CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 5: Going Global: Public Relations and its Environment

“A Theoretical Framework for Global Public Relations Research and Practice”

1. What do the authors mean by “environmental variables”? (p. 1)

Answer: In the first parts of the first chapter, the author is referring to “environmental variables” as the different demographics of a country that have a direct influence on the practice and profession of public relations in that particular country.  Some of these environmental variables include the type of government, economics, language, culture, education system, and the history of the country, just to name a few of these variables.  The authors see a environmental variables as part of the equation to what the public relations profession looks like in that particular country to the rest of the world.


2. How does the political system influence how pr is practiced?

Answer: According to Sriramesh and Vercic, the political system has a great influence on how public relations is practiced because it has an impact on the social structure of a nation. The real link that Sriramesh and Vercic point out is the link public relations has to the strength of public opinion in a country.  For example, if a country has strong government control on what the people can voice their opinion about, such as North Korea, then public relations can be considered more of a propagandistic approach.  Yet, in countries claiming to be practicing a democracy, the profession is said to be at least stable or very prominent because more freedom exists to the public in public opinion. 


3. What does level of economic development have to do with PR?

Answer: The level of economic development is also linked with the political system and also has a strong hold on how public relations is as a profession in that country.  The economy is usually driven by the decisions of the government or the government is controlled by the conditions of economy according to Sriramesh and Vercic.  For example, a poor economy in a country can lead to an governments that have political parties that cannot create a strong foundation.  Countries with weak economies should not make ideal conditions for the existence of true public relations.  Stability between the economy and government is the only option that can lead to successful public relations.


4. What two types of culture are indicated here?

Answer: The two types of culture mentioned in the first chapter are societal and corporate culture.  Societal culture refers to the idea that family values, beliefs and morals are taken into the workplace and help to shape corporate culture in certain countries.  For example, in the Middle Eastern countries, a lot of religious elements are taken in from society because a majority of the people in the workforce practice Islam and must pray during the day.  Societal culture has a real impact on everyday interaction amongst people, and can really link with the political system of a country in terms of its influence on public relations. Some of the dimensions of societal culture include collectivism, which describes the values members of society; the power distance, which puts people into certain classes; masculinity-femininity is in reference to gender roles in society; uncertainty avoidance talks about the culture’s tolerance and cope with ambiguity; collectivism refers to the value of the individual over collectivity in a society; and long-term orientation talks of collectivity valuing tradition and long-term commitments. Corporate culture is influenced by the societal culture in several ways, but corporate cultures show how corporations bring their own individual culture to the table.  Corporate culture talks about how people get along within the organization, outside of societal cultural differences because Sriramesh and Vercic believe the corporate culture can stand alone as its own culture.


5. What seems to be the idea of media reach and media access?

Answer: The idea of media reach refers to the way organizations utilize mass media to get their message and/or information out to the publics without having expenses.  This tactic of media reach in the United States and Europe is completely different from developing countries.  Developing countries only reach a certain, and small group of people who are not illiterate or stuck in poverty.  For example, in some African countries, a message sent out to the public might not be worth it from the organization because most of the people are not in the media reach.  If organizations cannot use the traditional media reach, they find new ways through alternate media; for example, in the article the use of Indian folk media and it use of dances, skits and other performances to spread information is very common and useful.  The idea of media access refers to how people come to approach these different media to take in messages from organizations. Other ideas include the access organizations have to the mass media, especially if it is controlled by the government. Media access really talks about the organizations having the permission to utilize these different media to spread messages. 

6. Speculation: how might these two concepts extend to social media? (that is, this essay was written before the advent of social media, but what do you think they would say about it?)

Answer: These two concepts can really be seen with the emergence of social media in the later part of the first decade of the 21st century.  Media reach through social media has been blossoming in countries such as the United States and the European continent.  In developing countries, social media reach has come across faster because of the availability of technology that houses social media, especially on smart phones.  Media access is also another avenue that can be seen with social media; organizations may not be able to utilize social media to spread mass messages because it could be cause for a potential rising of some sort if the message passed through social media.  Governments that are set in a collectivist society might have more control over social media platforms and messages that pass through these platforms in fear of individual uprising from individuals of society. Social media can really be seen as being affected by media reach and access because of its late coming of becoming a major media platform. 


Mycampus link: “Is there such a thing as European public relations”?

