Peace Love & Sillyness

Archive for March 2009

Chapter 7 notes from my textbook Public Relations Strategies and Tactics 

To be an effective communicator a person must have basic knowledge of:

  • what constitutes communication and how people receive the messages
  • how people process information and change their perceptions
  • what kinds of media and communication tools are most appropriate for a particular message

A communicator should ask if the message is:

  1. appropriate
  2. meaningful
  3. memorable
  4. understandable
  5. believable to the prospective recipient

5 possible objectives for a communicator:

  1. message exposure (provides message to mass media)
  2. accurate dissemination of the message (basic info stays intact as it’s transmitted through various media)
  3. acceptance of the message (audience retains and accepts the message as valid)
  4. attitude change (audience believes the message and makes verbal or metal commitment to change behavior because of it)
  5. change in overt behavior (audience actually change current behavior)

Two types of audiences:

  • Passive audiences (only pay attention if they think you’re entertaining and offer a diversion)
  • Active audiences (actually interested in what you are talking about and actively seek information)

Being Memorable:

Do These:

  • properly and effectively use language
  • write clearly
  • use symbols, acronyms, and slogans

Avoid These:

  • jargon (words you understand/use, but others don’t)
  • avoid cliches and hype words
  • avoid euphemisms (sounds better than what it is)
  • avoid discriminatory language

5-stage adoption process:

  1. awareness
  2. interest
  3. evaluation
  4. trail
  5. adoption

5 factors that affect the adoption process:

  1. relative advantage
  2. compatibility
  3. complexity
  4. trialability
  5. observability
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Chapter 5 notes from Public Relations Strategies and Tactics & also my own notes from my Intro to PR class!

Effective PR is a process & the first step in that process is Research.

Defining the Research Role:
– What is the problem?
– What kind of information is needed?
– How will the results of the research be used?
– What specific public(s) should be researched?
– Should the organization do the research in-house or hire an outside consultant?
– How will the research data be analyzed, reported, or applied?
– How soon will the results be needed?
– How much will the research cost?

PR Professionals use research in the following ways:

  1. To achieve credibility with management
  2. To define audiences and segment publics
  3. To formulate strategy
  4. To test messages
  5. To help management keep in touch
  6. To prevent crises
  7. To monitor the competition
  8. To sway public opinion
  9. To generate publicity
  10. To measure success

Research Techniques:

  1. Secondary research – uses existing information in books, magazine articles, electronic databases, etc.
  2. Qualitative research – includes:
  • content analysis
  • interviews
  • focus groups
  • copy testing
  • ethnographic techniques

       3. Quantitative research – PR professionals conduct polls and surveys using highly precise scientific sampling methods

Chapter 4 notes from Public Relations Strategies and Tactics for my Intro to PR class

Importance of organizational structure:
Having influence in the company based on 4 factors..
1. perception of value by top management
2. practitioners taking on the managerial role
3. reporting to the CEO
4. years of professional experience

Names of Departments:
a PR department goes by many names, most often it isn’t “public relations”. Terms like “corporate communications” or “communications” outnumber “public relations”. Other names used to PR departments include: corporate relations, marketing and corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, & external affairs.

Public Relations firms provide a variety of services, such as:
– Marketing communications (involves promotion of products and services through such tools as news releases, feature stories, special events, brochures, etc.)
– Executive speech training (top executives are coached on public affairs activities)
– Research & evaluation (scientific surveys are conducted to measure public attitudes and perceptions)
– Crisis Communication (management is counseled on what to say and do in an emergency such as an oil spill or a recall of an unsafe product)
– Media analysis (appropriate are examined for targeting specific messages to key audiences)
– Community relations (management is counseled on ways to achieve official and public support for such projects as building or expanding a factory)
– Events management (news conferences, anniversary celebrations, rallies, symposiums, and national conferences are planned and conducted)
– Public affairs (materials and testimony are prepared for government hearing and regulatory bodies, and background briefings are prepared)
– Branding and corporate reputation (advice is given on programs that establish a company brand and its reputation for quality)
– Financial relations (management is counseled on ways to avoid takeover by another firm and effectively communicate with stockholders, security analysts, and institutional investors)

Advantages of PR firms:
– objectivity
– a variety of skills and expertise
– extensive resources
– international jobs
– offices throughout the country
– special problem-solving skills
– credibility

Disadvantages of PR firms:
– superficial grasp of a client’s unique problems
– lack of full-time commitment
– need for prolonged briefing period
– resentment by internal staff
– need for strong direction by top management
– need for full information and confidence
– costs

Fees & Charges:
The 3 most common methods a pr firm charges:
1. Basic hourly fee, plus out-of-pocket expenses. (Commonly used by attorneys, accounting firms, and management consultants)
2. Retainer fee. (Basic monthly charge billed to the client….the # of hours the firm will spend on an account each month. out-of-pocket expenses are billed separately)
3. Fixed project fee. (PR firms will agree to a specific project like an annual report, newsletter, or special event for a fixed fee. Least popular among PR firms because it is difficult to predict all work & expenses in advance)

Reading notes from Chapter 3 in Public Relations Strategies and Tactics and notes taken during my Intro to PR class

What is Ethics?
– how we should live our lives
– focuses on questions about what is right or wrong, fair or unfair, caring or uncaring, good or bad, responsible or irresponsible, and the like.

