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PR 270: PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

School of Advertising and Public Relations


College of Communication and Information
The University of Tennessee

EXAM TWO REVIEW GUIDE: CHAPTERS 5-9


EXAM: Wednesday October 14, 2009
(Please don’t forget a scantron and penci )

Exam format: 45 multiple-choice and true/false questions developed


from lectures, examples during class, guest speaker, textbook,
outside sources used during class, and integration questions that are
combination of information from different sources. 2 Short answer
questions each worth 5 points.
Please feel free to contact me in person or via email if you need help studying.

Chapter Five: Research


• Why is systematic planning of public relations campaigns critical?
o The second step in the PR process. Before any PR activity
can be implemented, it is essential that considerable
thought be given to what should be done and in hat
sequence to accomplish an organizations objective
• Why is research critical and why is research necessary? Why and how is
research used in public relations?
o Research is the basic groundwork of any public relations
program. It involves the gathering and interpretation of
information. Research is used in every phase of a
communications programs.
o Used:
 To achieve credibility with management
 To define audiences and segment publics
 To formulate strategy
 To test messages
 To help management keep in touch
 To prevent crises
 To monitor the competition
 To sway public opinion
 To generate publicity
 To measure success
• Definition of research. Is it the first step in putting together a public
relations campaign?
o Research is the controlled objective and systematic
gathering of information for the purpose of describing and
understanding.
o Effective public relations is a process and the essential first
step in the process is research, It’s an integral part of the
planning, program development, and evaluation process.
• What are some of the preliminary questions that you should ask to
formulate your research design?
o What is the real problem/ is there a problem/? What kind of
information is needed?

o What publics should be research?

o How will the results be used?

o Hire an outside consultant?

o How will the research be analyzed, reported and applies?

o How soon are the results needed?

o How much time, money, and other resources?

• Develop a clear understanding of the elements of research: primary-


secondary, qualitative-quantitative.
o Secondary: Often begins by doing archival research, which
reviews the organization’s data on sales, profile of
customers, and so on. Another source is information from
library and online databases. Search engines such as
Google, msn, and yahoo allow practically everyone to find
information and statistics on the internet and the World
Wide Web. Thus, the expression is often heard “ let’s
Google it” Primary research is the issuing research to
generate new information with a particular problem or
question in mind

o Qualitative: The value of this technique is to gain insights


into how individuals behave, think, and make decisions. It’s
also used to ascertain whether key messages were
communicated by the media. The primary techniques are
Content Analysis, Interviews, Focus Groups, Copy Testing,
and Ethnographic Observation and role playing

o Quantitative: This kind of research demands scientific rigor


and proper sampling procedures so that information can be
representative of the general population, Random sampling
allows everyone in the target audience the chance to be in
the sample. Sample size determines the margin of error in
the statistical findings.
• What research techniques are typically used by public relations
practitioners?
o Secondary is the most commonly used.
• Develop a clear understanding of scientific sampling, including
random/probability sample, non-random/non-probability sample
- Non-probability sample

o Not random at all

o Mall-intercept interviews are usually restricted to shoppers


in the mall at the time of the interview.

o Convenient

o Purposive

- Random/probability sample

o Systemic

o Quota

o Proportional

o Can be accomplished if researchers were present at all


hours and conducted interviews through the mall. This
would ensure a more representative sampling of mall
shoppers, particularly if a large number of shoppers were
interviewed.

o Effective polls and surveys require a random sample.

• All the elements of questionnaire design.


o Careful word choice, use familiar simple words
o Avoid loaded or biased questions
o Consider timing and context
o Avoid the politically correct answer
o Give a range of possible answers
• All the elements of telephone surveys.
o Used extensively by research firms.
o Four major advantages:
 The phone is a more personal form of communication
 The feedback is immediate
 It’s less intrusive that interviewers going door to door
 The response rate, if the survey is short and handled
by skilled phone interviewers, can reach 80 to 90%
 Major disadvantage: the difficulty in getting access to
telephone numbers, convincing the respondents that
the survey is legit.
• All the elements of mail surveys, including Web/email surveys.
o Mail:
 Most surveys are mailed because of these advantages
• Researchers have better control as to who
actually receives the questionnaire
• Large geographic areas can be covered
economically
• It is less expensive to use paper based
questionnaires than to hire interviewers
• Large numbers of people can be reached at
minimal cost
 Disadvantages
• Low response rate (1-2%)
o Web and E-Mail
 Newest way to reach respondents
 Several methods to attract respondents to a website:
• Banner ads announcing the survey
• Sending an e-mail to members of the target
audience
• Telephoning individuals with an invitation to
participate
• Sending a postcard
• Offering incentives such as gift coupons
 Advantages
• Large samples are generated in a short amount
of time
• They are more economical than mail
questionnaires or phone interviews
• Data can be analyzed continually
 Disadvantages
• Respondents are usually self elected
• There is no control over the size of the sample or
selection of respondents
• Probability sampling is not achievable
• What goes into publicizing research?
• sponsorship

• name of research company

• description of objectives

• description of relevant methodology


• dates of data collections

• questions

• any information that is relevant for the researchers to make a


fair assessment of the results

• generates publicity, can be the center piece of a public relations


firm campaign.

