Monthly Archives: September 2011

Public Relations and Journalism

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The relationship between public relations and journalism is very closely related, but has several distinctive differences.  The first thing that comes to mind is the need for effective writing ability that is essential with both PR and journalism. “They interview people, gather and synthesize large amounts of information, write in a journalistic style, and are trained to produce good copy on deadline”(Wilcox,Cameron, Reber, Shin, 2011,p.12).

As stated in this article http://www.prconversations.com/index.php/2007/06/anne-gregory-on-relationships-between-public-relations-and-journalism/” It does seem that we are doomed to have an endless debate about the relationship between journalists and PR professionals. The fact is that we have a mutually dependent relationship. The press cannot do its job without PR and PR needs the press”. Both have very different roles being that journalist simply provide information to inform the public whereas PR specialists take this a step further by providing information but attempt to change the overall outlook for the public in its best interest. Also journalist target the masses, but PR professionals often target specific groups. Therefore journalist can be seen as looking at things as a whole and public relations specialist are going to analyze every detail in order to make sure the image of the organization is kept in tact.

With the changes in technology with online newspapers, the iPad, kindle, and easy access to the news through television how will these changes affect the relationship between Public Relations and Journalism. At first glance I would think these changes in news would greatly affect journalism possibly causing the field to diminish in the future. After reading this article I am shocked it states,”All generally accepted truths notwithstanding, more than 96 percent of newspaper reading is still done in the print editions, and the online share of the newspaper audience attention is only a bit more than 3 percent.” http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/04/print-is-still-king-only-3-percent-of-newspaper-reading-actually-happens-online/ This is quite surprising but this shows that many Americans still want a hard copy of a newspaper and are not giving into todays technology.

Therefore, I dont believe the relationship will change much but will grow with technology. Even if print journalism decreases there will still be journalist to gather information and PR professionals needed to interpret and use that information for their companies and publics.

 

 

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Myths and Preconceptions of Public Relations

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There are several myths and preconceptions when it comes to the field of Public Relations mainly due to lack of knowledge. As a Public Relations major myself I fell prey to many of these myths, and still learning more daily. When people would ask me what PR was I would say. “Its just like marketing just more writing and focuses on keeping a company’s image in tact.”  A lot of people have this misconception that marketing, journalism, and public relations are all the saw they work together but have very different roles. As stated in the text Think Public Relations, “Public Relations is concerned with building relationships and generating goodwill for the organization;marketing is concerned with customers and selling products and services”. (Wilcox,Cameron, Reber, Shin, 2011, p.15)  Also many believe that PR is the same as advertising. Advertising uses more mass media  as a mode of communication whereas PR uses various forms of communication from flyers to events.

Also because the field requires many skills that most individuals possess such as: good listeners, communicators, problem solvers, business literacy, good writers, organization and more many feel that anyone can get into this field. According to this website  http://www.geibelpr.com/prmyths.htm PR has two important skills selling and communicating especially persuasive communicating. The author states to conduct a skill inventory and see if they can truly be successful in PR.  This makes a lot of sense because there is a common misconception that all one needs is the ability to talk their way out of situations and make someone look good even though this is partly important as well but only a piece of the whole PR pie.

Lastly, there is this belief that once you get “good” publicity in PR a company or person is set for life in actuality this is not true. As stated in this website http://marketing.about.com/od/pr-myths/a/pr-myth-once-you-break-through-with-publicity.htm they compared this publicity as a one hit wonder in music.  As quickly as the song made it to the top it can skyrocket to the bottom. Instead of thinking that once you get great publicity one is set the site advises steady progress will promote steady success. These are just a few myths that I as a student believed and those of many others when the truth is the field of PR is so complex and vast, and continually growing and transforming.