What is Public Relations Select 2 definitions and Essay

This essay has a total of 1346 words and 9 pages.

What is Public Relations Select 2 definitions and assess


The Mexican Statement, agreed on by the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations in
Mexico City in August 1978 (Seitel, 1992, 8), reads,

"Public relations practice is the art and social science of analysing trends, predicting
their consequences, counselling organisation leaders, and implementing planned programmes
of action which will serve both the organisation's and the public interest."

Strengths
1. The emphasis that public relations practice is an art and social science.
By stating that PR practice is an art implies the element of specialised skill, knowledge
and methods involved (Tymson, 1996, 4). It also implies that PR practice is not completely
objective, as there are subjective factors involved. PR practice deals with the human
element, which is by nature unpredictable; therefore not completely objective. PR practice
also considers the inputs which social sciences (eg. psychology, sociology, anthropology,
statistics) can contribute. For example, a PR practitioner would have to consider cultural
factors when planning a programme or campaign for its targeted publics so that there would
be less risk of unintentionally offending other segments of the society.

3. The emphasis on "analysing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling
organisation leaders, and implementing planned programmes of action".

Here a trend is established for PR practice. "Analysing trends" would imply the need for
employing proper research methods to gain feedback on audience attitudes (Tymson, 1996,
5). "Predicting their consequences" emphasises the importance of forecasting, based on
research results. "Counselling organisation leaders" show the need for PR practitioners,
whether consultants or in-house PR managers, to advise organisational leaders on PR issues
and activities, for example, sponsoring a charity event to boost the company image and
improve goodwill between the organisation and its publics. "Implementing planned
programmes of action" emphasises the execution of carefully planned PR activities and
programmes. Within this definition a 4 step process for PR practice is summarised,
implying that PR practice is a meticulously planned process. The factor of social trends
implies that PR practice is an on-going process as trends are ever-changing. This
emphasises the need for continuos research to monitor trends and attitudes as well as to
evaluate the effectiveness of the PR programme (Tymson, 1996, 5).

4. The emphasis on public interest.
Consideration for the public interest is an important responsibility as PR practice
stresses the need for the building and maintaining of goodwill, mutual understanding and
two-way communication between an organisation and its publics. Successful PR programmes
depend on the public for feedback for guidance (Tymson, 1996, 4). PR also has social,
political and economic responsibilities (Tymson, 1996, 4).

Weaknesses
1. Does not emphasise specific publics which are targeted as the audience.
Every PR programme or campaign must have specific targeted publics. The Mexican Statement
does not clearly emphasise this important factor, only alluding to the general public.
This definition leans towards a more macro view on PR practice, ignoring important factors
such as the internal publics within an organisation.

A good example for this definition is the Courtesy campaign which the Singapore government
has launched. Research has shown that Singaporeans lack social graciousness (analysis of
social trends), and the government has therefore developed the Courtesy campaign in an
attempt to educate the public on the need to develop a gracious society (after predicting
dire consequences, eg. a self-centred culture). Messages are emphasised through the
various mass media, with the Prime Minister as the main spokesperson. The messages are
aimed at the role-models of society, for example, parents and teachers (counselling
organisation leaders) as well as the general public. The programme lasts a month every
year, and rewards are given to those who are found to be exemplary in their behaviour
(implementation of plan). The use of the mass media as a podium for two-way communication
(eg. the public can write in to the newspapers' forum pages, television and radio talk
show discussions etc.) and the highlighting of those responsible for gracious behaviour
are just examples of some elements of the PR campaign the Singapore government has
developed in an effort to educate the public on the need to change social behaviour.





Another definition of public relations, by Frank Jefkins (Jefkins, 1992, 8) is as follows,
"Public relations consists of all forms of planned communication, outward and inward,
between an organisation and its publics for the purpose of achieving specific objectives
concerning mutual understanding"

Strengths
1. Emphasises that PR communication (through programmes) is planned.
Planning would indicate that PR practice is must be organised, and that forethought is
essential. Planning would also mean that PR has clear, well-defined objectives, though not
necessarily rigid. Planning would also involve the setting up of programmes and would
imply the need for a pre-determined budget.

2. The emphasis on "outward and inward" communication.
Outward - refers to publics that are not within the organisations
planning the PR campaign.
Inward - refers to the publics within the organisation ie. staff relations or
employer-employee relations.
Jefkins mentions the need for organisations to consider the inward publics, the employees
Continues for 5 more pages >>




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