before the plan got approved there was a lot of people having their opinion on why they didn’t like the idea. What Minda have to do and show the public was that they’re providing this plan not only for people will disabilities but a mix of  how the community will benefit from it. For example, once they have their plans built, the community can enjoy it by combining lifestyles. The plan will offer things like a public leisure centre and the wetlands. When you want to get your ideas out into the public, it is all about identifying the right people and saying the right things.

In out tutorial we looked at the issue of the eastern suburbs building a not-for-profit organisation, which supports homeless people providing accommodation, shelter, and counselling services.

Obviously, people would see that as a HUGE issue, firstly, having a school near by and just thinking about how stereotypical people would be about homeless people, and be very frightened by them. Also, the local community and neighbourhood and parents would probably all have an issue with it. I guess, there are so many issues and people who would be affected by it and there would be soooooooo many people who would come up with ideas to not let the plans go through. I think we need to see it as appositive and actually helping people who aren’t as fortunate as us to even have food or a roof under them.  The best idea would be the school thinking of it positively and having people talk to them and just really helping out as a school community, who then the students could tell their parents as a community who might think differently of it as well.

Being a school leader, I was part of the student council community and we worked along side with the Social Justice Group. We did a Winter Sleep Out where we tried to involve as many students as possible from Year 6-12. The event was to raise money and awareness of how many homeless people they are, and in doing that it was our duty to sleep in school grounds outside in cardboard boxes for the night. We all really connected as a school community talking about the issue of people being homeless and how to be aware of it and the ways of helping them even if it is in the littlest of form. We had soup for the night and it was really amazing to see how many younger students got involved and how their parents helped out by bringing packets of spaghetti and canned food to donate to homeless people.

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PR in the community is important; once you can appeal to a whole community it makes it much easier bringing plans through in whatever situation it may be. 

Publics and Relation

I hope everyone is fresh, rejuvenated and ready to keep on blogging! It comes to the blog which literally has so much relevance to the topic we are studying (get it haha)

We are the public, or a public could be considered as a group, and as a whole we have an interest in a particular situation. It is crazy how alike everything I am learning about in PR is similar if not the same as my management and marketing. I love how they all interfere and it gives me a broader choice in career pathways.

Anyways, back on track.. So we have an organisation, and all the publics who work in there to help it to operate. We have the staff/employees (the most important publics) , so the people within the organisation and then the people outside out it, like the media. The publics are broken up into primary and secondary. The primary are those who can directly affect a business’ ability to achieve it’s goal. The goal is the most important thing in an organisation, it gives the employees motivation and a drive to achieve something for the organisation. You then have the publics who are categorized under the secondary, yes, they are still important, but they have minimal ability to affect an organisation.

It’s simple, most of us are public. We work in an organisation, mostly because we need the money at this age, but we are also studying for a job that hopefully in the long run we will love. My job at the moment is really important, i have made a few mistakes in my past, but it really affects me when i do because I want to keep the organisation in having a good name, and if i keep putting in wrong orders for other big companies, it will affect my position, my companies and the other companies as well.

We need to identify the publics as if there is problem  in an organisation which needs to be fixed, then we go to step to see if we can do something about it and see then with the level of involvement if we are affected by it.

PR Persuasion and Ethics

AHHH propaganda or persuasion! Got to love it or hate it?

I love how it it such a creative tactic which has been used for years!

Is propaganda and persuasion the same thing or similar? I definitely believe similar as they are both tools, which attempt to influence an audiences thinking. It is true that cult leaders are the best persuaders due to the way the present themselves by using different words and slogans and almost manipulating and playing on people’s attitudes.

Propaganda definitely follows a strong ideological agenda, which is practiced by large groups. When someone has been influenced with propaganda it shows devotion to the leader that they are following. It normally is known as sneaky and may often have evil motives to it.

The characteristic which persuasion holds to which I understand is that they tend to be more personal. I personally believe propaganda is used in more of a group, while persuasion can be more individual and a one on one tactic.

Robert Cialdini has six rules of influence which are reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity. (Hogan, 2008) The two main rules that I can relate with are liking and scarcity. I am a sucker for scarcity, if something is supposedly “limited edition” or there is only apparently few of an item, I am persuaded to buy that product quicker than if there was more of the item. Also someone who has a likeable personality and can communicate well will me will help to persuade me as well. When I can relate with someone whether it’s to do with supporting an organization or buying something, I am convinced to support the company more because I have some sort of connection with that person.