Chapter 6: Program Planning


• What are the elements of a public relations campaign, and have a
thorough understanding of each element (beyond what is listed below).
o Situation – what does the situational analysis help us to do in a
public relations campaign, what are the three types of situations.
 Three situations :
• The organization must conduct a remedial
program to overcome a problem or negative
situation
• The organization needs to conduct a specific- one
time project to launch a new product or service
• The organization wants to reinforce an ongoing
effort to preserve its reputation and public
support
 Understand the challenge , the organization, the industry
and the environment to set clear and valid objectives

o Objectives – what is an objective, what are its characteristics


(specific, measurable, achievable, etc.), how are they incorporated
into a plan, types of objectives.

 An objective is usually stated in terms of program


outcomes rather than inputs

 A stated objective should be evaluated by asking

• Does it really address the problem?

• Is it realistic and achievable?

• Can success be measured in meaningful terms?

 Informational Objective

• Message exposure and accurate dissemination of


messags
• An increase in public awareness

• Delivery of key messages

• “Educate consumers about Company’s


promotions, rewards, and mileage program”

 Motivational Objective

• Bottom line oriented and are based on clearly


measurable results that can be quantified.

• “Increase the show’s attendance by 30% from


20,076 to 26,098”

o Audiences – what are they, primary v. secondary, internal v.


external, stakeholder, can the media be considered a target
audience of a public relations campaign.
 A defined audience or publics
 Primary- the target group
 Secondary anyone who would come in contact with
product via target group
• Dog meds are targeted to dog owners, but the
secondary audience is the vets that prescribe
them
 The media can be a public, on some occasions
programs seek media endorsements.
o Strategy – what is it, its purpose, what are walk-away points,
reiterated key messages.
 A strategy is a somewhat broad statement describing
how an objective is to be achieved. It provides
guidelines and key message themes for the overall
program, and also offers a rationale for the actions
and program components tat are planned.
 Walk- away points are the info that the audience
should have one they’ve been exposed to the
message
 Key messages- messages that the campaign wants to
get across to the target audiences and the media
o Tactics – what is it, how do they help achieve objectives, have a
thorough understanding of all the different types of tactics, three
major categories of tactics (communication, management,
production/service).
 The nuts and bolts tactical part of the plan. They
describe the specific activities that put each strategy
into operation and help to achieve the stated
objectives.
 Tools of communication
• Press releases, conferences, events
 Tools of management
 Tools of production/service
o Calendar/timetable – what is it, sequencing concerns, importance of
details.
 Deciding when a campaign should be conducted

 Determining the proper sequence of activities

 Compiling a list of steps that must be completed for each


tactic and who is responsible to produce a finished product

 Timing of the campaign- should take into account the


environmental context of the situation and the time when
key messages are most meaningful to the intended
audience. Some subjects are seasonal.

 Scheduling tactics- the second aspect of timing is the


scheduling and sequencing of various tactics or activities. A
typical pattern is to concentrate the most effort at the
beginning of a campaign, when a number of tactics are
implemented. The launch phase of a campaign requires a
burst of activity just to break the awareness barrier. PR
campaigns are often the first stage of an integrated
marketing communications program

 Compiling a calendar- advance planning. Practitioners


must take into account the deadlines of publications. They
must think ahead to make things happen in the right
sequence at the right time

o Budget – what is it, different types of costs, value of being specific


and correct, typical breakdown, two major budget categories,
contingency costs.
 How much will this campaign cost?

