Public Relations Theory
The Fine Art of Persuasion
Public Relations Theory / What Is Public Relations?
Wikipedia defines public relations as the management of information between an organization and its publics. Public relations or PR as it is often referred to, is a set of methods which can gain publicity and attention for an individual or an organization to limited or widespread audiences. These methods usually make use of topics that are generally do not require direct payment. These are usually topics that are of public interest and news items.
The exposure that public relations provides is channeled through third party sources which have acceptable and solid credibility so that the information disseminated will acquire legitimacy associated with the credibility of the third party source. This credibility which is deficient with advertising and is what adds to the functions of public relations.
The benefit that an organization acquires from exposure to their audiences is essential to any business that needs a positive image. Public relations can be used to establish and develop relationships with various demographics. Politicians use public relations to present their platforms to their constituency. Customers and potential customers are also objects of PR campaigns.
Public Relations Theory / What Is The Theory Behind Public Relations?
Although there is still no unified theory of public relations there are several models which can come close to a description of a real world scenario. One of these is the model proposed by Carl H. Botan and Vincent Hazleton in their book called Public Relations Theory 2.
Botan proposes that there are two main branches of public relations. These are the theoretical branch and the applied branch. Each of these branches approaches public relations from a different angle of perspective. The theoretical branch first approaches public relations according to its significance to society as a whole only after which does it then address its role of supporting business.
Questions regarding how and what the contributions of public relations to society are significant and relevant to the theoretical branch. The applied branch represents public relations from the traditional perspective. This business oriented view addresses its role in an organization-publics function.
Public Relations Theory / The Syeps Behind the Theory
The central difficulty in public relations is the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program and which model or theory to use in the evaluation. In the most common model which is the process paradigm the assessment is made by examining the method as a set of routine steps or procedures which is in a continuous cycle.
These steps are generally recognized to be problem identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. If these steps are undertaken correctly then the public relations campaign is deemed to be successful.
Public Relations Theory / Public Relations Today
At present public relations is a fundamentally a management function that addresses the symmetrical or two way communication and the encouragement of mutually advantageous relationship between an organization and its publics.
This also means that that management must promote an organization’s ability to listen and respond to those individuals whose symbiotic relationship with the organization is essential to the fulfillment if the organization’s goals. Mission, and values.
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