Monthly Archives: January 2010

COMM 2322 – Chapter 2

The Evolution of Public Relations
Chapter two of Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics focuses on the history of public relations and the direction the profession is heading. Although the digital age has extremely transformed PR, according to the text, “the practice of public relations is probably as old as human communication itself.”

Here is some important information from chapter two:

The Beginnings of Public Relations
The practice of public relations has been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians. The Greeks, Plato, Julius Caesar, St. Paul, and the early Roman Catholic church all used methods of public relations to persuade and inform the communities around them. Public relations also played an important role in the Boston Tea Party and the attractions of showman Phineas T. Barnum. In addition, westward expansionists and early American politicians fused public relations into their publicity and promotion acts.

Four Classic Models of PR
Press Agentry/Publicity– distribution of information that may be exaggerated, distorted, or even incomplete to “hype” a cause, product, or service
Public Information– based on the journalistic ideal of accuracy and completeness, and the mass media is the primary channel
Two-Way Asymmetric– help the communicator better understand the audience and how to persuade it
Two-Way Symmetric– use of “relationship building” as there is a mutual understanding of purpose and communication between an organization and its audience

Feminization of the Field
The most dramatic change in the field of public relations is the tranformation of PR from a male-dominated field to one in which women constitute about 70% of practitioners. Here’s why:
1. Women find a more welcoming environment in PR and see more opportunities for advancement
2. Women make more money in the PR field than in traditional female-dominated professions (teaching/social work)
3. A public relations firm can be started without a lot of capital
4. Women tend to have better listening and communicating skills
5. Women are more sensitive in 2-way communication

The Future of Public Relations
This second of the chapter is particularly important for students like  me who are interested in a career in the public relations profession. We must be ready to face the changes that are constantly taking place within the field such as a multicultural world, the public demand for transparency, the expanding role of PR, an increased emphasis on measurement and evaluation, the managing of the 24/7 news cycle, the fragmentation of the mass media, the rise of social media outlets, and the need for lifelong learning.

 To find out more information or explore to the world of PR for yourself check out Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


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COMM 2322 – Blog Comments


+ I commented on “What Jolts Your Creativity” by Gentry Lassiter (PRinciples blog)

+January 30, 2010

+You definitely are not alone in being the kind of person who likes to think about ideas on a deeper level before presenting them. I am the same way. To me, it is one thing to actually bring good ideas to the table and another to throw out ideas for the sake of getting your voice out there. If you show that you think about and research your ideas before the sessions you will catch the interest of, and maybe even impress others.

I agree with Jackie in that you should play on your strengths. Everyone has something different to offer to a company/organization. Highlight the talents you do possess and experiment with what works for you best. Personally, I feel more confident during a brainstorming session when I extend on ideas of others and engage in the conversation.

And remember, creativity can be developed! Check out this site for more tips. It has really helped me out: Effective Meetings


+ I commented on “PR Connections 1/26” by Brianna Huisinga

+ January 30, 2010

+Great post! Because I love keeping up with professional sports, this really made me think about how PR is so important to the images of athletes.  This situation reminds me of Mark McGwire’s steroids scandal. Instead of being open and honest when evidence first arose that he took steroids during his baseball career, he flat out denied it. As rumors floated around over the years, his story started changing and he started to become less convincing.  McGwire recently admitted steroid use, however, his record will be tarnished forever because he refused to be honest for years. Although many have forgiven him, this dishonesty will most likely cost him a spot in the Hall-of-Fame. I totally agree with you that being honest as soon as possible is the best route to take!


+ I commented on “Is Anybody Listening” by Mikelle Liette

+ February 2, 2010

+Mikelle! Thank you for commenting on my blog post about commenting. Now just as you said a good blogger should do, I am returning the favor.

