Public Relations Practice & Strategies to Proactively Manage Activity.

Hello again ☺
As there were two readings for this week I have decided to break my blog post into two sections.
The first being Public Relations Practice by Gae Synnott:
Having previously researched this topic area for my group’s debate, I found the reading to be a good representation of the role of public relations practice and extremely helpful in informing aspiring practitioners. However it did send me into a bit of a frenzy, with the opening statement identifying that “the contemporary public relations practitioner is a multi-skilled person with a values-based approach to the job” (Synnott, 2009, p. 158).
The reading sided with the affirmative argument of the debate, identifying that the role of public relations is indeed to achieve the strategic objectives of an organisation. I felt somewhat relieved to come to this conclusion, having found it extremely difficult to oppose this statement for the negative debate team.
A PR practitioner seeks to achieve “mutually beneficial results” (Synnott, 2009, p.159) for an organisation and its publics. It is an active profession, with a strong emphasis on communication, and ethical and social responsibility (Synnott, 2009)
The reading continually stresses the diversity of public relations, noting the variety of skills needed to be a successful practitioner and identifying the range of issues, roles and organisations one might encounter whilst in the public relations sector (Synnott, 2009). The role of PR is continually changing and evolving, with the rise in technology, especially that of social media heavily altering the face of public relations.
The chapter identifies the different types of public relations:
–    The not-for-profit sector
–    The corporate sector
–    The public sector
–    The consultancy
Although each different sector of PR has distinct characteristics, they all share similar commonalities. With ethics, communications, reputation management, values and establishing mutually beneficial relationships with publics being constant across the board.
Strategies to Proactively Manage Activity by Melanie James:
This chapter reflects on the three key concepts associated with public relations→ contested space, intentional representation and intended meaning (James, 2009).
Intentional representation→ refers to the image an organisation outwardly extends to its publics. It is the perception and narrative shaped by public relations practitioners, expressed to society (James, 2009).
Contested space→ is “where meaning is constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed” (Berger, 1999, p.186, cited in James, 2009).
Intended meaning→ is when the publics of an organisation or the intended audience receive and interpret organisational messages (James, 2009).
Implementing and achieving these outcomes is the desired goal of a practitioner, with tactics and strategies playing a crucial role. Strategy is “central to the role and function of public relations” (James, 2009, p.251).  It is achieved through planning, research, analysis, implementation and evaluation (James, 2009). Strategy relies heavily on effective decision-making, setting achievable goals and objectives and disseminating/conveying meaning to the targeted audience/publics in order to be successful.
A dominant theme in both readings is the strategic role of public relations and the valuable contribution practitioners can make to the success of an organisation. Reflecting back on the concepts we associated with PR in the very first lecture, I am starting to realise that public relations as a profession is much more complicated then I initially thought.. Funnily enough I don’t think it’s going to be as glamorous and exciting as I expected.
–    James, M., 2009. Strategies to Proactively Manage Activity. In J., Chia, & G., Synnott, 2009. An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. Australia: Oxford University Press.
–    Synnot, G., 2009. Public Relations Practice. In J., Chia, & G., Synnott, 2009. An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. Australia: Oxford University Press.

Media’s heavy presence


Hamish McLean and Richard Phillips

Ok so thirteen days and seven assessment tasks later, I am excited to announce that I have come out of my ‘assessment task overload’ state alive. Sadly in all the hustle and bustle my blog was sacrificed. However, I am excited to announce that not only can I once again see the grey carpet of my bedroom floor but also that this is my long-awaited wk 6 blog entry!

Chapter 11 of An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice (Chia and Synnott, 2009) written by Hamish McLean and Richard Philips, was an insightful and interesting analysis that highlighted the importance and influence of the media. The reading outlined the effect the media has on public relations and also identified the different mediums of media that act as communication networks and strategic tools for PR practitioners.

I particularly found the theories of communication interesting, with the agenda-setting, framing and sociological and social reality theories (McLean & Phillips, 2009), exposing the underlying reality and seemingly scary truths of the media. The media is a constant presence in everyday life. It pervades   our sight, hearing and apparently, according to the agenda-setting theory, our thoughts and our actions as a whole (McLean & Phillips, 2009).  This scary notion leads to the important role the media plays and also influence it prevails in public relations.

The ‘gatekeepers’ of the media (McLean & Phillips, 2009) decide what makes the news and what doesn’t. They determine how a story is framed and also the amount of coverage it receives, therefore it is extremely important for PR practitioners to build a positive and cohesive relationship with journalists.

The underlying truth and dominant theme in the reading is that the relationship between public relations practitioners and the media is one of extreme importance. It relies on cohesion and trust, and also works in a back-and-fourth motion. As much as public relations practitioners rely on the media, the media also heavily relies on practitioners as a source and circulator of news (McLean & Phillips, 2009).

The reading was both informative and insightful. It helped me to identify not only the heavy presence the media has on my personal life, but also in the world of public relations. It is scary to think that the success or failure of an organisation can be determined by a dodgy story, at the click of a button. Or that the loss of a job can be held in the fate of a journalist.


–          McLean, H & Phillips, R. (2009). Engaging with the Media. In J. Chia & G. Synnott (eds), An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.