Archive for the 'Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win [3119122]' Category

Week 9- Chapter 6 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 6- Developing Media Relationships Around News

 

In media relations, the media cannot exist without the source, and the source cannot exist without the media. In terms of PR, the source is what the practitioner can do to attract the attention of the media so that there is publicity for the organization or association. It pretty much means that PR practitioners need to beautify a story in order for it to be sold to the media. The angle and issue has to be twisted in a way to attract the media’s attention and create hype and interest to the public. The whole idea sounds easy but it certainly is not.

It becomes worse if what you are trying to sell is a product or service that has little potential of gaining media publicity- such as a car wash service. Thus, it requires a lot of creativity and thought before something can actually happen.

Here’s an example that will further explain what I mean.

Take Organized Clutter Daily (OCD), Singapore’s first professional organizing service. A simple service that pretty much lacked what the media would deem as news worthy. Yet, the organization was able to grab the media’s attention especially the magazines. The organization first started in 2009 and in June to August of that year, they were able to get five magazines, Elle, Men’s Health, Shape, Cleo, Simply Her to cover the organization’s service.

The question was how did they do this and what was so news worthy about a professional service that organized your room?

The answer is that the organization angled their service towards the idea that clutter around the house caused stress and other health related concerns. They also provided simple ideas and ‘do-it-yourself’ advices to keep the house, workplace, or any environment clutter free. Thus, they targeted the lifestyle magazines.

The simplicity of the idea to tie in health and clutter together gave the opportunity for the organization to gain publicity while still selling their service in a non-obvious way.

 

Referencing:

OCD, 2010. About Us. Available at: <http://www.ocd.com.sg/about-us.php> [Accessed 26 October 2011].

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.

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Week 8- Chapter 12 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 12- Measuring Successful Relationships: Approaches to Research Methods

 

In every PR campaign or event, there needs to be a process that measures the success of these actions. This process is called evaluation and it is an essential part of any communication campaign. The reason being is that evaluation allows the PR practitioner and the organization to understand all aspects of the media campaign from the basic stages of planning and designing to the final stages of implementation.

 

Evaluation helps to determine the effectiveness, achievement of goals and efficiency of goals in a PR campaign as Stanton suggests. He further relates how evaluation should be conducted in three steps- formative, process and summative evaluation.

 

The formative evaluation takes place at the start of the campaign and to simply describe it, it is the step that allows the media practitioner to reevaluate the already thought out plan for an event or campaign. On a more important aspect the formative evaluation requires thorough research on all factors concerning the planned campaign and will aid to prioritize the research and design to fit with client’s objectives.

 

The process evaluation takes place throughout the campaign and seeks to evaluate the success in between phases of a campaign. For instance, for every event of the campaign, the media practitioner will conduct an evaluation to access the level of success of the ongoing campaign. The evaluation could be conducted in terms of media coverage and whether the actions that took place by the organization were viewed in a positive or negative light by the media.

 

The summative evaluation is the final process of evaluating a campaign. It is the end evaluation of all the events and actions that took place during the campaign. Summative evaluation as the name explains is the summation of the campaign.

 

Personally, I think evaluation is a process that will really help develop the PR in a company for both present campaigns and future ones. Evaluation is important not only in the communication aspect but also, for other initiatives. It is an important process in the introduction of a new product and it helps to understand whether the process is successful, reasons behind why it is or is not successful and more importantly, how it can be improved.

 

Referencing

 

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.

 

 

Week 6- Chapter 11 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 11- Risk, Uncertainty, And Crisis: How to identify and manage team

The emergency landing of Quanta’s A380 at Changi airport and BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, all of which occurred last year are just examples of the crisis that organizations or even individuals can face. In general, such a crisis can happen anytime and any place of the day and the most important factor after the incident is how the organization chooses to react to it.

 

This is where the organizations public relations come in. The steps they take are going to be of great importance because it will determine whether the company will make further losses, which are both tangible and intangible. Tangible may include the money and stock prices while intangible could mean the fate of the reputation. And at the end of the day, the organization wants to save both.

 

So yes, when something big and bad happens, the organization’s fate lies in the hands of the public relations. Lets not forget, at such a crucial phase the PRs of the organizations are working closely with the media and even if they choose the method of avoiding, the media is already trailing the organization. One thing to understand is that the media will be the ones framing and letting a great scale of audience hear of the incident. They can choose to interpret it in a positive or negative way. Thus, when a crisis does happen, the best is to stay on top of the situation and show that everything is under control. You can conclude that the media is somewhat the middleman between the organization and the mass audience.

 

Identifying the issue at an early stage can help to diverge the crisis from taking place. This is most certainly a good method to reduce the risk or probability of a crisis happening, but it does not help when the crisis has already taken place. Many of the times, a crisis is unpredictable and today as we all know news will spread extremely fast due to the technology that society offers and this puts the organization in a tight spot where eventually they are not the ones to know of the crisis first. It also means that there will be a great deal of pressure towards the organization because response has to be prompt yet accurate.

 

For instance, during the emergency landing of Quanta’s A380 the Qantas media relations team announced that no parts of the plane landed on the Indonesian island, but to their dismay images of a couple holding what clearly seems to be a big part of the Qantas logo from the plane were surfacing over the internet. The contradicting image of Qantas’s statements showed that Qantas failed to check facts and do a well enough research online to what the social media is hyped up about. They eventually made a statement to clarify the issue. Thus, it can be deemed that Qantas was slow in reacting to the crisis in its first stages.

