By some strange, twist of fete you have ended up here, so why not stay and poke around? This blog will consist of five stories relating to my personal development in the field of public relations. Each week a new blog will be uploaded with a detailed, in depth explanation of specific fundamentals and building blocks to be a sought after employee.
A little about me….
My name is Ryan I am a 19 year old student from Brisbane Australia, studying professional communications in my second year of University Education. I hope to complete the course and pursue a career in advertising.
Having insider knowledge shapes the direction of any campaign, this information significantly warps the ethical tone of the Public Relations teams bid on the campaign. Ethical practice is the professional conduct that is expected to be upheld throughout the company. Within this specific context, ethical practice refers to the fairness in which the contest for the bid is held, as well as the grounds on which the decision is made.
Relating to my involvement within the bid, I would withdraw myself from the bid only to remain a part of my team’s campaign anonymously until the campaign had been won. I would make this decision for two reasons this is due to the unnecessary pressure my presence would create on the committee member that I was particularly close with. Such pressure could force them into making crucial errors and knowing a committee member creates a bias which ultimately nullifies the purpose of having a bid if the decision is already predetermined by outside factors.
My second reason for my withdrawal would be the unfair advantage my team would gain by this knowledge as we would be able to play to the committee member’s likes and dislikes. Such information in most cases would be unattainable without knowing the person directly.
An insiders perspective.
The only way I would continue to run the bid for the campaign is if each member of my team was given an identification number and never had to show their face. To remain ethical and true to the code of practice I would only use information in regard to the formation of our bid that could be obtained from a google search with references to prove that this knowledge was public and could be used by any party at any time.
A clear picture in a Public Relations Campaign ensures time, money, resources are saved.
Making the picture and target of the campaign is clear and concise ensures that even the lowest common denominator will also be encapsulated and be able to take something away from the campaign. The clearest pictures keep teams on track whether it be the candidate’s, management teams as well as the individuals that make up the organisation.
A Public Relations campaign should be planned four weeks ahead of time as each PR campaign will typically only run for four weeks; working to this time schedule ensures there is enough time to complete speech editing, writing rebuttal speeches in the unlikely chance of scrutiny. Also during this planning period dates and times are set aside for public appearances to generate local support.
within this essential time planning stage there are five key elements which need to be established according to the coursera organisation. These are,
Precision in targeting.
Established team working environment, with positive, prosperous attitudes.
Creation of well researched campaign material, eliminating scrutiny.
Construction of gantt chart for financial and campaign timeline.
To reiterate the plan.
After these five steps have been established and identified the campaign administration will finally advocate the POSTAR platform. POSTAR is the positioning, objectives, strategy, tactics, administration and results. These tools ensure that at all points throughout the campaign, there is a way to asses the situation, identify what changes need to be made as well as constantly refreshing the ideologies and direction of the campaign.
A public Relations program begins with “identifying the many intricate parts of a specified project and then assembling them into a working mechanism guided by a detailed blueprint called the Public Relations Plan.”(saylor.org, 2015). From here assessments are made by coordinators in relation to delegation of jobs, funds and resources.
Hashtags have become an essential in the game of internet marketing, hashtags have the ability to create internet sensations overnight. Originally a simple way to organise mass amounts of data, to now being the most prominent way to create conversation between peer groups and the wider community. Hashtags are the vehicle in which major traffic is directed to your site, product or advertisement. They enable users to search certain words or phrases, the results of these searches are any products with the specific hashtag associated. This can also be used to generate traffic from unrelated sources, by cleverly using hashtags related to more popular searches, yet still being relevant to your overarching message.
The ‘@’ symbol serves as the introduction, search tool and the attraction. Due to the fact anything written after the ‘@’ is highlighted in blue. Also the blue highlighted text will link the user to any similar search criteria or other products/ people who have used the same hashtag. Essentially linking any users to the collective information sorted by this category.
The importance of the hashtag @niallofficial hashtag is that it carries 25.5 million followers, anytime the hashtag is mentioned by Nial what ever he posts reaches 25 million people instantly. The Xfactor used this to their advantage, by using Nials tweets the Xfactor was immediately able to reach and advertise the new season to 25 million people.
The importance of the Oscars hashtag is that the word ‘oscars’ had been trending that week so any tweet with the hashtag ‘oscars’ reached a collective following of 185 million people. This is the cheapest, fastest and most effective to advertise such a high profile event.
The most current controversial public relations cmapaign using coercion is the fast food chain MCDonald’s. The target of the add is not to sell the products, but to convince children that they can be like any of their favorite characters. This is done through each add using all of the following: Cartoon characters, television personalities, movie stars, and sports figures, as well as displays with kids’ meal toys, three dimensional cardboard cut-outs, and play areas.(R.Ferdman. 2015 washington post). This is highly unethical as the children targeted are aged between 3-12. These children are not old enough to make their own decisions and are far too easily manipulated.
Example of questionable tactics.
Whereas public relation campaigns revolve around a message being clearly sent to the public in such a way that the overall agenda is interpreted in a positive and constructive manner. The objective message of a campaign can be either persuaded or coerced into the target audience mind. Persuasion is the voluntary change in the target’s belief or action, whereas coercion employs the use of threats to ensure the target feels they have no other options but to concede.
In my public relations campaign I would not use questionable tactics to achieve my objectives as they are beyond the bounds of professional communication. I consider ethical persuasion to be the “principle of reciprocation”(M. Kaptein et al 2009). Essentially the tactic ensures that one person must repay another in a later stage for what they have been gifted now. The rule allows for a polite, yet forceful gifting with confidence of a return, the sense of debt ensures that both parties leave the agreement with a victory.
Eliminating questionable means ensures that my campaign is honest, ethical and true. By diverting these views would potentially compromise the entirety of the organisation resulting in failure.
The earliest public relations campaign in 1928 when George Washington hill, the head of the ATC (American Tobacco Company) decided he would change the way Americans smoked. The client the ATC had been serving comprised of the larger majority of the male population in America, where as smoking for women was both illegal and thought of as a second class act.(G.H. AMC, 1928)
To fast forward five years after the initial idea Mr. Hill began the first ever public relation campaign, having realised how much more clientele he could tap into if woman smoked he hired influential and influential woman, with the appearance of the more attractive but achievable every day features. This ensured the woman were empowering but were also relatable. What he created was called the ‘freedom’ campaign, it began a movement which entitled woman to expression as a time of great suppression.
The reason the campaign differs from advertising as the overall goal was not to sell or create brand awareness, but to change the perception and stigmas of two generations. Changing perception is the sole purpose of the campaign, there is no driving force to sell. The emphasis is on changing lives, social norms and stigmas.
To reiterate the point in a more visual fashion, here is a video illustration the essence of Public relations vs Advertising.
The campaign would not be created today for commercial television use within America or Australia as of 1971 where the ban on commercially advertising any tobacco products. Furthering this the introduction of banning smoking in public areas such as nightclubs, cafes and offices. The only option for this is to look overseas as well as looking to online media which is not regulated. The growing support gathering for a western world ban on smoking makes such a campaign near impossible to pursue in the modern era.