7. Can we say that PR is practiced one way throughout all of Europe? Why or why not?

Answer: According to van Kalkeren, there is not one way of public relations that is practiced throughout all of Europe.  The first thing van Kalkeren points out is the number of different countries, different official languages, and different cultures that make up the European continent.  Because of its development in the early years, several different views of public relations have developed throughout the continent, taking customs and doing away with the name “public relations.” In referring back to the public relations handbook, public relations is influenced be several different “environmental variables” and Europe has several different variables in each of these countries, creating a unique version of public relations that is unique to that certain country. 


8. Was there any sort of common heritage in the way PR developed in Europe?

Answer: According to van Kalkeren, the common heritage that existed between the countries of Europe in their development of public relations dates back to wartime.  Wartime in the global public relations handbook referred to World War II, when countries associated public relations and propaganda very closely together.  In order to help their country to come back from the devastation, some countries used public relations in the media to help during the wartime with the fight.  This was the start of public relations on the European continent. 


9. T/F: The term “public relations” is commonly used in European countries. Explain.

Answer: False.  Most countries refer back to the beginnings of public relations in their countries and associate the term with propaganda.  To do away with this association, most countries have found alternatives to the American term in order to help the European people trust in the profession.  For example, in the Global Public Relations Handbook and this article, the Netherlands refer to public relations through the general term of communication.  Countries such as Finland have three different names which translated are affiliation work, communication, and relationship activity. 


10. The countries that were formerly communist tend to practice PR in terms of which of Grunig’s four models.

Answer: The countries that were formerly under communist rule tend to practice public relations in a press release approach, which falls under Grunig’s public information model.  The reason for this practice could be influenced by the number of years these countries were under a communist government, which most likely used a lot of one-way communication models in passing along information to the publics.  These countries are still trying to establish working governments after the fall of the communist Soviet Union, so these countries are using this one way approach to make sure the public is informed. 




CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 4: The Relational Perspective on PR

Mycampus file: “Theory of Relationship Management”

1. What is the basic idea of the relationship management perspective

Answer: The basic idea of the relationship management perspective is the balance of the interests, values and morals of the organizations and the publics by managing the relationships of organizations and their publics.  According to Ledingham, sees public relations is the “management function” and has the responsibility of creating and maintaining the relationship between the organization and the publics.  Of course, the relationship is all dependent on the success of the public relations and its up keeping of the important relationships of the organizations and publics with each other. Each organization must have a successful and capable public relations strategy or department that keeps together the relationships of the organizations; if there is no public relations, there is no relationship that exists between an organization and its publics. 


2. Relationship management is “consistent” with which of Grunig’s four models? (p. 181)

Answer: According to Ledingham, relationship management is “consistent” with Grunig’s models of the two-way symmetrical model.  In focusing on the idea of being consistent with the two-way symmetrical model, the relationship management perspective must keep up a relationship between the organization and it’s publics in a way where both sides are being benefited.  The relationship management perspective implies that both sides must be happy and require equal happiness.  In a relationship, the organization must have the ability to resolve conflict or confusion with its publics to promote a relationship that can be mutual and beneficial for all publics of an organization.  If an organization cannot have successful relationship management that produces mutual understanding, than the organization can fall with the loss of support from its publics.  For example, in a college or university, if there is a misunderstanding about a major policy between the administration and the students, it could cause students to leave the institution.  If students and administration have the same understanding on a policy, than the chance of losing students because of a misunderstanding becomes very slim.


3. According to Broom and Dozier, does the relational perspective focus on communication? (p. 183)

Answer: According to Broom and Dozier, the relationship perspective focuses more on the idea of behavioral outcomes rather than communication.  In the end, organizations want to focus on the idea of having their relationships benefit the most in any given situation.  An organization can utilize different motives of communication to pass along information to their publics, but what good is the organization doing in keeping the relationship strong between their organization and stakeholders if all they are doing is utilizing ways of communication? The organization needs to make sure it is getting needed information to the publics and going one step further to gain feedback from the publics about this information.  The organization needs to see through if this information was beneficial or detrimental to their publics. Therefore, there should be more of a focus on the ending strength of a relationship between a public and organization. 


4. According to Ledingham and Bruning, what is meant by “relationship”? (184)

Answer: According to Ledingham and Bruning, the idea of relationship is based on the fact of two parties being impacted by one another’s actions.  These actions can be felt on a number of levels including cultural, political, economic and social levels of well-being.  The actions can be either positive or negative; either way, there is still some type of impact that has a result of some kind.  A relationship is not just based on one single action; it is a series of actions between to the two entities.  For example, a panel of club officers cannot just give an agenda to a group of club members; the officers must have a positive or negative reaction about the new information to prove that there is a relationship between the officers and members.  There is no point in having a club if there does not exist a two-way flow of information between members and officers in a club. This is just one example of how Ledingham and Bruning prove their idea of relationship in relation to action.


