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AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES. Defining Public Relations. Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine . Defining Public Relations. 1. Prominence of Public Relations 2. What is Public Relations? 3. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion

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defining public relations

AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Defining Public Relations

Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine

defining public relations1
Defining Public Relations
  • 1. Prominence of Public Relations
  • 2. What is Public Relations?
  • 3. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • 3.1 Public Relations as Management Interpreter
  • 3. 2 Public Relations as Public Interpreter
  • 4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • 5. The Functions of Public Relations
  • 6. The Curse of "Spin"
  • 7. What Manner of Man or Woman?
1 prominence of public relations
1. Prominence of Public Relations

Five trends are related to the evolution of public relations

  • Growth of big institutions
  • increasing incidence of change, conflict and confrontation in society
  • Sophistication of people worldwide as a result of technological innovations in communications
  • Growing power of public opinion in this new century
  • Exponential growth of Internet-based communication tools, including social software
2 what is public relations
2. What is Public Relations?
  • In 1923, PR was understood as
  • “The business that provide information given to the public, persuasion directed at the public to modify attitudes and actions, and efforts to integrate attitudes and actions of an institution with its publics and of publics with those of that institution”
2 what is public relations1
2. What is Public Relations?
  • The Foundation for Public Relations Research and Education defined PR as: (1975)
  • “a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and response to public opinion, defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest, helps management to keep abreast of an effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trend; and uses research and sound and ethical communication techniques as its principal tools”
2 what is public relations2
2. What is Public Relations?
  • This textbook works with the following definition:
  • “Public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication”
2 what is public relations3
2. What is Public Relations?
  • It is still difficult to have one definition of PR,
  • yet practitioners have a clear understanding of what pubic relations is
  • The fact is that there are a number of definitions of PR
  • Let us define PR from a Moroccan perspective
  • Student’s definition (2006)
2 what is public relations4
2. What is Public Relations?
  • A communications tool
  • Activities that support public recognition and respect
  • Describes the relationship between organization and public
  • Communications tool to influence public opinion favorably
  • Protects image in a moment of crisis
  • Integral part of advocacy
2 1 planned process to influence public opinion
2.1. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • What is the process through which public relations might influence public opinion?
  • John Marston suggested a four step model based on specific functions:
    • 1) Research: Research attitudes about the issue at hand
    • 2) Action: Identify action of the client in the public interest
    • 3) Communication: Communicate that action to gain understanding, acceptance and support
    • 4) Evaluation: Evaluate the communication to see if opinion has been influenced
2 1 planned process to influence public opinion1
2.1. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • Whenever a public relations professional is faced with an assignment – whether promoting a client’s product or defending a client’s reputation.
  • He or she should apply Marston’s R-A-C-E approach
  • No amount of communications - regardless of its persuasive content – can save an organization whose performance is substandard
2 1 planned process to influence public opinion2
2.1. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • The process of public relations as Melvin Sharpe has put it,

“harmonizes long-term relationships among individuals and organizations in society”

