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Public Relations and Framing the Message. Chapter 12. “Since its inception, PR has exerted a huge influence on American society and culture.... No matter what issue you care about, there is undoubtedly someone doing PR on its behalf, on all sides.”. Public Relations.

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Public Relations and Framing the Message


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    1. Public Relations and Framing the Message Chapter 12

    2. “Since its inception, PR has exerted a huge influence on American society and culture.... No matter what issue you care about, there is undoubtedly someone doing PR on its behalf, on all sides.”

    3. Public Relations • Total communication strategy conducted by an individual, government, or organization attempting to persuade its audience to adopt a point of view • Unlike advertising, PR focuses on crafting an image rather than increasing sales • Often reflects larger trends and ideas percolating through society

    4. PR’s Influence on American Society • Drove economic activity after Industrial Revolution, contributing to improvement in living standards • Set tone for corporate image-building that characterized 20th century • Influences political process by shaping images of both politicians and issues

    5. Early History • Age of the Press Agent • Press agents first PR professionals • Advanced clients through hype and stunts • P.T. Barnum • John Burke promoted Buffalo Bill • Business Adopts PR • Press agency tactics generate profits, get government funding • Example: railroad deadheading

    6. Early History (cont.) • Professional PR Emerges • Ivy Lee takes new approach of honesty and directness • Contained damaging publicity fallout for Rockefellers during Ludlow Mine Massacre • Edward Bernays first to apply psychology and sociology to PR • “Public relations counselor” • Helped women enter PR field

    7. Major Types of PR Organizations • PR Agencies • Almost 2,000 U.S. companies • Many owned by conglomerates • In-house PR staffs • Large organizations have PR departments • Write press releases, manage interview requests from journalists, stage events

    8. Public Relations Functions • Develop publicity campaigns and formulating messages about their clients • Conducting research • Surveys, focus groups • Convey the message • Press releases, VNRs, PSAs, Internet • Managing media relations • Securing favorable coverage in news media • Crisis management to handle bad publicity

    9. Public Relations Functions (cont.) • Coordinating special and pseudo events • Visibility raises profile of corporate, organizational, or governmental clients • Sponsorship, press conferences • Fostering positive community and consumer relations • Designed to sustain goodwill between clients and public • Cultivating government relations • Lobbyists, astroturf lobbying

    10. Tensions between PR and Journalism • Interdependence • Journalists rely on PR for information and news • PR raids news media’s workforces for talent • PR practitioners think they make journalists jobs easier; some journalists criticize their own colleagues for being lazy • Skepticism about PR practices • PR accused of undermining facts and blocking reporters’ access to clients • PR accused of presenting publicity as news

    11. PR’s Self-regulation • Formed Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) • PR professional organization with code of ethics, standards • Independent watchdog organizations • PR Week, PR Watch • Changing PR terminology to sound more ethically responsible • “Corporate communications,” “news and information services”

    12. Public Relations in a Democratic Society • PR’s most significant impact may be its involvement in politics • Shaping candidates’ image • “Spins” news • PR limited to the affluent members of society • Journalists need to be skeptical • PR practitioners need to urge clients to be responsible citizens • Media literacy includes knowledge of PR