5. What are the 5 dimensions of relationships – can you explain these? (p. 185)

Answer: The five dimensions of relationships are openness, investment, trust, commitment and involvement.  Openness refers to the idea of an organization being able to give out vital pieces of information about plans for the organization in the future. Investment refers to the organization taking funds or time and putting it into supporting the “welfare” of the community. Trust refers to the fact that an organization must follow through with plans or strategies in an organization. Commitment is the organization staying with the community through thick and thin in helping to support the overall “welfare” of the entire community. Involvement refers to the concept of the organization being involved in a way that is beneficial to the community and helps with the “welfare” of the community.   These are the five dimensions as explained by Ledingham and Bruning.


6. True or False (according to Ledingham): (Axioms, p. 195)


a. the proper focus of the domain of public relations is relationships, not communication

Answer: True


b. communication alone can sustain relationships

Answer: False, Communication alone cannot sustain long-term relationships in the absence of supportive organizational behavior.

c. the meeting of expectations is critical to maintaining a relationship

Answer: True


Mycampus link: “Revisiting the continuum of types”

7. p. 2. In your own words, explain Hung’s view of OPRs

Answer: Hung states “OPRs arise when organizations and their strategic publics are interdependent and this interdependence results in consequences to each other that organizations need to manage constantly.” In other words, organizations have a lot of responsibility when it comes to maintaining relationships with publics.  Organizations have responsibility over the actions of their publics and over their own actions.   The publics must also look over the actions of the organization and their own actions, but do not have the same amount of responsibility as the organization.


8. In your own words, describe the six types of relationships.

Answer: The six types of relationships identified by Hung in this article are exploitive, manipulative, symbiotic, contractual, covenantal and mutual communal.  Exploitive relationships are the type of relationship where one party is looks only to benefit themselves in the relationship, where the counterpart looks to be communal with group.  Manipulative relationships are relationships where the organization knows the interests of the publics, puts on an appearance of caring for the public, but is only looking out for the organization’s interests. Symbiotic relationships are relationships organization and publics are forced to depend on each other rather than a relationship developing on its own.  Contractual relationships are relationships with organizations and publics that have agreed actions to produce relationships. Covenantal relationships are relationships that focus on a “common good” for both the organization and publics; one part gives while the other receives and gives back.  Mutual communal relationships are relationships where organizations and publics look out for one another in their actions; both are equally responsible for the other.


9. What is a “win win” relationship?

Answer: According to Hung, there are three different types of organization-public relationships where both parties benefit in some way.  These types of relationships have healthy sides, and there is no selfishness between the organization and publics.  Organizations and publics should aim for these types of relationships in hopes of reaching the goal of creating the perfect environment for the relationship.


10. What relationship type has the most concern for self interest

Answer: The relationship type that has the most concern for self interest ins the exploitive relationship, where the organization looks to be the only beneficiary of the relationship and does not look out for the publics’ interests and concerns.


11. What relationship type has the most concern for the other’s interest

Answer: The relationship type that has the most concern for the other’s interests over its own interests is the one-sided communal relationship.  Social services are great examples of one-sided communal relationships where the organization gives to a needed public, but does not expect anything in return from that particular public. 


12. p. 9. What kind of relationships don’t exist in China, according to the research

Answer: According to the research, the two types of relationships that do not exist in China are manipulative and exploitive relationships.  One of the reasons that Hung received from one of the participants stating that the publics are not fools, and if an organization does it once, the public will not give them support or trust them ever again.  Participants say they believed manipulative and exploitive existed in the past, but society has worked away from these types of relationships.


13. p. 11. What is the most common type of OPR in China?

Answer: The most common type of OPR in China is exchange relationships.  Most organizations feel they really benefit from the equal exchange of services and information and they feel that these types of relationships are win-win situations for their organizations and their publics.  One reason that the exchange relationship could be the most common type of OPR in China is the practice of a communist government.  The Chinese participants must be mutually beneficial with their publics, otherwise their business will cease to be successful. 

CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 3: “Image”

Turney, “Image and PR” (mycampus link)

1.     What is the idea of image?

Answer: According to this link, the idea of image is something that is created to be put out for the public, to put an impression of a person or organization into the minds of the public.  In the case of an image, it is usually the person or organization trying to put a positive spin on their face or on an organization to keep and to gain publics.  Images try to bring people and/or organizations down to the level of the public to create a personal copy of their image for that individual  Images are often created or “synthetic” according to this article.  The idea of an image is to create an image that leaves an impression on its publics.