How Question

2 1 planned process to influence public opinion3
2.1. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • To harmonize Sharpe applies five principles to the public relations process:
      • Honest communication for credibility
      • Openness and consistency of actions for confidence
      • Fairness of actions for reciprocity and goodwill
      • Continuous two-way communication to prevent alienation and to build relationships
2 1 planned process to influence public opinion4
2.1. Planned Process to influence Public Opinion
  • No matter what definition one may choose to explain the profession,
  • few would argue that the goal of effective public relations is to HARMONIZE internal and external relationships so that
  • an organization can enjoy not only the goodwill of all its publics but also stability and long life
2 2 public relations as management interpreter
2.2. Public Relations as Management Interpreter
  • In our modern time, every organization has public relations, whether it wants or not
  • The trick is to establish GOOD public relations
  • Public relations affects almost everyone who has contact with other human beings
2 2 public relations as management interpreter1
2.2. Public Relations as Management Interpreter
  • All of us, in one way or another, practice public relations daily
  • For an organization, every phone call, every letter, every face-to-face encounter is a public relations event
2 2 public relations as management interpreter2
2.2. Public Relations as Management Interpreter
  • Public relations professionals are the real interpreters of their organizations:
  • They must interpret the philosophies, policies, programs and practices of their management to the publics
  • They must convey the attitudes of the public to their management
3 public relations as public interpreter
3. Public Relations as Public Interpreter
  • Interpreting the public to management means finding out what the public really thinks about the firm and letting management know
  • The savviest institutions – be they government, corporate, or nonprofit – understand the importance of effectively interpreting their management and organizational philosophy, policies, and practices to the public and even more important, interpreting how the public views their organization back to management
4 the publics of public relations
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • Public relations people must communicate with many different public –each having its own special needs and requiring different types of communication
  • The lines that divide these publics are thin, and the potential overlap is significant
  • Definitions differ on precisely what constitutes a public
4 the publics of public relations1
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • In public relations a public is a group of people with a stake in an issue, organization, or idea
  • Publics can also be classified into several into several overlapping categories:
  • Internal and external: Internal publics are inside the organization: supervisors, clerks, managers, stockholders and the board of directors
4 the publics of public relations2
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • Internal and external:
  • Internal publics are inside the organization:
      • clerks,
      • supervisors,
      • managers,
      • stockholders
      • and the board of directors
4 the publics of public relations3
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • External publics are those not directly connected with the organizations:
      • the press,
      • government,
      • educators,
      • customers,
      • Suppliers
      • and the community
4 the publics of public relations4
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • Primary, secondary, and marginal:
    • Primary publics can most help or hinder the organization’s efforts
    • Secondary publics are less important
    • Marginal publics are the least important of all
4 the publics of public relations5
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • Traditional and future:
    • Traditional publics are employees and current customers
    • Future publics are students and potential customers
  • Proponents, opponents and the uncommitted:
    • An institution must deal with differently with those who support it and those who oppose it
4 the publics of public relations6
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • For supporters, communications that reinforce beliefs may be in order
  • But changing the opinions of skeptics’ calls for strong, persuasive communications
  • Often, particularly in politics, the uncommitted public is crucial
4 the publics of public relations7
4. The Publics of Public Relations
  • Another way of segmenting publics is to do it based on values and lifestyles
  • Public relations should be sensitive to all constituent publics
6 the curse of spin
6. The Curse of "Spin"
  • Public relations has become so pervasive to the point some Americans are worrying about the power of public relations to exert a kind of thought control over American public life
  • This led to the notion that spinning the facts is synonymous with public relations
6 the curse of spin1
6. The Curse of "Spin"
  • Spin is antithetical to the proper practice of public relations
  • In public relations, if you lie once, you will never be trusted again, particularly by the media
7 what manner of man or woman
7. What Manner of Man or Woman?
  • What kind of individual does it take to become a competent public relations professional?
  • The Report of the Commission on Public Relations Education in 1999 listed a dozen areas of competence that emerging public relations students must have to succeed in the new century:
6 the curse of spin2
6. The Curse of "Spin"
  • Spin is antithetical to the proper practice of public relations
  • In public relations, if you lie once, you will never be trusted again, particularly by the media
7 what manner of man or woman1
7. What Manner of Man or Woman?
  • What kind of individual does it take to become a competent public relations professional?
  • The Report of the Commission on Public Relations Education in 1999 listed a dozen areas of competence that emerging public relations students must have to succeed in the new century:
1 academic competencies
1. Academic competencies:
  • Communication and persuasion concepts and strategies
  • Communication and public relations theories
  • Relationship and relationship building
  • societal trends
  • Ethical issues
1 academic competencies1
1. Academic competencies:
  • Legal requirements and issues
  • Marketing and finance
  • Public relations history
  • Uses of research and forecasting
1 academic competencies2
1. Academic competencies:
  • Multicultural and global issues
  • Organizational change and development
  • Management concepts and theories
2 specific technical skills
2. Specific technical skills:
  • Knowledge of the field: the underpinnings of public relations, culture, and history, philosophy, and social psychology
  • communications knowledge- the media and the ways in which they work, communication research, and, most important, he writing process
  • Technological knowledge – the computer, the Net, the World Wide Web, all are imperative in the digital age
2 specific technical skills1
2. Specific technical skills:
  • Knowledge of what is going on around you – current events and factors that influence society: history, literature, language, politics, economics and all he rest
  • A public relations professional must be, in the truest sense, a Renaissance man or omen
  • Business knowledge – how business works, a bottom-line orientation, and a knowledge of one’s company and industry
2 specific technical skills2
2. Specific technical skills:
  • knowledge of bureaucracy – how to get things done in a bureaucratic organization, how to use and gain power for the best advantage, and how to maneuver in a politically charged environment
  • Management knowledge – how public policy is shaped and what pressures are responsibilities fall on senior managers
3 specific attitudinal orientations
3. Specific attitudinal orientations
  • Communication orientations – a bias toward disclosing rather than withholding information they should want to communicate with the public and believe that the public has a right to know
  • Advocacy – a desire to be advocates for their employers
  • Public relations people must stand up for what their employers represent
3 specific attitudinal orientations1
3. Specific attitudinal orientations
  • Counseling orientation – a compelling desire to advise senior mangers
  • Personal confidence – a strong sense of honesty and ethics, a willingness to take risks, and, not unimportant, a sense of humor
  • Public relations professionals must have the personal confidence to represent a role in any organization
possible exam questions
Possible exam Questions
  • Please formulate one possible exam question
  • Reflect on it