I can definitely connect with the title of this post, “Is Anybody Listening?” At first when I started blogging for Professor Nixon’s COMM 2322 class, I was discouraged that no one was commenting, or even viewing my page. I would ask myself, “What is the point of this?” or “What else do I need to do in order to attract others to my site?” When I started commenting the pages of others, however, I found that my blog started to attract a larger audience! It is nice to know that people actually cared about what I had to say.

Thank you for enriching my page with your comment!


+ I commented on “Lakeland’s Best Parks” from the blog YLakeland

+ February 5, 2010

+One of my favorite “parks” to visit at night in Lakeland is Lake Mirror. Located in the middle of downtown, it is one of the few places where I feel relatively safe after sunset. The lake has a sidewalk all the way around it and is very well-lit. The outdoor amphitheater area and grassy areas are a great places to have a picnic and the small playground has some very interesting structures that are always fun, even for a college kid. One thing I dislike about the playground at Lake Mirror, however, is that at night it is guarded by security cameras that are motion sensored. The security system has called the authorities on me twice even though I was participating in clean, innocent fun. This is unfortunate because most of my free time only comes later in the evening.

But thank you for your post. Being a college student, it is hard to find something free around here for everyone to enjoy. Parks provide people with a variety of activities to partake in. I have visited a few of these parks, but some I have never heard of. I am excited to explore more of what Lakeland has to offer!__________________________________


+ I commented on “Why Do You Watch the Super Bowl by Mikelle Liette

+ February 12, 2010

+Although I usually watch the Super Bowl for the actual game, I was very interested in the commercials just because I knew we would be discussing them in most of my communication classes, which was definitely the case.
I also liked all of the Doritos commercials, especially the one with the little boy calling out his mom’s new boyfriend: “Don’t touch my mama and don’t touch my Doritos!” It definitely made me laugh. It was also exciting for SEU students to see Erwin McManus’ commercial make the final cut.
My favorite one changes basically everyday as I re-watch them in classes. Today, my favorite was the Snickers commercial starring Betty White. I think this woman is so hilarious, especially in the movie The Proposal where she plays Ryan Reynolds’ crazy grandmother.
Unlike most people, I thought the commercials were very entertaining this year!__________________________________


+ I commented on “Robbie G’s Twitter Story” by Rob Goetsch

+February 16, 2010

+Nice blog! I was definitely in the same boat as you about really judging the bird by its cover. Your expression “throwing ‘hatorade’ all over it” really made me laugh because I was doing the same exact thing.

I really realized how valuable Twitter was after we, as a class, followed the extensive list of PR professionals. At first I was skeptical. I mean how much can we learn about the practice of public relations though 140 characters or less? Through the posting of links, I have discovered so much information.

One fellow Tweeter I find fascinating is GuyKawasaki and his website He posts links to information about all kinds of things ranging from how to use Photoshop, tips on digital photography, and current news about anything under the sun. If you are especially interested in graphic design and imagery or new technology, it’s definitely something to check out.


+ I commented on “My One Week of Twitter” by Mike Trivett

+February 22, 2010

+Great post! Being a journalism/public relations major it is very important to make sure I keep up with the latest current events. Being a student at Southeastern, however, there isn’t much time in the day to balance news updates with my academic, spiritual, and social lives along with other important aspects necessary for survival. I’ve tried many ways to keep up with current events by setting my homepage as CNN and even trying to watch the news on television, but nothing has seemed to work so far. However, I never thought of following news sites on Twitter. Thanks so much for that great idea of adding CNN or Fox News to my ever-increasing list of those I follow!


+I commented on “Music and Public Relations? How About Cakes Instead?” by Molly Dodd

+March 8, 2010

+I think that it is really interesting that you found how baking can be combined with public relations. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised though, as we usually are able to connect our favorite interests with almost anything. For example, I love researching professional sports and PR. I have written quite a few blog posts concerning fan relations and possible careers in that field. I am interested to hear more about your research about baking and public relations. Maybe you can do a few PR Connections on the subjects? I am so impressed by people who can make baking an art! Great post idea and hope to see more information about this in the future!


