Category Archives: Reading Notes

COMM 2322 – Chapter 3

Ethics and Professionalism
Chapter three of Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics, highlights topics such as ethics, the role of professional organizations, professional codes of conduct, professionalism, licensing, and accreditation.

Here are a few tidbits of information I found important:

What is Ethics?
Depending on your religious or philosophical views, or even your family background, everyone has a different view on what ethics are and what codes of conduct to follow. Public relations professionals, when making ethical decisions, must take into consideration the public interest, the employer’s self-interests, the standards of the public relations profession, and their personal values. Therefore, making ethical decisions is a complex process.

Professional Organizations
1.) The Public Relations Society of America
          -The largest public relations organization in the world
          -Publishes Tactics and The Strategist
          -Sponsors the Silver and Bronze Anvil awards
2.) The International Association of Business Communicators
          -Publishes Communication World in magazine and e-mail format
          -Sponsors the Golden Quill honors
3.) The International Public Relations Association
          -Organizes regional and international conferences to discuss issues in global PR
          -Publishes Frontline
Sponsors the Golden World Awards

Codes for Specific Situations
1. Financial Information
2. Video News Releases
3. Internet Public Relations
4. Corporate Practice

 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 – 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 – 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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