 Either here is an upfront budget or the public relations


staff can determine

 Two major budget categories

• Staff time (70%)

• Out of pocket expenses(news releases, media kits,


brochures, VNRS)
 Good practice to allocate approximately 10% for
contingencies or unexpected costs

 Be specific and correct

 Learn basic rules of accounting

o Evaluation – what is it, why is it important to be measured against


objectives, value of evaluations, is this an emphasis of
organizations, types of evaluations, basics of chapter 5.
 Measured against objectives o see how well we did

 Typically need baseline numbers for comparison

 Evaluation criteria: realistic, credible, specific and in line


with client’s or employer’s expectations

 Formal and informal

 Qualitative and quantitative methods

 Pre-test, mid-point, conclusion, ongoing

 Determines our success and failures

 Help us get paid

Chapter 7: Communication
• Definition of communication.
o Communication is a transactional process base on a shared
interpretation of reality via symbols

• Objectives of communication.
o Grunig’s 5 objectives of communication
 Message exposure

 Accurate message dissemination

 Message acceptance

 Attitude change

 Change in overt behavior

• Five communication elements.


o Sender/source (encoder)
o A message
o A channel
o A receiver (decoder)
o Feedback from the receiver to the sender
• Processing perceptions, including (these specifically):
o Laswell contributions
 Who Says What In which channel, to whom, with what
effect.

o media uses and gratifications theory


 “The communicator’s audience is not a passive
recipient- it cannot be regarded as a lump of clay to
be molded by the master propagandist. Rather, the
audience is made up of individuals who demand
something from the communication to which they are
exposed, and who select those that are likely to be
useful to them”
 The communication process if interactive basically
o uncertainty reduction theory, situational theory
 Uncertainty reduction theory: nowhere in the book…
The scope of the theory is narrowed down to rest on the premise that
strangers, upon meeting, go through certain steps and checkpoints in
order to reduce uncertainty about each other and form an idea of
whether one likes or dislikes the other.
 So basically getting to know something so it is
familiar.
 Situational Theory: defines that publics can be identified and
classified in the context to which they are aware of the problem and the
extent to which they do something about the problem.
o social construction of reality theory
 A social construction (or social construct) is any phenomenon 'invented'
or 'constructed' by participants in a particular culture or society,
existing because people agree to behave as if it exists or follow certain
conventional rules. One example of a social construct is social status.
Another example of social construction is the use of money
o source credibility
 A message is more believable to the intended audience if
the source has credibility. This is why organizations use a
variety of spokes people, depending on the message and
the audience. Source credibility is based on three factors
• Expertise: Does the audience perceive the person as
an expert on the subject?
• Sincerity: Does the person come across as believing
what he or she is saying?
• Charisma: Is the individual attractive, self-assured,
and articulate, projecting an image of competence
and leadership?
o cognitive dissonance
 People will not believe a message contrary to their
predispositions unless the communicator can
introduce information that causes them to question
their beliefs.
o five-stage adoption process
 Awareness: a person becomes aware of an idea or a
new product, often by means of an advertisement or a
news story
 Interest: the individual seeks more information about
the idea or the product.
 Evaluation: the person evaluates the idea or the
products on the basis of hoe it meets specific needs
and wants. Feedback from friends and family is a part
of it
 Trial: Next the person tires the product or the idea on
an experimental basis, by using a sample, witnessing
a demonstration, or making qualifying statements
such as “I read…”
 Adoption: the individual begins to use the product on
a regular basis or integrates the idea into his or her
belief system. “I read” becomes “I think” if peers
support and reinforce the idea.
• What are some of the basic rules for writing with clarity so messages can
be understood?
o Use symbols, Acronyms and Slogans
o Avoid Jargon
o Avoid Clichés and Hype Words
o Avoid Euphemisms
o Avoid Discriminatory Language

Chapter 8: Evaluation
• What is an evaluation and what are the major purposes of evaluation:
(such as the systematic assessment of a program and its results, assess
progress toward objectives, raise accountability of public relations,
improve subsequent/ongoing programs, and assess return on investment
of time and money)?
o Evaluation: the measurement of results against established
objectives set during the planning process.
o The systematic assessment of a program and its results

