1. How do the historical foundations of public relations apply to current day news? Please share some examples.
As a nation, as humans, we based on history is unwilling to go out and find our facts, read for understanding and for our own opinions. Public Relations was born from this idea and is geared satisfying the needs of the persons who read it. As was discussed in “The Image Man” companies want to control what people think of them and as Poison Ivy did, he placed a spin of the Train Crash situation so that the company who owned the train would not be blamed for the deaths. It is manmade and things are likely to happen. This is not the fault of the company but those who decided to take on the task knowing the danger.
The same thing is happening today. Controlling the opinion of the masses through the release of timely information. People are constantly on the go, they are working to make ends meet. Children are going to school and are given assignments, projects that need information. Where will we get this information? We will get it from the news, printed press, blogs, RSS Feeds. How was this information prepared? This came from someone, somewhere who saw the need for such information, and created this information so that bloggers can get it to analyse and post their own opinion on it. If it was not for PR, people would not have access to structured information, information that was researched and sent out to a public need.
Take for example when Congress men, politicians are going on interviews, they have to be equipped with the most current and accurate information to answer any questions thrown at them. How would they get access to this information? Someone would have to research, correlate and educate him or her on the matters. If it was not for the discipline of PR, people would have to find their own information, form their own opinion re a situation and would have several images of organization, people, country that is not necessarily true. PR shows the public what the company is (what they want you to believe) and help you to appreciate them.
2. How might the role of public relations fit within a larger marketing campaign?
Marketing and PR goes hand in hand, more PR than marketing. Marketing is basically selling you an idea about the product in question and all the benefit it has to offer but PR aids in making the company known so that more customer will be willing to but the good. Customers tend to remember companies that they see receiving awards, being recognized for outstanding performance, seeing their managers out and about mixing with the masses. Public Relations assist a company with making them known.
PR works constantly with news, media houses and other firms that communication information with a target audience to get details of company X out to the people. Customers as was previously stated would rather hear from a company that is known versus something new. With respect to Marketing, after PR has made a company known, the customers will remember the name and will be more than willing to listening to the marketing team pitch an idea or product to them. After marketing has reached the target audience, it is up to PR to still communicate advancements in products, thanks to for support, and general information following this promotion. Marketing will not be successful without the hands of PR stirring the pot. For example, Flow Communication in Jamaica is constantly introducing cellular services, through advertisements, promotions on the street, etc. Customers are not flocking to buy these new deals because this company that bought Flow (bought by LIME) is known for high prices and poor services. In an attempt to re position themselves in the market place, they bought Flow and is using the name instead of their old name. This move was supposed to leave the LIME reputation and replace it with the wonderful services people experience from flow. Instead, the mass is now wondering if they are going to be getting the high prices, bad services that the previous is known for. They have failed to maximize on PR to show the public that they are aware of their past and to outline what they plan to do to remedy the situation in the new capacity. So far, the service has not changed, but customers are wary of the future.
3. How do you think developments in social media are impacting the field of public relations?
Social media is the new medium for news, views and reviews. Many persons say that social media has impacted the traditional PR that we have come to know and trust but from my view point, this is not so. In the past, companies invest in ad on TV, in the newspapers for their information to be known. Social media has open up a whole new level of public awareness for these companies. If you check the TV viewing stats, newspapers sold, people are still looking to the conventional for their information. What comes on social media can be placed there by anybody with access to it, while a TV ad or newspaper article has to be paid for. They know that only persons who mean real business advertise using the conventional means. In my opinion, Social media has nothing on PR but gives it the avenue to showcase what a company has to offer to target audience who use this medium. Companies can now using PR target audiences from all walks of life.
I hope you understand, please provide your feedback. Thanks much