2.     Why do people think image is bad?

Answer: People think “image” is bad because most people or organizations use only the positive pieces to create an image, but this image could be the complete opposite of the truth of a person or organization.  Some organizations and people go really far to construct and project an image that may be the total opposite of the true morals and beliefs of a company.  For example, any oil company that puts out an image that they contribute or support environmental causes is only for the benefit of their image.  They create something that might not be there at all, because an oil company is out to drill in any place possible to retrieve, sell, and make profit on oil.  When the world views a negative image, the look at public relations as the band aid on a broken arm; there is the assumption that public relations is only here to cover up and make a small attempt to bring a positive, but hide something super negative underneath.  For these reasons, people see the idea of “image” as something negative in society that people try to make better.

 3. How does Turney defend the idea of image?

Answer: Turney defends the idea of image with the fact that there is a “correlation that exists between the constructed image and the underlying reality that it’s presumed to represent.”  In other words, there is not really a “good” or “bad” image, just a reality that is constructed by an organization or person that has the judgment of the general public creating what seems to be a “good” or “bad” image.  Turney really describes an image being created by a response from the public; the general public can take this as good or bad and usually the majority wins in creating an image for some idea.  Therefore, Turney defends the idea of image and puts the “blame” on the public’s response.


Gilpin “Organizational Image Construction” (pp. 265-8)

4. What is the idea of “reputation”?

Answer: The idea of “reputation” is something that is similar to an image, but it is a view that is created from both the organization/person and its publics.  Many people use the term reputation to describe a person, and like the term “image,” “reputation” also has a first negative connotation when being used in society.  The negativity of the word reputation is used about the same as the positivity for reputation.  Several of the definitions in this particular article use the terms stakeholders and organization.  Reputation is used not only to describe this organization, but it must be associated with the stakeholders, as they are a component in the structure of an organization.  For example, an adult might not be attending a local high school, but they are considered a stakeholder to that organization through property taxes.  Schools are one example of how there is a reputation; you here it all of the time with locations of high schools in Cedar Rapids, especially with Cedar Rapids Washington.  In conclusion, the idea of reputation comes from parts inside and outside an organization.

5. What is the difference between intended image and construed image

Answer: The difference between intended image and construed image has to deal with the relationship between the stakeholder and organization.  An intended image deals with an organization creating and identity and tries to give a projection of this identity out to its stakeholders.  The idea of construed image talks about the concern internal members of an organization have over the “external” stakeholders of an organization.  The real difference is one tries to project its own identity without research of the stakeholders feelings, while the construed image takes into consideration its external stakeholders opinions, responses or feelings about its organization. 

 6. What is “image construction”?

Answer: Image construction is “the self-presentation processes used to build and maintain a particular set of perceptions among stakeholders regarding the organization’s identity.” In other words, image construction deals with several strategies that an organization takes to create a strong image to its stakeholders, with several more strategies in order to keep up that strong identity.  An organization has a wall and it needs to support that wall with different strategies and tactics to keep its stakeholders “staked” into the organization.  Image construction examples include created feature pieces for the media to grab to present to the public. 

7. From what you can tell, what does she seem to think is the relationship between image and reputation?

Answer: The relationship between image and reputation is based on the social context.  An image and reputation both rely on reactions and responses from the external stakeholders of an organization.  Image and reputation are in the hands of society and how an organization is seen in society.  These are the foundations for an organization’s image and reputation.  The image and reputation are very strongly linked to one another.  Media is also another link to image and reputation and the media portrays the organization in either a good or bad way; putting out an image for stakeholders, with stakeholders returning the favor of building them a reputation. 


Image Repair Theory: an overview (mycampus link)

8. Explain the basic concept of image repair theory

Answer: The basic concept of image repair theory consists of two parts: “1. The accused is held responsible for an action,” and “2.  The act is considered offensive.” With an organization in mind, the organization must take the blame for a wrong doing that has affected society; this act must be offensive to society, or go against the norms of society.  One example of something current in American society is the image repair of Lance Armstrong.  In his interview with Oprah, Armstrong took full responsibility for his actions in using illegal performance-enhancing substances to win seven Tour de France titles and other competitions.  The reason it was offensive to society is because society sees cheating as a negative norm; it is something that conflicts with the values of several cultures.  Second, Lance Armstrong had important ties to such organizations as Nike and his Livestrong campaigns with the yellow wrist bands.  Several members in the public did not look at those wrist bands the same after his confession; yet, Armstrong came out and confessed which shows how his situation falls into that of the basic concept of image repair theory.