I guess although I am studying marketing, it is my job to do this persuasion act and actually market a product or whatever I am trying to “sell” to the consumers in a powerful way, I didn’t think how these influential rules are happening all the time in front of us. These people may perform the smallest act that will make a huge impact on us to support that person in a way. For example, a waiter may compliment (” you look lovely” in a cool, exotic accent) us or give us a mint (yummy, free mints) and automatically we like that person more and are more likely to give them a tip rather than if they weren’t persuasive and didn’t make us feel special.

A clear example of propaganda was the KONY 2012 incident. All of my friends watched or shared the kony video and tried to get involved by buying the products online, sticking up posters or sharing or liking the video. It is crazy how easily we get persuaded and fooled by something. All the facebook status’ about trying to be heroes and help out, but the only person we were helping was Jason Russel!  Ethics are always involved as well with celebrities. Do you think Justin Bieber really uses ‘Proactive’ all the time. Probably not! However, it is a very influential way to advertise something by paying celebrities and getting them involved. In saying that, they need to be careful because the media is very smart and deceiving and will ask celebrities at any chance if they were paid to either post a tweet about a company or be involved somehow.

kony-lead

Propaganda and persuasion is happening all the time and we have all experienced it before. In my opinion, I love learning about propaganda, it is so interesting to see how fooled we all get when it comes to trying to help something/someone out instead of looking at the bigger picture and just getting involved in general, not only because it is a stupid trend!  I believe propaganda is such a creative and devious tactic.

However, don’t get to fooled guys! heheheh

Hogan, K. (2008 ). The Science of Robert Cialdini’s Six Rules of Influence. Available: http://www.mindpowermarketing.com/the-science-of-robert-cialdinis-six-rules-of-influence/. Last accessed 12th April 2012.

Viligant Citizen. (2012). KONY 2012: State Propaganda for a New Generation. Available: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=45147. Last accessed 12th April 2013.

PR Theories

Ew, Theories, normally hate when a teacher or tutor brings up that word! However, what is it all about in PR…

Theory is a systematic interpretation that explains how things work by establishing relationships between concepts. In our tute we discussed the importance of theory in PR and spoke about them in their groups.

Communication is a very important technique to have in most jobs. I believe co-orientation theory is a vital factor to consider in PR. It assumes that organisations can communicate for a purpose. (→  Organization–Public Relationships ; Consensus-Oriented Public Relations ) It suggests that PR actioners need to recognize their differences.

The readings made me think more about PR theory in that there are so many dimensions for how people cant communicate and how organisations are structured. Looking back to the transmission model I realised that this doesn’t just happen in PR, but in a lot of organisations. For example someone will have something that they want to communicate about (sender) and that message is sent through electronic signals that are then reconverted into a message for the receiver to read.

I have noticed that the media plays a huge role in impacting PR. The way we read the stories that the media are portraying in our everyday life is from one perspective. We are assuming because the media says something that it is true.

We looked at PR and organisations as a system and almost like our body. We need a heart to survive, just like they need employees and to adapt to the new changes in the environment. It has to maintain that two-way relationship between the organisation and the public.

What I am starting to realise is how many structures there are for people to communicate in the working industry and PR actioners are almost like the go between who explain organisations to its stakeholders and understand the environment to the organisation.

All in all, PR isn’t just there to understand a mutual understanding between organisations and its publics, there are also a lot of theory rules ranging from social learning, to persuasion, relationship management and the list goes on. It is important to consider good communication and listen to employees and have them involved in any situations/projects.

 

PR and Public Opinion

Over the last week, Dr Pamela Schulz came into our lecture and discussed with us the Power and Performance in PR. This consisted of different framing devices such as emotion, fear, winning & losing, power, beauty etc. She mentioned something really important to us girls, how intelligence overpowers beauty. Dr Schulz also pointed out a classic example which I took into consideration and realised I tend to do this all the time, for example, someone will tell me they like my dress, and I will not take the compliment and instead respond with something along the lines of “oh, this outfit is old”.

Something else that she mentioned was ‘Frames for health’ which was interesting to see how true everything she was saying, for example, cancer scares. We live in a society now where people are saying absolutely anything you do or eat will give you cancer.