+I commented on “PR Professional Interview with Eden Gordon” by Jenifer Molitor

+March 19, 2010

+Great work! Eden provided you and your readers with tons of information concerning the public relations profession. I interviewed someone who is new to the PR profession so it was nice to read about someone who has years worth of experience. I think the most helpful piece of information Eden gave is how sometimes it is necessary to help a client back-track out of a hole they have dug themselves into. I can’t imagine the hard work needed to create a new image for an individual or even an entire company. In addition, it’s pretty exciting to see the multitude of nationally-recognized names Eden has worked with. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the future PR professionals in our class!


+I commented on “One Week of Twitter (Week 5)” by Chad Ainsworth

+March 19, 2010

+Although Twitter has many advantages to a business if used correctly, I agree with you in that Facebook allows a company to build relationships with its clients on deeper levels by using photo albums, wall posts, and direct messages. One thing that Twitter allows people to do that Facebook doesn’t is following and searching for current trends. This is extremely advantageous to public relations professionals. For example, companies can be updated instantly on how the public receives a new movie release, new product releases such as the IPad, and breaking news stories from around the world such as the Haiti and Chile earthquakes. Don’t give up on Twitter just yet!


+I commented on “Spring Break 2010: The Forum”  by Brianna Huisinga

+March 22, 2010

+Thank you for a short glimpse into this year’s Forum. This is my first semester at Southeastern so I never heard of the Forum before and how significant of an event it actually is. I was thinking about doing the DVD version it, but was, like yourself, very hesitant. I didn’t know if I could juggle all of my upcoming schoolwork, while reading books, watching the speeches, and writing paper after paper. Although I had an enjoyable break, after reading this post I am really considering trying out the Forum next year. I’ve heard the list of potential speakers and am extremely excited for the insight they can provide about servant leadership. I’m glad you had such a great experience!


+I commented on “Spring Break!!! And a Forum?” by Rob Goetsch

+March 22, 2010

+My comment isn’t about this blog post, but rather about your blog in general. (I wasn’t really sure where else to put this comment.) Not only have I noticed that you frequently update your blog, adding new content that is interesting, informative, and entertaining, but you have made your page easy to navigate around, which is really important to new bloggers like myself. My favorite part of your blog is definitely the list you have complied that links to the blogs of our other classmates. Instead of going to Public Relations Matters, which I find difficult to navigate around, I have bookmarked your blog as an access point to all the other blogs. Since I use your page so much I thought I would let you know how much I appreciate it! Thank you!!


+I commented on “My Spring Break 2010” by Mike Trivett

+April 5, 2010

+Wow. Your pictures are awesome! I especially liked “Fisherman’s Sunset” and “Looking up from the Poolside.” My favorite is probably “The Beach View” picture simply because of the clouds. You really have a talent with photography and I hope you use that gift in your future plans.

But anyways, I definitely know what you mean by no longer wanting to live in a city. Although I’ve never been to Miami, I have a similar experience with New York City.  I love being in the hustle and bustle of a huge city and just being able to take pictures of everything I see. There are just so many angles and so many different scenes that I could spend days with my camera. After thinking about it though I just don’t think city life is for me. But I would be nice to go there whenever I get that itch to shoot. I’m so glad you had a great break with your family.


+I commented on “Interview with a Public Relations Professional” by Jared Coats

+April 5, 2010

+After viewing a few of our classmates’ blogs about their interview experiences, I was pretty impressed to see that you conducted your interview video style. That was so awesome that your interviewee took the time to sit down with you and provide our class with some great information on the public relations profession. It was encouraging to hear Ms. Rideout tell us how she couldn’t pick out just one project she was especially proud of because there were so many remarkable situations she was able to participate in. Another great thing I learned from your interview is that there are so many different outlets for public relations. For example, Ms. Rideout worked in PR for a grocery store and a builders’ foundation. My interviewee worked for the Detroit Tigers’ baseball team. There are just so many opportunities for those looking for a career in PR! Great post!!