9. Summarize, in your own words, the five basic strategies that (according to Benoit), organizations use to restore their image; be able to indicate the different versions of these strategies

Answer: The five different strategies, used by Benoit,that organizations use to restore their image are denial, evasion of responsibility, reduce offensiveness, corrective action and mortification.  Denial refers to the idea that an organization tries to stay away or avoid the negative situation completely in order to repair its image to society.  An organization usually comes out just to put blame on someone else.  Evasion of responsibility refers to the concept of letting an excuse or lack of supportive information take the blame for a mishap by an organization.  The reduction of offensiveness states that an organization takes actions to lessen the harshness of an wrongful action to make it appear not as bad to its publics.  The concept of corrective action talks about an organization stepping in to correct the situation by trying to completely reverse the wrong doing by a company.  Mortification is in reference to an organization going to the public an asking to be forgiven by all publics. Mortification makes the company appear to be a beggar and weak to its publics. 


CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 2

  1. Describe the four models

Answer: The first of the four models of public relations is the Press agentry/publicity model.  In this model, public relations takes a propagandistic perspective in trying to get attention from the media and media outlets.  Organizations use this model in trying to get free promotion through news releases and story ideas for newspapers, radio and television stations.  The second model is the public information model, which refers to the idea of writers and practitioners within the organization supplying the public with accurate and positive information about the company.  According to Grunig, these first two models are consider “one-way models” where practitioners give information to the public, but do not collect research from the publics.  The third model is the two-way asymmetrical model in public relations describes the idea of creating a message that brings the support of the publics of the organization without the change of the organization to fit for the publics.  This model looks to benefit the organization with support from the public.  The fourth model is the two-way symmetrical model that someone who is neutral and helps to bring a message that positively supports the publics and organizations all together. 

  1. The issue of popularity of the 4 models:
    1. Which is most popular?

Answer: According to Grunig, the most popular model used is the press-agentry model.  A personal theory is that most practioners and organizations use the press to bring a spotlight to their public relations work. 

    1. Which is most popular in corporations

Answer: The most popular in corporations is the two-way asymmetrical model, which tries to bring a message that benefits the public without change in behavior to the company.  In other words, corporations are usually set in their ways and use public relations to spread a message that brings more interest to the corporation from different publics.

    1. Which is most popular in governmental agencies?

Answer: The most popular in governmental agencies is the public-information model.  The reason behind this is that most governmental agencies offer some kind of service to the public; there is no specific audience in mind for these agencies because it effects the entire public in some way. 

  1. describe the 2 worldviews:
    1. What are the presuppositions of the asymmetrical worldview

Answer: The presuppositions of the asymmetrical worldview include internal orientation, closed system, efficiency, elitism, conservatism, tradition and central authority.  Internal orientation describes the perspective the internal persons of the organization has about the organization looking from the outside in, and how their view is different from other publics.  Closed system refers to the idea of information flow that goes from the organization to the publics, but does not have information flowing into the organization.  Efficiency is in regards to costs of operations of the flow of information are more important than innovative ways.  Elitism describes the leaders of the organizations, especially knowing what is best for the organization; what they say typically goes. Conservatism refers to the organization and how it stays in its own ways; it does not welcome change.  Tradition consists of the practices of the organization in keeping stability.  Central authority refers to the power of the company existing in the top advisors of the organization.  These are the presupposition of the asymmetrical worldview.


    1. What are the presuppositions of the symmetrical worldview?

Answer: The presuppositions of the symmetrical worldview include communication leading to understanding, which addresses the idea of using have common balance of understanding between organizations, publics, and/or cultures; Holism, which talks about the importance of parts working as a whole, and the whole is greater than the sum of parts; interdependence, which refers to the systems and the environment a system exists in, with the system being separate and a part of the environment at the same time; open system, which refers to “interpenetrating systems” and free exchange between these systems; moving equilibrium, which speaks of balance between systems; equality, which refers to the respect for one another in regards to an organization and public; autonomy, which allows for innovation and creativity in helping to bring satisfaction to human beings;  innovation, which allows for new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking; decentralization of management, which refers to the idea of having no central authority but instead having a group of people work and collaborate equally to help the organization; responsibility, which refers to people having control over their behaviors and actions, along with consequences for actions from behaviors; conflict resolution, which refers to the idea of negotiation, compromise, and communication of conflict within the organizations; and interest group liberalism, which refers to the idea of “championing interests of ordinary people against unresponsive government and corporate structures.”


    1. which of the 4 models fit into each?