o To assess progress toward objectives

o To raise accountability of public relations

o To improve subsequent/ongoing programs


• What are the five most widely used methods for evaluating public
relations efforts and be able to explain each method – production,
message exposure, audience awareness, audience attitudes, audience
action (ignore supplemental activities)?
o Measurement of production
 One elementary form of evaluation is simply to count
how many news releases, feature stories, photos,
letters, and the like are produced in a given period of
time. This kind of evaluation is supposed to give
management an idea of a staff’s productivity and out-
put
o Message exposure
 The most widely practiced form of evaluating public
regulations programs is the compilation of print and
broadcast mentions.
 Media Impressions- the potential audience reached
 Hits on the internet
 Advertising Equivalency (AVE)- the calculated value of
message exposure
 Systematic Tracking- a way to track media placement
 Requests and 800 numbers- compile requests for more
info, toll free 80 number to give out that info
 ROI- return on investment- determine the cost of
reaching each member of the audience
 Audience Attendance- counting audience attendance
at an event is a relatively simple way of evaluating the
effectiveness of pre-event publicity.
o Audience awareness
 To see whether the audience actually became aware
of the message and understood it. Survey research is
needed. Another way to measure it is the Day after
Recall. Under this method participants are asked to
view a specific television program or read a particular
news story. The next day they are then interviewed to
learn which messages they remembered
o Audience attitudes
 Major technique is the baseline study. A
measurement of audience attitudes and opinions
before, during, and after a public relations campaign.
They show he parentage difference in attitudes and
options as a result of increased information and
publicity
o Audience action
 The ultimate objective of any public relations effort is
to accomplish organizational objective. The goal here
is to sell products and services.
• What is, and explain, the current status of evaluation and measurement
in public relations: (such as plan evaluation – don’t wait, sophisticated
techniques and more expertise, computerization (not just clip service),
trend towards increasing value and use of evaluation, about 5% of
budget now yet projected to be about 10% of budget in next decade,
many evaluation tools borrowed from marketing and advertising,
management must concur about objectives, and it should be realistic,
credible, measurable, and compatible with goals and objectives of public
relations campaigns and overall organization)?
- Sorry guys I have no fucking idea where to find any of this.
Chapter 9: Public Opinion and Persuasion
• What is public opinion and when/why did the concept of public opinion
mature?
o Opinions on controversial issues that one can express in
public without isolating oneself.
• Discuss the basic aspects of public opinion as it relates to public
relations: self-interest, passive v. active, event sensitivity and
elusiveness.
o Public opinion is the collective expression of opinion of
many individuals bound into a group by common aims,
aspirations, needs, and ideals
o People who are interested or who have a vested or self
interest in an issue- or who can be affected by the outcome
of the issue- form public opinion on that particular item
o Psychologically, opinion basically is determined by self-
interest. Events, words, or other stimuli affect opinion only
insofar as their relationship to self-interest or a general
concern is apparent .
o Once self intersest is involved, opinion is not easily
changed
o Opinion is highly sensitive to events that have an impact
on the public at large or a particular segment of the public
o By and large, public opinion doesn’t anticipate events. It
only reacts to them
o Events of big magnitude can easily swing public opinion
from one extreme to the other.
o Doesn’t say anything about elusiveness
• Understand who are opinion leaders (formal v. informal) and explain their
characteristics.
o Opinion leaders are catalysts for the formation of public
opinion and are knowledgeable and articulate about
specific issues
o Formal – called so because of their positions as elected
officials, presidents of companies, or heads of membership
groups. The people news reporters talk to
o Informal- have clout with peers because of some special
characteristics. Role models, or opinion leaders who can
exert peer pressure n others to go along with something
• Know the following theories: agenda-setting theory, spiral of silence and
framing theory.
o Agenda-Setting Theory: contends that media content sets
the agenda for public discussion.
o Spiral of Silence- a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one
feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the
majority.
o Framing Theory: traditionally framing was related to how
journalists selected certain facts, themes, treatments, and
even words to frame a story. “mass media scholars have
long argued that it is important to understand the ways in
which journalistic framing of issues occurs because such
framing impacts public understanding and policy
formation.
• How do you gauge public opinion and are these research tools different
from traditional research/evaluation tools used by public relations
practitioners?
o Super hard to measure at any given moment. It’s often
assumed that a small vocal group represents the majority
when in fact the majority is apathetic because the issue
doesn’t concern them. Or the issue might get the attention
of one part of the population and not the other. Polls are a
good tool
• Define persuasion and explain the purpose of persuasion.
o An activity or process in which a communicator attempts to
induce a change in the belief, attitude, or behavior of
another person or group of persons through the
transmission of a message in a context in which the
persuadee has some degree of free choice.
• What are Aristotle’s three proofs related to persuasion?
o Ethos, logos, pathos
o Source credibility, logical argument, emotional appeal
• What is propaganda and compare it to persuasion?
o Propaganda is the deliberate and systematic attempt to
shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct
behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired
intent of the propagandist.
o We don’t want to mislead the public, propaganda is a boss
and just doesn’t give a shit.
• Discuss ethics issues related to persuasion.
o There are two practical reasons for an ethical approach to
persuasive messages. First, publics will automatically be
suspicious because they know the communicator is
promoting a client or organization. Second, the interests of
that client or organization will not be well served by false
or misleading communications
• Define and know the differences between passive, assertive and
aggressive communication styles. Which is the preferred course of action
for a public relations practitioner? What are the legitimate rights of
assertive communication?
o Passive: Anxiety, driven style
o Assertive: This style focuses on specific issues & problems, recognizes values
& beliefs, doesn't violate others' beliefs, & attacks issues, not people
o Aggressive: Communication style that disregards people's emotions, is anger-
driven, & results in a loss of respect and trust.
• Have a basic understanding of the factors in persuasive communication
such as: audience analysis, source credibility, appeals to self-interest,
clarity of message, timing and context, audience participation,
suggestions for action, content and structure of messages, and
persuasive speaking.
• Here:
• Audience Analysis: Knowledge of audience characteristics such as
beliefs, attitudes, concerns, and lifestyles is an essential part of persuasion.
It helps the communicator tailor messages that are salient, answer a felt
need, and provide a logical course of action. Psychographics is a method
used in audience analysis that attempts to classify people by lifestyle,
attitudes, and beliefs.
• Source Credibility: A message is more believable to the intended
audience if the source has credibility. This is why organizations use a variety
of spokes people, depending on the message and the audience. Source
credibility is based on three factors
• Expertise: Does the audience perceive the person as an expert
on the subject?
• Sincerity: Does the person come across as believing what he or
she is saying?
• Charisma: Is the individual attractive, self-assured, and articulate,
projecting an image of competence and leadership?
• Appeal to Self-Interest: Publics become involved in issues or pay
attention to messages that appeal to their psychological or economic needs.
For example- charitable organizations garner the public’s donations because
the public feels they get something in return ( self-esteem, the opportunity
to make a contribution to society, a sense of belonging, ego gratification, or
even a tax reduction)
• Clarity of Message: The most persuasive messages are direct, simply
expressed, and contain only one primary idea. Many messages fail because
the audience finds the message unnecessarily complex in context or
language. The public relations professional should always ask two questions:
• “What do I want the audience to do with the
message?”
• “Will the audience understand the message?”
• Timing and Context: A message is more persuasive if the
environmental factors support the message or if the message is received
within the context of other messages and situations with which the individual
if familiar. These factors are called timing and context, which can determine
the value of information and its newsworthiness. Public relations
professionals disseminate information at the time it is most highly valued.
• Audience Participation: A change in attitude or reinforcement of
beliefs is enhanced by audience involvement and participation. Discussion
circles in an organization, samples given out, rallies and demonstrations are
all types of audience participation
• Suggestion for Action: A principle of persuasion is that people endorse
ideas only if they are accompanied by a proposed action from the sponsor.
Recommendation for action must be clear. For example: PR practioners
must not only ask people to conserve energy, but also furnish detailed data
and ideas on how to do it.
• Content and Structure of Messages: A number of techniques can
make a message more persuasive.
• Drama: the first task of a communicator is to get the audience’s
attention. Often accomplished by graphically illustrating an event or
situation
• Statistics: People are impressed by statistics. Use of numbers can
convey objectivity, size, and importance in a credible way that can
influence public opinion.
• Surveys and Polls: The most credible surveys are those done by
independent research organizations.
• Examples: a statement of opinion can be more persuasive if
some examples are given such as automakers promoting the
durability of their vehicles by citing their performance on a test or in a
road race.
• Testimonials: A form of source creditability, testimonials can be
either explicit or implied. An example of an explicit testimonial is a girl
talking about how she became paralyzed in a drunk driving accident.
An implied example could be a proclamation by a mayor establishing
a Red Cross.
• Endorsement: In addition to an endorsement by a paid celebrity,
products and services benefit from statements by experts in what is
called a third-party-endorsement. Media endorsements can come
through editorials, reviews, surveys, and news stories. The idea is that
media coverage bestows legitimacy and newsworthiness on a product
or service.
• Emotional Appeals: Fundraising letters from nonprofit groups in
particular use this persuasive device. Too emotional of an appeal
through guilt or fear can get the audience to tune it out. The most
effective emotional appeal is one coupled with facts and figures.
• Persuasive Thinking: Psychologists have found that successful
speakers ( and sales people) use several persuasion techniques:
• Yes-Yes: start with points with which the audience agrees to
develop a pattern of “yes” answers. Getting agreement to a basic
premise often means that the receiver will agree to the logically
developed conclusion.
• Offer Structured Choice: Give choices that enforce the
audience to choose between A and B.
• Seek Partial Commitment: Get a commitment for some action
on the part of the receiver. This leaves the door open for commitment
to the other parts of the proposal at a later date.
• Ask for More, Settle for Less: Submit a complete public
relations program to management, but be prepared to compromise by
dropping certain parts of the program.