+I commented on “What to do? What to do? There is a Crisis!!!” by Mikelle Liette

+April 7, 2010

+This comment isn’t specifically about this particular blog post, I just wanted send you an encouraging word to let you know how much I appreciate your constant blog comments on my page and I’m sure others appreciate them as well. It is so nice to know that someone is actually looking at my posts on a weekly basis, even if it is only part of an assignment. In addition, finding good blog posts for me to comment on is hard sometimes, especially since a lot of people are not updating their pages. Your posts, however, are very well written and informative, which gives me content to reflect on. Also, your site is very organized and easy to navigate around. Keep up the great work!


+I commmented on “Top 10 Things to Remember When Blogging” by Mikelle Liette

+April 19, 2010

+I think you came up with a great list for current and future bloggers to follow who are looking to make their site a successful one. One really important tip you gave was to comment on other blogs. When you comment on other blogs it shows that you care about what the author has to say. It is human nature for that other person to return the favor, and check out your blog. At first I was discouraged when I started blogging and my stat box revealed that I didn’t have any viewers. When I started commenting, however, I put my name out there and began to gain an audience. The most important thing you pointed out was to have fun with the blog. It is vital to write about something you are passionate about. This not only keeps you writing, but also keeps you posting interesting content for your viewers.


+I commented on “Advice to New Bloggers” by Brianna Huisinga

+April 19, 2010

+This is a great list for future Public Relations Applications students to follow. I totally agree with you that the most important thing to be aware of in this class is to not fall behind with assignments. If you split up assignments weekly and follow the syllabus, the class isn’t too difficult. I can’t imagine being weeks behind and having to write 3+ blog posts a day at the end of the semester! Another point I agreed with you on is to do your best work. Although looking up pictures and YouTube videos takes a few extra minutes, it enriches your blog and makes it more interesting. This attracts others to your blog and keeps your viewers coming for more. Good work!


+I commented on “Leadership Series: Erwin McManus” by Rob Goetsch

+April 19, 2010

+The first time I heard Erwin speak was at Firefall last semester and the things he spoke about shook my world and really changed my outlook on the Christian life. Because of this I bought his book “Wide Awake,” which is about living the life God wants us to live. Although I haven’t been able to finish it because of busy schedule so far Erwin has discussed awakening the unique creative talents inside of each one of us. He also mentions that we need to be explorers of this earth and take advantage of the things around us that God has provided us with. I really agree with the statement you made, “We as, Christians, have become un-original and seem to think that the old way and old ideas are the only right way to go about life.” People, especially Christians, are the most undervalued resource on this planet because they are afraid to step out of the box and use their God-given talents to their full potential. Thank you for providing us with some insight to the Forum!


+ I commented on “Week 13 – Public Relations in Crisis” by Molly Dodd

+ April 21, 2010

+ This video makes me laugh. Sometimes I can’t believe the lengths people go to in order to get their opinion out! In addition, I was shocked to see that over 8 million people viewed this thing. I can’t imagine being the PR firm in charge of clearing up this situation! After linking from your page to the YouTube video, I decided to implement the video into my group presentation on crisis communication in public relations for my Introduction to Communications class. Everyone loved it. So thank you for sparking some inspiration for a project that was kind of getting nowhere! Also, thank you so much for your encouraging words on one of my blog posts. It is so nice to get some positive feedback from fellow classmates.


+ I commented on “Dreams…that Become Reality” by Mikelle Liette

+ April 21, 2010

+ What you and your family are doing is absolutely amazing. It is awesome to see how a family will come together and answer the calling God has placed on each one of their hearts. I’m excited to see how God works with your family once Zoe becomes your official sister! It is exciting to see how you will affect her life, but more importantly it is exciting to know that the impact Zoe will have on your life will be just as substantial. You will for sure be a blessing to this little girl and you will definitely be blessed for your obedience. This story is so inspiring!  