Answer: Three of the four models fit into the asymmetrical worldview, where there is not a balance of information between the organization and the publics of the organizations. Public agentry/publicity, public information, and the general asymmetrical worldview fit into each other as one group where balance does not exist.  Two-way symmetrical public relations is on its own in a category, as there is equal balance between the organization and the publics of the organization. 

    1. Which is the dominant worldview?

Answer: The dominant worldview in public relations has to be the asymmetrical world view, as it encompasses three of the four models in the system.  Public information is the most practiced model in the world, which gives a lot more edge to the asymmetrical worldview.  The difficult thing about the dominant worldview is that it is hard to measure, but a majority of organizations fall into this worldview. 

  1. What worldview does Grunig advocate? Why?

Grunig advocates the worldview of the two-way symmetrical model is it can be the most universal model that “is a more moral and ethical approach to public relations.” Grunig cites that this model is more effective in practice, especially if it is used.  In conflicts, organizations have only taken the two-way asymmetrical approach in trying to resolve conflict, which in turn only benefit one side of the conflict.  If an organization applied the two-way symmetrical model it could be successful because there would be more universal values worked into the model.  The model works better amongst a larger group of human beings, but most organizations do not see this; this is why Grunig advocates this model. 

CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 1

“Why I don’t care about defining PR”

  1. What was the basic process the PRSA used to come up with their definition of PR?

Answer: The basic process the PRSA used to come up with their definition of public relations was through crowd-sourcing.  In this crowd-sourcing, PRSA reported receiving “more than 900 submissions, 70 comments and over 16,000 page views” in seeking and presenting a new definition for public relations.  After the crowd-sourcing, a subjective reflection was taken from a Definition of Public Relations Task Force, which was followed by a public vote creating the top three definitions.  This basic process has been done before, but this time around there existed over 900 definitions versus the 472 definitions collected by Rex Harlow just around 40 years ago. 

 2.  Why does the author not care about defining PR?

Answer: The author of this blog gives four reasons as to why they do not care about defining public relations.  The first reason the author states is “the job is never done” in finding a definition for public relations.  In this statement, the field of public relations is constantly changing, which creates even more reasons to keep changing the definition of public relations to try and cover all aspects of PR.  The second reason given by the author is “the lack of clarity about what is meant by a definition of public relations.” This is another fact about how a definition limits all of the possibilities that take place in the field of public relations.  There cannot be one pharse that encompasses every part of the career.  The third reason the author presents is “PR’s reputational problem.”  In other words, the history of public relations has given it other negative areas of public acknowledgment, and must always try and distinguish itself to put it into a positive perspective for the public.  The final reason the author gives is “PR is being defined largely by PR people.”  Public relations deals with publics who are outside of the field; how do they view public relations? This could help public relations people with trying to come up with a “universal” definition if the public could give some feedback for a definition, or how they see the profession of public relations.

“The Big Question: What is public relations”

3.  First, return to homepage of “PR conversations:” what is this website all about?

Answer: The website PR conversations” is a gathering sight for those who are working out in the field of public relations, students and academia people researching and discussing the methods and ways of public relations.  The website also serves the purpose of allowing people just outside the spotlight of public relations to give their opinion, show their work and give some publicity they normally do not receive, as they are not self-publicists in themselves.  PR conversations is a website that serves as a place for online informed discussion about several ideas, opinions, and other information in modern public relations. One of these topics could also be the definition of public relations. These are just a few of many tools the website provides to any persons interested in public relations.

4.  p. 2: according to Falconi, what has been the traditional 20th century model of PR? What sort of model would he like to replace it?

Answer: The traditional 20th century model of public relations has been centered around the United States centered public relations model that follows the idea of rhetoric, persuasive, marketing oriented and asymmetric communication.  Public relations seemed to develop in the United States and this foundation was imported by all western countries in Europe and other developing countries.  Falconi says that the spread of the U.S. centered PR model has caused “collateral damage and undesirable effects we must recognize.”  Falconi suggests that a new global public relations model needs to be created with more generic principles and more-detailed applications based on major economic, cultural, and political elements.  In other words, the U.S. centered model has a lot of customs and values of an American culture, which makes it difficult to apply to countries such as Japan, Brazil, and South Africa, where cultures have different norms and rules.  There needs to be a more generic model that is able to encompass all different types of cultures and societies.

5.  p. 24: According to Yaxley, how does the fable of the blind men and the elephant relate to the issue of defining “public relations”?

