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1. It improves professional practice by codifying and enforcing ethical conduct, performance standards.
2. It improves the conduct of organizations by emphasizing the need for public approval.
3. It articulates all points of view in the public forum.
4. It replaces misinformation and discord with information and rapport.
5. It helps social systems adapt to changing needs and environments.
1. It gains advantages for and promotes special interests, sometimes at the cost of public well-being.
2. It clutters channels of communication with the debris of pseudo-events and phony phrases.
3. It sometimes corrodes our channels of communication with cynicism and credibility gaps.
Codes of Ethics
1. Professional associations including PRSA and IABC have developed extensive codes of ethics.
2. Codes of ethics usually are not enforceable and rely upon the practitioner’s integrity.
3. Ultimately, ethical decision making rests with individual practitioners.
1. Here, governments would grant professionals permission to practice public relations.
2. It would require that a compelling state interest be served by licensing.
3. It may compromise practitioners’ and organizations’ freedom of expression under the First Amendment.
In the absence of licensing, accreditation encourages professionalism and accountability.
APR: Accredited Public Relations
Issued by the Universal Accreditation Board
ABC—Accredited Business Communicator
Issued by the IABC
o Distribution of information; sending out the message o Examples – media placements (clippings, mentions, etc...)
o Something people do, and is based on how people relate to one
Communication is about people
o Relating to one another
o Influencing and being influenced
o Informing and being informed
o Teaching and being taught
o Entertaining and being entertained
Senders – message source has initial impact on reception of message; characteristics affect receivers’ initial receptivity to messages
Senders decode meaning into message
messages are found to be
more accepted when the sender is perceived to be
o Different people receiving the same message may interpret it differently,
o attribute different meanings to it, and
o react to it in different ways.
(interpersonal, face) the most direct, powerful and preferred method of communicating.
New technology has changed the way organizations communicate.
Medium (media, plural) - the venue through which the message travels
o Examples of interpersonal: grassroots lobbying, word-of-mouth
o Examples of mass media: TV Superbowl ad, press conference during
o Examples of hybrids: Twitter, Facebook
Generally-supported rules: o Mass media is great at getting attention and raising awareness o Interpersonal communication is better at actually changing behav
ACTIVE participants in the process because of FEEDBACK LOOP
Thus, the need for TWO-WAY communication in PR
Receivers decode meaning from the message
o Receivers are NOT all the same
o Receivers are NOT passive
o Just because you think a behavior, candidate, product, etc. isobvious doesn’t mean the receiver will
o There are REAL REASONS why receivers may not “see” your points
the situation, or link, within which communication occurs; verbal and nonverbal communication matters
1.Emotional arousal, composure & formality
2.Intimacy & similarity
3. Immediacy or liking
communication affects and is affected by the social setting (e.g., families, groups, organizations)
o Collectivities, or groups, are formed when individuals
alone can’t get work done
o Nature of the group dictates type/process of communication
o Size doesn’t always matter when social groups conflict
o Knowing social settings helps with venues of communication and indirect publics
Forming “pictures in our heads” about events, things, people and places we could not experience directly ourselves.
Cultivation theory (George Gerbner) – television viewing study; creating a shared culture; “mean world syndrome”
determines the prominence and penetration the issue has with the audience, or how well it resonates with each public.
describes the personal experience or connection someone has with an issue.
Media provides information to those who seek it and supplies information for interpersonal communication.
Increasing the information available for subsequent interpersonal communication and thus helping new ideas to spread through society.
Opinion leaders are key components in gaining acceptance of new ideas, practices.
Defining socially accepted expression and behavior by providing “feedback” on our social environments.
“Spiral of silence” theory, or “the silent majority”
Individuals who think their opinion conflicts with the opinions of most other people tend to remain silent on an issue.
On the other hand, individuals who think that many others share their view or that the number of people who agree is growing rapidly are more likely to express their views.
Public opinion is the social process of forming, expressing, and adjusting ideas that affect collective behavior in situations.
The force of public opinion has steadily gained strength around the world, especially with new technologies.
Organizations must deal with both real and perceived public opinion as they establish and maintain relationships within internal and external publics.