+ I commented on “PR Connections #11” by Rebecca Candler

+ April 21, 2010

+I, too, saw this commercial with a bunch of friends and we were all shocked afterwards. We were basically all sitting around the TV in silence once it was over. Then someone said, “Did that really just happen?” I was thinking they just outright stated they stole McDonald’s idea. If you think about it, Burger King is, in a way, promoting McDonald’s product too since it was such a great idea that it needed to be copied. In my opinion, however, this is a great marketing tactic because I really do want to go out and see if Burger King’s sandwich is better.


+ I commented on “3D you finally beat me” by Rob Goetsch

+ April 23, 2010

+ I too, was determined not to fall into the 3-D movie fad. First of all, I had this image in my mind that all the new 3-D movies would be exactly like the quality I experienced during Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Even at the age of 12 I knew a poor effort when I saw one. I was even appalled when I saw the commercials for the new 3-D televisions. Seriously, how ridiculous do those families look with the thick-rimmed glasses on their faces, laughing together and just having a great time? Maybe I’m just old school?  But this post kind of made me curious. I don’t know if it’s worth shelling out $14, but I might have to go check out this new technology soon. I’m sure movie studios have updated their equipment since the Spy Kids disaster.


+ I commented on “New iPhone – PR Connection” by Jared Coats

+ April 23, 2010

+ I saw this article on the Yahoo front page, but failed to look further into it simply because the headline was “iPhone left in California Bar” or something just as unappealing.  I mean, that not too newsworthy and losing an iPhone is not much of catastrophe. But after reading your post I finally understand what all the commotion was about. You have some great input on the possibility that this was a publicity stunt, if it is, in my opinion, is a great move on Apple’s part. It makes people, such as myself, extremely curious and wanting to find out more. It’s definitely a lot more interesting than a basic press release or staged news conference. Thanks for adding the links too so I could get more information. Great post!


+ I commented on “Delonte West’s Trial Postponned” by DP (Waiting for Next Year blog)

+ April 23, 2010

This is great news for Cleveland fans, and even better news for Delonte West. Instead of hearing all the negative publicity as the Cavs rally to make the NBA finals this year, West will be able to focus solely on his game, allowing him to continue to be an important and vital piece to the championship puzzle. I recall the Paul Byrd HGH scandal during the Tribe’s run to the World Series during the Boston series in 2007. After this news was leaked, it was all downhill from there. It just seemed to put a dagger into the team and Byrd’s successful season. I’m happy for Delonte and the postponement. It seems that the team has just embraced him and are committed to helping him though this situation together. Plus, he’s playing some great basketball. Go Cavs!


+ I commented on “Interview w/ Kneale Mann” by Molly Dodd

+ April 24, 2010

+ I think it is pretty cool that Professor Nixon has introduced our class to real-life public relations professionals such as Martin Waxman and Kneale Mann. The interviews have really helped me grasp what the career is really like and variety the job brings daily. I was also very encouraged by Mann when he described his first blogging experience. But it is true – we really should write about something that interests us the most. That way we will be more motivated to write. I’m excited to see if I will continue blogging this summer and what things I will talk about. I’ve really enjoyed blogging and hope to continue this habit in the future.

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Returning the Favor

Topic of the Week 3
Before winter break, my roommate and I rented Julie and Julia, a film basically about a woman who started a cooking blog and made it famous. Cooking was this woman’s passion and she wanted to share it with the world. This got me thinking, “What are my passions?” The first thing that popped in my mind was motivating people to get out and just love life. Therefore, I started my first blog at that seeks to motivate others and also includes some things on my bucket list such as visiting every Major League baseball stadium and camping out under the stars for a night.

After a few weeks, however, no one (other than my friends whom I persuaded to start blogs also) had viewed my page. I thought I had great content, and even some great images, but I guess not. There was something missing, but what? I figured that out in my COMM 2322 class.