Answer: In the fable of the five blind men and the elephant and its relation to public relations, the idea of the different descriptions given about the elephant show how there are several unique definitions and models of public relations and how they must co-exist in one point in time.  This describes the current situation of public relations and its definition as there are numerous definitions that are personal and unique to different cultures, societies, situations and organizations that exist with one another.  Nobody in the fable, or with their definition of public relations is wrong with the descriptions, but the problem lies in trying to bring something personal and making it the foundation for everyone else who has their own personal description.  The main idea is the idea of conflict among public relations persons and having their own definitions and trying to push others to use their own.  There will always be numerous descriptions and definitions to any object and in any profession, especially public relations.

6.  p. 26: Explain Steyn’s idea of “paradigm”

Answer: According to Steyn, paradigms are “scientific world-views– a set of shared basic beliefs about how researches view that which they study.”  In other words, paradigms have a central concept that is supported by research done by several researchers.  In the story of the five blind men and the elephant, Steyn tries to create a central concept about the elephant that takes support from each of the five blind men’s descriptions and creates a general view of the elephant that all can share.  The paradigm model tries to work the same way for public relations, especially in gathering a number of different definitions to create a central concept for a majority of public relations persons to follow.  This idea of paradigm is to have a central idea with several small and specific research points to surround the concept.

7.  p. 30: Explain Arrow’s contrasting blind men/elephant fable

Answer: In Arrow’s contrasting fable of the blind men and the elephant, the elephant took on a change to itself and went off on it’s own journey describing itself to others while the five blind men stayed put, and did not notice that elephant had changed and left them in debate.  The elephant did not have complete commonalities with other people along its journey, but it was better off than before in having some kind of foundation.  In other words, this contrasting fable describes what needs to be done to create a better definition for public relations, similar to Falconi’s argument in his comment.  Instead of debating about a new definition for public relations, the profession needs to set aside several different definitions, create one general standard definition and move on with other elements of the public relations profession. 

“50 shades of PR”

8.The author asserts: “Greater luminance will only result from embracing all shades of PR” What does the author mean by that?

Answer: In this authors post about the good and bad of public relations, the profession of public relations must embrace all sorts of public relations, from the dark side of public relations and it’s history with propaganda, to the positive practitioners that have management duties and a commercial mind.  This is similar to all professions in embracing the good and bad.  A profession cannot understand itself until it looks deep within.  In public relations, there was a rough beginning in its relation with propaganda in the early 20th century, but public relations can use this in a positive way to show how this has benefited public relations in the 21st century.  Without considering the entire history of public relations, a person in the profession cannot truly understand public relations.

CO 282: Research In Public Relations: Reading Questions 9

  1. 1.     Using any of the resources indicated below (or some other that you are familiar with) to define the following 6 statistical concepts
    1. correlation: According to the Dictionary of Public Relations and Research, correlation is “a statistical test that examines the relationships between variables (may be either categorical or continuous).” In other words, correlation almost tries to find a relationship or connection between different variables to compare in a positive or negative manner.
    2. reliability and validity:  According to the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, reliability refers to “a statistical measure accessing consistency of a measure.”  In other words, reliability looks at variables and tries to compute similar variables using the same methods of research.  Validity is “the extent to which a research project actually measures what it is intended, or purports to measure.”  Validity refers to the idea that a research project and its hypothesis are correctly measured with the right variable.
    3. dependent vs independent variables: Dependent variables are categories that are dependent on another variable, either dependent or independent, that a PR analyst can make a relationship or connection.  Independent variables can stand alone and do not have to be put with another variable, but are compared individually to other variables in a table.
    4. bivariate: According to the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, bivariate or brivariate analysis refers to “a statistical examination of the relationship between two variables.”  Bivariate takes a look at two variables at a time, rather than comparing a larger number of variables to each other.
    5. cross tabulation: According to the DPRMR, cross tabulation refers to the idea that compares two different visuals in one visual aid, such as a table.
    6. Pearson’s r: According to the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, Pearson’s r is “ a correlation statistic used with interval and ratio data.”  The coefficient is used to show and compare different variables in a table.


  1. 2.     Do you think any of these items will be relevant for examining the results of your surveys? Why or why not?

Answer: All of the terms have relevance to the results of the surveys, but only two terms stand out that will be the most relevant to the results of our surveys.  Bivariate will be a term because we will be comparing different categories of variables to find some kind of correlation, or relationship between the different pieces of information.  These two items are the most relevant to our survey results, especially with the comparison of most of the data found in individual questions of the results.