 

However, to combat the threat of possible negativity they updated their twitter and Facebook page feeds so that the public was able to understand more about the situation. What can be observed from the saga was that Qantas understood the power of social media and quickly saved their reputation from further escalating downwards.

 

Referencing

May, K., 2004. Qantas A380 incident: a lesson in social media and web PR. Available at: <http://www.tnooz.com/2010/11/04/news/qantas-a380-incident-a-lesson-in-social-media-and-web-pr/> [Accessed 22 October 2011].

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.

Week 5- Chapter 10 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 10- “Timeliness and Budgets” of Media Relations 

As the chapter states, Richard Stanton takes the readers into the importance of timeliness and budget in the designing and planning of a campaign. After reading this chapter, I take on the perspective that these two factors must be taken into careful consideration, as each will determine the successfulness of a campaign.

 

Timeliness as the chapter explains is heavily related to media practitioners such as journalists. Thus, it is just as important to public relations practitioners as these professionals are many of the times working and affiliating themselves with the media, in order to build good relationships with them. PR practitioners should also remember to keep the communication process between their clients alive as clients also have tight schedules. You don’t want an event or media conference held on the same day that your client is having an important meeting.

 

As Richard D Smith explains in his book ‘Strategic planning for public relations’, public relations practitioners need to ‘respect and adopt’ the way journalism works. This includes understanding that news information should involve action, adventure, change, conflict, fame and so forth but, more importantly proximity and timeliness. However, the only argument that I have for this is that not all PR work requires the traditional news coverage of television or newspaper. In fact, PR is known to use magazines as a source of media coverage and as I have learnt, not all features need to have the timeliness factor. Nevertheless, being organized and managing time efficiently is important when it comes to public relations and this is especially vital for campaigns.

 

On another note, I think budget is somewhat more imperative than timeliness. My simple explanation is that without a reasonable budget there will be no PR because even for a simple event to a very extensive campaign, budget is vital and yes the saying- ‘money makes the world go round’ can be very much applied here. From the very research that is done, to the mailing, transport, and equipment and venue hiring, a budget is required.

 

The financial planning between the client and PR agent will determine the elements of the campaign. It will help identify the strategic planning the PR firm will have for the client and will allocate whether sponsorship and funds will be necessary, the type of events that can be held and the usage of media- for instance, flyers, brochures and reports.

 

After the PR assignment, which we were given, I’ve realized that budgeting events appropriately is a much harder task than one would think. In budgeting, there are times where the client will state they have  ‘0 budget’ when it comes to PR consultancy and thus, events have to be planned accordingly so that it results in profits to help subsidize the PR company’s professional fee cost, as well as the overall cost for the event, campaign etc. Needless to say, careful thought and planning has to be done in order for success.

 

Referencing

Smith, D. R., 2005. Strategic planning for public relations. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc: New Jersey.

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.

Week 3- Chapter 1 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 1- Introduction: Building Relationships, Framing Issues and Events

Perhaps the most interesting aspect in this chapter is that media relations have the ability to, as said in the text, “spin doctoring” and “influence peddling”. In short, media relation’s practitioners have the capability of framing and encoding messages in ways, which are intended for the viewer to decode. This questions the agenda of some news channels and medium which claim to be objective and that the material is sourced from the government. Thus, to what extent is this so because as a media practitioner you are after all representing a client- and in reality all clients are trying to make their image good, whether they are truly good or not.

So my question to those reading this is-

  1. To what extent should media practitioners be allowed to contribute to the news?
  2. What measures could be suggested to prevent those unethical clients who want their image to be good when in reality they are not?

In my opinion both these questions are heavily related to an individual’s ethic. For instance, media practitioners need to be ethical although the fact is, not all are. Media practitioners need to understand the power and influence they have when using the media as a communication tool. For instance, I have come across PR practitioners who chose to provide their services for associations, which have a ‘shady’ image.

Take for example, DCI group, a public affairs enterprise that took up the role to work alongside Burma and to improve the infamous country’s relationship with America and to assist in fighting against the opium trade and the country’s AIDS epidemic. It only took 8 months before the company terminated the contract after heavy criticism.

As Washington Post’s, Al Kamen stated, “DCI lobbyists, featuring Charles Francis, a longtime family friend of the Bushes, ran a sophisticated campaign to improve the regime’s image–and steer the conversation away from its rampant human rights abuses and such”.

Clearly, a line should be drawn to whom PR companies choose to provide their services. It is even more so when PR companies such as DCI have links to higher authorities and officials with influential power. For instance, DCI was able to set up two meetings between the White House National Security Council Southeast Asia director Karen Brooks and the Burmese authorities.

Thus, my point is, there should be serious ethical consideration before accepting to represent controversial clients.

Referencing:

Ambinder, M., 2008. Focus: ‘The DCI Group Responds on Burma, The Atlantic, [Online] Available at: <http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2008/05/the-dci-group-responds-on-burma/53206/&gt; [Accessed 18 September 2011].

Johnson, D., 2006. Focus: ‘The Swift Boaters Are Back In The Water, Huffington Post, [Online] Available at:<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/the-swiftboaters-are-back_b_25223.html&gt; [Accessed 18 September 2011].

Miller, L., 2004. Powers Behind The Throne, PR Watch: Public Interest Reporting on the PR/ Public Affairs Industry, [e-journal] 11(4) Available at: <http://www.prwatch.org/files/pdfs/prwatch/prw11_4.pdf> [Accessed 18 September 2011].

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.



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