Susan Gunelius, President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a full service marketing communications provider, and author of “What are Blog Comments,” described “blog comments are the lifeblood of a blog.” I believe she means that although a blog may have great content, it can’t grow without input from others. Therefore, a blog must be focused, not on the blog itself, but the blogging community.

Blog comments are what make pages so interactive, unlike static websites. Comments allow others to join the conversation, adding value and new ideas to already existing information. Gunelius also states that the community makes a blog successful. Selfish and unethical motives will always fail.

So what then, makes an effective blog comment? Corinee Weisgerber highlights nine ways to blog in her presentation “Blogging and Managing Your Personal Brand“:
1. Disagree respectfully
2. Extend the conversation
3. Go beyond “great post” or “I agree”
4. Comment within a day or two
5. Read comments before posting
6. Stay on topic
7. Link to your sources
8. Only link to yourself if relevant
9. Use email for private comments

What are some tips for blog comments that you like to use? Make the world a better place and share your knowledge. That’s what blogging is for, right? 🙂


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If you ever get to know me on a more personal level you would find that I am a huge Cleveland sports fan. Any story concering the Indians, Cavaliers, or Browns captures my attention immediately. For my English Composition class, we were given the opportunity to write an essay on the topic of our choice and Cleveland sports instantly came to mind as the basis of my paper. I’d love to share with you what I wrote: Mistake on the Lake (This link will open up to a Microsoft Word file).

Here is a little Youtube video I stumbled across on newenglandynasty‘s channel as I was doing my research:

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Twitter? Me?

More than birds are "tweeting" these days

At almost every chapel last semester, my friends would leave me out of the conversation. They weren’t speaking to each other directly, but were using Twitter as a means of communication. It always seemed like the funniest jokes or most serious topics were discussed during chapel, and afterwards I would be completely oblivious to what they were talking about. The inside jokes didn’t apply to me, yet it didn’t really matter. As hard as my friends tried to persuade me to start a Twitter account, I refused to get involved in yet another reason for me to be distracted from my schoolwork, or the chapel message for that matter.

Ironically, I was asked to sign up for a Twitter account for my PA applications class. I was a little upset over this matter, simply because I vowed never to fall into the trap of my friends. In addition, I was already overwhelmed by having to keep up with my email, Facebook, text messaging, Skype, and other forms of communication. Twitter would only be yet another hassle.

For my PR applications class, I had to listen to Laura Fitton’s webinar, Twitter for Business. After listening to her presentation, it was like a light shined down from heaven. Twitter took on a whole new meaning! It was actually…useful!

Here are a few tips I learned from Twitter expert and enthusiast Laura Fitton:

  1. Develop dynamic and genuinely engaging content.
  2. Twitter should be used to access better professional relationships.
  3. Twitter should be used to share knowledge and problem-solving ideas more efficiently.
  4. The point of Twitter is not to see how many followers you get, but to provide attention and value to the audience. Selfish and unethical motives will always fail.
  5. Just as appearance matters in person, appearance matters in the Twitter world. Dress nicely (use graphics and avatars), introduce yourself (fill out profile fully, mention twitter on your main website), and be a good conversationalist (listen, respond, relevant, useful).
  6. Twitter IDs dominate Google searches because of extensive linking.
  7. Successful Twitter accounts should not be measured by the number of followers. Instead, measure the desired business objective the way you always measure that desired business objective.

Now my friends can “tweet” to me during chapel. You can follow me on Twitter, too @amandafurmage

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Topic of the Week 2
I am a part of many different groups of people ranging from churches to sporting teams. These groups, in the realm of public relations are known as “publics.” defines a public as “a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc. In addition, Merrium-Webster describes a public as “the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims.” Simply stated, a public is a grouping of individuals.