Our tutes range from being informal, to very opinionative and they also include some sort of discussion about what form of PR is being advertised in the world. We based our last discussion as a class over the two issues, which were in the media during the last week. These were The Engineering Pub-crawl issue and the new license laws, which have come in for P platers.

Why should the Pub- crawl be banned for university students? It is a time for them to actually go out, meet new friends and have a break for a night from studying. However, in giving my own opinion, everyone has different reasons on why and if it should be banned. Lots of articles and media reports have been discussing the matter on how pub-crawls have changed throughout the years. They used to be much more rowdy before than what they are now, however, people have still been targeting the students who attended the event as “spoilt brats”.

As I don’t have my license yet, this new law of having to have your P plates for two years and not being able to drive at certain time frames and having only one passenger in the car would definitely affect me. I do still think this rule is interesting and I am intrigued to see if they go ahead with this law and how the general public will react if they do. I love the excitement of new issues happening in South Australia and seeing how the public reacts. I was on Facebook last week and saw a group to keep the laws for P platers we have at the moment, and it was amazing to see how many people had joined the group.

As Labor has been a spoken issue in the media lately discussing the question between having Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard as our PM, we briefly read through an article over the whole issue. I was shocked to see how informal the galaxy poll was when voting. The Galaxy Poll asked only 1005 voters if they think the office of the Prime Minister has been damaged by Labors leadership instability. They asked the public to vote on questions such as if Julia Gillard is the only legitimate leader in Labor or if she is a lame duck leader and if Kevin Rudd has been honourable and true to his word or a prima donna. They should be taken more professionally in an industry when asking the public to vote in a poll on who they would prefer to run our country.

I love having classes where we can be opinionative and share our own views and beliefs to certain issues happening in Australia and over the world.

An introduction to Public Relations

Before my first PR lecture, I had only little knowledge on Public Relations, so I was pretty fascinated to learn/discover in my lecture how many dimensions of PR there is ranging from media relations to something like finance or government relations (Glenny, L 2013).  As I am studying marketing it was interesting to see the comparison and differences in both of the career pathways.

From my first lecture and tute, Leanne and Fae mentioned how Public Relations is an deliberate, ongoing program, where they maintain a mutual understanding between an organisation and its public, while marketing is more a strategy which targets a specific target audience with the goal of customer satisfaction and profit making  (Chia, J & Synnott, G 2012, page 8-9).

I will be honest and say from the first lecture PR didn’t really excite me at all, but until I had more lectures and tutorials I have noticed I have found more of an interest in learning more about this career pathway. I feel social media and television has helped to inform more people about Pubic Relations and what it really is. For example, Louie the fly was a massive campaign and none of it could have been possible without PR.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Lecture 2 when Managing Director guest speaker Jeffery Naqvi from Pier Advisory came and spoke to us. I felt he really explained the positives of PR on a personal level and kept us students alert during his speech.He spoke about understanding the environment and a lot on lobbying and really all about what a PR job is all about.

In the last tutorial we broke up into groups and completed a task on duck hunting protestors being urged to respect laws. What I enjoyed about this task was that it actually helped me understand PR a little more, by reading and then analyzing who the stakeholders were, potential publics who might be interested in the story and considering the potential PR implications. It really broke it down for me more about what PR actually involves and the various dimensions of it. I am pretty excited to see what else the subject offers during the semester.

References: Glenny, L 2013, COMM 1057: Giving Oral Presentations lecture notes, University of South Australia, Adelaide/Magill, 5 March 2013.

Chia, J & Synnott, G 2012, An introduction to public relations and communication management, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, viewed 15 March 2013, pp 8-9.

A little about Sophia..

“Your desire to change must be greater than the desire to stay the same”

Hello to the fantastic person who has reached my blog and is currently reading all about me! I’m Sophia or soof, whichever you prefer, I’m a first year student at the University of South Australia. I am studying at both the City West Campus and the Magill Campus. I am studying Marketing and Communications because I have an interest in advertising and business. I work in an office focusing on sales for the seafood business ‘Angelakis Brothers’.I love meeting new friends, travelling, eating sushi and I recently volunteered as a mentor at a leadership conference and absolutely LOVED it! Hopefully in the next 2-3 years I will have some money saved up to volunteer in either Tanzania, India or Cambodia.

The reason behind making this blog was that I wanted to keep connected with my uni friends in my Public Relations course in a creative way and to share our common interests through social network. I also would like to share my uni experience this semester to anyone reading this blog!