Public opinion is an ongoing changing process
Not individual – based on shared ideas, or “thinking together”
Not always logical (can be contradictory); based on perceptions of truth
Direction – Valence of feelings toward issue (i.e. pro vs. con, yes-no, agree-disagree)
Intensity – how strongly people feel about the issue
Stability – how long the opinion has been held
Informational Support – how much knowledge people hold about the topic/issue
Social Support – how much people think those in their social groupings share the same opinion
1. extent to which people see inequities as natural and unchangeable.
a. High-power distance
- an organization where managers and employees see themselves as different from each other.
- Employee communication- might emphasize the power and authority of the top manager giving the information.
b. Low-power distance
- An organization where managers and employees see each other as equals, despite their different positions within the organization
- Employee communication- manager emphasizes similarities btw themselves and employees in terms of goals, values or concerns.
1. extent to which people put their own individual needs ahead of the needs of the group.
a. Strong individualistic
i. Reward employees on their person achievements; competition among employees to gain individual recognition.
ii. Employee communication- emphasize the actions that employees can take as individuals in orger to accomplish something
b. Weak individualistic
i. Emphasize the needs and accomplishments of teams and employees and focus on the goals of the group instead of the goals of the individual.
ii. Employee communication- messages likely focus on how a particular program is a team responsibility
1. Extent to which people prefer organizational communication and structures that reduce their social anxiety.
a. High Uncertainty avoidance
i. Employees tend to prefer “clear requirements and instructions” to follow organizational rules, take fewer risks and demonstrate loyalty
b. Low uncertainty avoidance
i. People feel more tolerant of ambiguous situations, have lower resistance to change and show greater interest in taking risks.Employee communication- more likely to engage in two-way PR activities; do not fell threatened by input from their environment.
1. describes behaviors that are traditionally “masculine” such as aggressiveness and independence.
a. High Masculinity
i. Rewards competitiveness and initiative
ii. Employee communication- an employee program encouraging production might offer a competition btw individuals or depts..
b. Low masculinity
i. Rewards nurturing and cooperation; traditionally or stereotypically “feminine” characteristics
ii. Employee communication- the same employee program might point out how increasing the production rate enhances or nurtures employees’ sense of self-esteem.
- communication is structured and formalized (military)
- decision making is centralized at the highest level of the organization
- Individuals are accountable for an area of limited scope.
- Work is routine and divided (high division of labor)
- Employee input is not considered vital
- Input from publics is viewed as a threat to authority
- High employee turnover, lower levels of job satisfaction
- dialogue and input are encouraged
- team-work is valued; organization and employees share goals.
- Innovation is encouraged and rewarded
- Innovation ideas can come from any level of the organization
- Organizational depts. Are often integrated or multifunctional and emphasize open communication across different departments.
- Information is valued and input sought from internal publics
- Decision-making is decentralized; employees have a voice in management decision-making.
- Increased teamwork and higher value placed on employees at all levels.
1. Keeping employees informed of organization’s strategy and goals
2. Providing employees the information they need to perform their assignments well
3. Encouraging employees to maintain standards of quality, efficiency, service and social responsibility.
4. Recognizing employees’ achievements
5. Creating an opportunity for two-way communication to generate feedback, questions, or concerns
Internal relations as it relates to Regulatory and Business Contexts
1. every organization must comply with its country’s governing standards otherwise they can face severe fines and penalties from regulators.
a. Internal Relations provides communication support to ensure that environmental regulations and worker safety standards are maintained.
b. They make sure that the standards of each country are known and communicated internally
c. Ex: U.S dept of labor- posters in the workplace that list OSHA standards required by the government.
1. Interactions with hourly employees, some of whom belong to labor unions.
a. Internal relations facilitates and help maintain relationships with unionized workers and their unions.
b. Internal relations communicates about matters of dissension and tries to find ways to resolve labor-management relationship problems.
1. internal communication specialists take on important strategic responsibilities.
a. Plays a role in helping employees cope with uncertainty and adjust to change.
b. Role of internal relations is to guide the merger or acquisition communication with internal publics in a forthright and expedient manner, dealing with all questions and uncertainties honestly
EX: Johnson and Johnson, Enron
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