Kelloggsville Church of the Nazarene
I am a proud member of the Kelloggsville Church of the Nazarene. This beautiful church located in the “middle-of-nowhere,” is the place I call home. It was here where I first gave my life to Jesus and where, most recently, was baptized. Therefore, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Within the church I am a part of various smaller groups. For example, each summer I play shortstop for the co-ed slow-pitch softball team. Furthermore, I am a volunteer in the nursery, the sound booth, and a teacher at vacation bible school. In addition, I am part of a young adult group that gathers every Monday for food, fellowship, and fun.  
I continue to be involved in this public because of the strong relationships I have built within the church. Not only does most of my family attend Kelloggsville Nazarene, but a large number of my close friends go there as well for Sunday service or youth events. I am excited everytime I return home to see how much my church has grown and the new ministry opportunities avaliable.

Southeastern University Intramurals
One public that has made my transition to Southeastern University easier was the intramural sports. Through this group I have made many good friends. I joined intramurals for more than friends, however. One of the gifts God has blessed me with is athletic talent. I love just going outside and doing something active. Sports have been my life ever since I can remember and I thrive on the adreneline rush that comes from tough competition. I will always remember winning the intramural volleyball championship during the Fall ’09 semester!
To get involved in intramural sports at Southeastern University sign up on

The Hub
A third public that I am involved with is The Hub. A bible study located at the Freedom Center in Lakeland, Florida, the group focuses on equipping college-aged students with the tools they need to impact the world. I became a part of The Hub in order to further define the calling God has placed upon my life and to get involved in the community around me. Moreover, I enjoy the intimate time of worship after a short devotional time. If you are looking for a small group to join I would definitely recommend The Hub!

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COMM 2322 – Chapter 1

What is Public Relations?
Chapter One of Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics attempts to tackle this broad question by addressing different components of the public relations world, ranging from definitions of PR to the integration of PR in jounalism, advertising, and marketing.

Here are some bits of information that I found worth remembering:

A Variety of Definitions
Before reading the chapter, I had no idea what public relations was all about or what it involved. As a definition person, I was hoping for a nice, brief explanation of public relations, but was left with a long list of different meanings. Some definitions were short and sweet, while some were more technical and lengthy. Because public relations is such a dynamic, and always changing practice there is no perfect definition. In addition, different PR organizations focus on different responsibilities. My favorite definition, however, is the following:

“Public relations is a process involving many subtle and far-reaching aspects. It includes research and analysis, policy formation, programming, communication, and feedback from numerous publics.”

This is my preferred definition for many reasons. It describes that public relations can be both local and global, introduces us to its functions, and acknowledges its reliance on feedback from the public.

Public Relations as a Process
One important aspect of public relations is that it is a process. Public relations is not a static practice, but is always changing due to new technologies and public feedback. For example, the book describes PR as a 6-step cycle:
1. Research and Analysis
2. Policy Formation
3. Programming
4. Communication
5. Feedback
6. Assessment

I believe assessment in crucial to today’s PR programs. Without considering the attitudes and opinion of the publics or making adjustments, a business/organization will never improve or become successful.

Components of Public Relations
Public Relations is a vital part of an organization because it is involved in a countless number of tasks in a variety of departments. Here are the basic components of PR, listed in the text:
Counseling, research, media relations, publicity, employee/member relations, community relations, public affairs, governmental affairs, issues management, financial relations, industry relations, development/fund-raising, multicultural diversity, special events, marketing communications.

Essential Abilities
Public relations specialists must be well-rounded individuals. Because public relations specialists are involved in many activities they must possess these five skills in order to be successful in their field:
Writing Skill
Research Ability
Planning Expertise
Problem-Solving Ability
Business/Economics Competence

If I want to be successful in the field of PR, I must sharpen my business/economics knowledge.

I’m excited to continue learning about the field of public relations and find out what skills I can improve on to make a difference in my future career! To find out more information or explore to the world of PR for yourself check out Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

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