CO 282: Research in Public Relations: Reading Questions 8

1.  What’s the problem with how PR people typically consider statistical analysis?

Answer: In the PR world, people in the public relations profession are not very familiar with the idea of statistical analysis because a lot of statistical analysis ins thrown from the marketing aspect.  People in the public relations profession either do not know how to do statistical analysis, have not thought of using it, or completely avoid it as an idea to turn to in the world of public relations.  In order to turn the statistical analysis from a problem into a pleasure, the article gives some helpful tips, which include the use of data to achieve goals, understanding the data’s weaknesses and strength, taking control of your and making it work, an getting over the fear of data.


2.  What are “statistics”? What are they for?

Answer:  According to writing at Colorado State, statistics are a set of tools used to organize and analyze data. For example, statistics is used to transform a survey full of non-numbers into a visual that allows for the easy reading of data.  Several pieces of data can be compiled into a visual, easy to read image that displays data.  For example, in our survey projects, we will be using the survey results as a set of data and be putting it into a layout that we can present to the class that is helpful and understandable for others to comprehend in a smaller time period.  Statistics are used for two different purposes, to provide description and to provide prediction for certain variables.


3.  What does “prediction” mean?

Answer:  Prediction is the idea that from existing data, a general or probabilistic idea can be made about the future.  In the sub-idea of generalizability, the data that is used and has gone through the sorting of statistics can be applied to similar concepts.  For example, reasons why students are not involved at athletic events or involved in clubs or organizations could result in data that shows reasons of homework; this could apply to other questions asked in similar surveys on campus.  Prediction can also be probabilistic; this means that the data that is shown can show a pattern that will continue into the future, such as the U.S. Census and predicting the population projection in 2020.


4.  Sampling is a strategy connected to descriptive or inferential statistics?

Answer:  Sampling is a strategy connected to inferential statistics.  When talking about inferential statistics, a person is refereeing to the idea of the data descriptions giving a pattern that can possibly predict the future if the pattern continues.  Sampling takes a portion of the entire population, uses the portion to collect data.  After the data is collected, it can be used as a probabilistic idea for the rest of the population. Sampling is connected with inferential statistics because were “inferring” a similar pattern will happen in the future, or with a larger group of people.

5.  What are the three kinds of variables: explain.

Answer: There are three different types of variables that exist: nominal, ordinal, and interval variables.  Nominal variables are variables that put data into different types of categories.  Nominal variables name each of the categories and keep track of the different frequencies of occurrence.  Ordinal variables are variables that rank different pieces of data not by numbers, but by terms of degree. There is no numerical difference present between the different types of data points in ordinal variables.  Interval variables indicate the numerical value of data, as well as the numerical distance between each data point in a collection of data.


6.  Under “methods,” what are the three basic categories of methods? Explain.

Answer: The three basic categories of methods are analyzing individual variables, analyzing relationships among variables, and analyzing differences between groups.  Analyzing individual variables consist of looking at the central tendency of each variable and the different measures of variation in a particular variable.  Analyzing differences between groups is a second category that looks at the differences of “scores” between two or three groups at a time.  The third category is analyzing relationships among variables, which takes a look at the correlation or regression among several variables in a collection of data.




7.  What’s the difference between inferential and descriptive statistics?

Answer: The difference between inferential and descriptive statistics is how the data is presented and what questions it answers about the collection of data.  Descriptive statistics presents the data in a way that describes what or what is not being shown in the data.  Inferential statistics include the presentation of what or what is not in the data; the inferential statistics also goes beyond in trying to find a conclusion and answer questions that existed before the collection of data.  Inferential statistics cover more area than descriptive statistics, especially when accomplishing set goals.


8.  What is univariate analysis?

Answer:  Univariate analysis is the idea of examining one specific variable at a time with three different kinds of criteria.  These criteria include the distribution, the central tendency, and the dispersion of a variable.  The distribution refers to, “ the summary of the frequency of individual values or ranges of values for a variable.”  In other words, the distribution looks the amount of times of certain variables or a difference of value in a variable.  Central tendency refers to “an estimate of the ‘center’ of a distribution of values, which include the mean, median, and mode.”  The third is dispersion, which refers to the spread of the values around the central tendency.  All three of these criteria are used in univariate analysis.


9.  What are mean, median, and distribution standard deviation?

Answer: Mean is the most widely used term used to describe the central tendency of univariate analysis.  The mean is considered the average, which is computed by adding all values and dividing by the number of value points in the collected data.  The median is the data point found in the middle of the set of values when the values are listed from least to greatest.  The distribution standard deviation is the considered the “more accurate and detailed estimate of dispersion” because a value that is extreme can change slightly the mean, median, or other method of finding an average of a certain piece of data.