3 Ethical Orientations:
1. Absolute – Every decision is right or wrong
2. Existential – Decision made on basis of immediate practical choice. (aka: “it seemed right at the time”)
3. Situational – what will the least amount of harm or the most amount of good. (does it make sense?)

Decisons must satisfy:
1. public interest
2. their employer
3. their professional organization’s code of ethics
4. their own personal values

Professionalism:
– “We act as publicists, yet we talk of counseling. We perform as technologists in communication, but we aspire to be decision-makers dealing in policy.”
– A practitioner should have:
* a sense of independence
* a sense of responsibility to society and the public interest
* manifest concern for the competence and honor of the profession as a whole
* a higher loyalty to the standards of the profession and fellow professionals than to the employer of the moment. the reference point in all public relations activity must be the standards of the profession and not those of the client or the employer.

Licensing:
1. define the practice of public relations
2. establish uniform educational criteria
3. set uniform professional standards
4. protect clients and employers from imposters and charlatans
5. protect qualified practitioners from unfair competition from the unethical and unqualified
6. raise the overall credibility of public relations practitioners

Accreditation:
– practitioners voluntarily go through a process in which they are “certified” by a national organization that they are competent, qualified professionals.

Ethics in Individual Practice:
“To thine own self be true”
– be honest at all times
– convey a sense of business ethics based on your own standards and those of society
– repsect the integrity and position of your opponents and audiences
– develop trust by emphasizing substance over triviality
– present all sides of an issue
– strive for a balance between loyalty to the organization and duty to the public
– don’t sacrifice long-term objectives for short-term gains\
– be prepared to sacrifice security for standards

Ethical Dealings with News Media:
– Achieve trust by avoiding..
* junkets of doubtful news value
* extravagant parties
* expensive gifts
* personal favors

Well it’s the Tuesday after Spring Break, and even though I should be well rested and ready to get back to everything I’m not. I need another week or maybe a month. My Spring Break was actually really relaxing, I spent Saturday thru Wednesday in Savannah (had to do the whole St.Patrick’s Day thing of course) and then went to my friend’s house in Daytona! It was so nice to finally get to sleep in and not have any work to worry about getting done, but I did miss everyone that went to PCB on break; however, now that I’m back I am fairly certain that I am maybe 1 of 10 people from Georgia Southern that saved money last week rather than went broke! 🙂

The group from St.Patrick's Day & also my favorite of the trip!

The group from St.Patrick's Day & also my favorite of the trip!

So, this is kind of a late post, but in my Intro to PR class a couple weeks ago we were discussing interviewing and came up with a lot of really important tips. Some of these I knew, and have actually told friends about & done them myself, and some I had no idea!

1. Wear your name tag on the right. (I never knew this, I figured if you wore it on the right that by reaching across it would completely block your name which defeats the whole purpose of the tag. However, we learned in class that your eyes naturally are drawn to the right. Now that I think about this, it makes a lot of sense, so tell all your interviewee friends!)

2. Stand up whenever someone comes into the interview room, whether it be a male or a female.

3. Send a thank you letter afterwards. If more than 1 person was interviewing you, send one to each person (send an email immediately after, and then send a handwritten one. If you’re handwriting is not good, then type it)….

4. Make sure you get the correct spelling of those people that are interviewing you. (How embarassing would that be to send a thank you letter with the wrong spelling?! I would just die!)

5. Take your resume with you, even if they already have it.

6. Have some questions prepared to ask them (One I always ask: When can I expect to hear from you about the next stage in our process?, but never ask: How much will I be getting paid?)

7. Make sure y0ur cell phone is either off or on silent. (I personally don’t even take mine in with me to the interview, I leave it in the car)

8. Keep good eye contact and posture..aka: keep good body language! and stay focused! (No one wants to be interviewing someone who can’t even stay focused)

9. DO NOT CHEW GUM!

10. Dress nicely. Men should wear suits with ties & women should be in either pants suits or skirts. (This seemed like an obvious one, but I guess some people just don’t realize. If you are not comfortable in a skirt, though, wear pants…be yourself while still being professional!)

Just sitting in my apartment putting off packing & everything that goes along with it. Went and commented on Kacie’s post about Arbor Day and sad that I didn’t get to go volunteer because it would have a been a really fun day with the kids 🙂 Not sure how to link to my comment so here is the URL for it: http://kdwhigham.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/arbor-day/

I guess now I should begin the packing since we leave for Savannah in about 4-5 hours.