JOUR 201, Chapter 3 Notes
JOUR 201, Chapter 3 Notes JOUR 201
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by runnergal on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to JOUR 201 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Brooke McKeever in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Principles of Public Relations in Journalism at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 09/06/16
Chapter 3: A Theoretical Basis for Public Relations Theory Defined o Theory: prediction of how events or actions are related. Also predicts the way that events will work. o For example, a PR consultant may predict, or theorize, that a campaign based on facts, instead of emotional appeals, will be more effective for an adult target audience. o There are many different groups of theories. Theories of Relationships o Systems Theory Systems theory: organizations are made of up many parts, and leaders of the organization must create and maintain internal and external communication structures. Organizations are dependent on their respective environments and resources, such as raw materials, employees, and customers. Open systems: when organizations uses PR practitioners to find out how productive the organizations’ relationships are with their customers. This allows for the flow of two-way communication and the adaption of organizations to their respective environments. Closed systems: when organizations do not use PR practitioners to find out this new information. Stakeholders: people in the environment that create problems and opportunities for organizations. Boundary spanners: PR practitioners that interpret and explain the organization to its stakeholders and also interpret and explain the stakeholders’ feelings and opinions to the organization. Dominant coalition: group of leaders in an organization. PR practitioners advise these groups about problems and opportunities in the environment. The environment can impose constraints on organizations, usually by causing problems. o Situational Theory Not all stakeholders are equally likely to communicate with the organization. PR practitioners are more likely to effectively communicate with stakeholders by grouping them into different publics: subgroups that actively communicate with the organization or passively receive information. When will publics actively seek information about a certain topic? 1. Problem recognition: publics must recognize a problem and the problem’s ability to affect them. 2. Level of involvement: how much a person cares about the topic 3. Constraint recognition: how publics perceive problems that stand in the way of a solution. This theory explains why certain publics are active regarding certain topics and helps PR practitioners plan their strategies. This theory focuses on what stakeholders want to hear, rather than what information the organization prefers to distribute. Theories of Persuasion and Social Influence o PR practitioners try to persuade people to act in specific ways or feel certain emotions. o Awareness, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are all related to persuasion. o The source of the message (the organization), the message (what the organization says), and the message receiver (the consumer/client/public/etc.) all contribute to the effectiveness of persuasion. o Social Exchange Theory Social exchange theory: uses costs and benefits to predict consumer behavior; assumes that people factor in the assumed results of their actions before making a decision. Keeping Costs Low 1. Short surveys 2. Simple instructions 3. No open-ended questions 4. If mailed, provide a prepaid return envelope. Increasing Rewards 1. Imply that the individual’s thoughts are important 2. Make the surveys interesting 3. Offer a tangible reward, like a gift card or “points” 4. Explain how the person’s responses will be used Payoff matrixes examine the costs and benefits of a problem or opportunity by examining the various combinations of organization actions and consumer reactions. o Diffusion Theory Diffusion theory: individuals adopt ideas and make decisions after going through this process: 1. Awareness: expose people to the idea 2. Interest: create interest in people 3. Evaluation: people must see the idea as useful 4. Trial: people try out the idea on other people 5. Adoption: final acceptance of the idea o Social Learning Theory Social learning theory: explains and predicts behavior by examining how consumers process information. Albert Bandura, a prominent social psychologist, postulated that people can learn behaviors merely by watching other people. Look up the famous Bandura Bobo Doll experiment if you have time! If that behavior is useful, people will store it in their minds until they need it. If it has positive rewards, people will use it more often. Theories of Mass Communication o Uses and Gratifications Theory Uses and gratifications theory: people choose which media to interact with and how to interact with it. People use media as: 1. Entertainment (Netflix) 2. A diversion (get off of Instagram!) 3. A check of personal identity and values (blogs) 4. A substitute for personal relationships (Snapchat stories) 5. A way to scan the environment for things that are important to them (newspapers, Twitter, etc.) Cannot assume people will hear good news about an organization – or bad news either! Messages are still interpreted by the receivers however they want, despite whatever spin/non-spin the media tries to put on the messages. o Framing Theory Framing: when the receivers draw out themes from messages using their own preexisting beliefs and ideas. Metaphors and visual images are excellent ways for organizations to imbibe their messages with a preexisting universal belief, ex “Santa” = Christmas. o Agenda Setting Theory Agenda setting theory: the idea that the media focuses on certain ideas and positions, which publics then consider important. PR practitioners help “set the agenda” by issuing press releases, using social media, etc. Public Relations Roles o Roles: accumulation of daily activities that people perform. o Technician role: the creative part of public relations; the people in these roles help create the media that is distributed on behalf of the organization. o Manager role: helps identify and solve potential public relations problems. These managers are also: 1. Expert prescribers: they figure out problems, figure out solutions to those problems, and then supervise the implementation of those solutions. 2. Communication facilitators: they ensure that two-way communication occurs smoothly between the organization and the environment 3. Problem-solving facilitators: they work with senior managers to solve problems. Models of Public Relations o Four different models: press agentry, public information, two-way asymmetrical, and two-way symmetrical. o Press agentry model: information travels from the organization to the public. Focuses on getting attention, not conducting research or being ethical. o Public information model: information still travels from the organization to the public, but the focus is on getting correct information to the public instead of just getting attention. Still no focus on research. o Two-way asymmetrical model: organizations use social science research to better persuade their audiences. o Two-way symmetrical model: organizations and publics react and respond to each other to achieve mutual understanding. o Cultural interpreter model: organizations that do business in other countries must adapt their messaging to fit the new culture and environment. o Personal influence model: PR practitioners attempt to create relationships with important individuals, such as celebrities or politicians, to get favors from them. Approaches to Conflict Resolution o Types of conflict resolution strategies: 1. Cooperation: organizations work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. 2. Avoidance: an organization(s) leaves the conflict. 3. Compromise: organizations make a deal that meets them both partway. 4. Contention: one organization forces its position on the other organization. 5. Principled: organizations agree to higher moral standards. 6. Accommodation: one organization yields to the other organization. 7. Mediated: an outside party tries to help resolve the conflict between the organizations. 8. Unconditional constructive: one organization does its own thing, regardless of the reaction from the other organization or the public. 9. Win-win or no deal: organizations refuse to make decisions until a deal has been made.