Public relations is not a mass media… it is a media support industry
It uses persuasion to influence the way people think about a company, organization, person or product
A bully idea… Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first presidents to exploit the news media as a powerful PR tool, and he remade the laws of this country and the presidency by employing PR strategies.
One of the first PR practicioners Ivy Lee was one of the most influential pioneers in public relations. He developed his philosophy in 1906 into the "Declaration of Principles," the first articulation of the concept that public relations practitioners have a public responsibility that extends beyond obligations to the client.
Many historians credit Lee with being the originator of modern crisis communications. In 1914 he entered public relations on a much larger scale when he was retained by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to represent his family and Standard Oil, ("to burnish the family image”).
How to change public opinion His instruction to the son of the Standard Oil fortune was to echo in public relations: "Tell the truth, because sooner or later the public will find out anyway. And if the public doesn't like what you are doing, change your policies and bring them into line with what people want".
A master manipulator Lee and Edward Bernays have been called the fathers of public relations. Bernays, whose uncle was Sigmund Freud, understood the psychological implications of PR and, more specifically, was skilled at manipulating public opinion… Edward BernaysSigmund Freud
In 1923, Bernays wrote the first book on Public Relations, called “Crystallizing Public Opinion.” Bernays was interested in mass psychology -- how to influence large groups of people. Some of his clients were Proctor & Gamble, General Motors and the American Tobacco Company. “Public Relations,” Bernays wrote in 1955, “is the attempt, by information, persuasion, and adjustment, to engineer public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution.”
"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind,” Bernays wrote, “is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? “The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible..."
He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the "engineering of consent.” One of Bernays' favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of "third party authorities" to plead for his clients' causes. "If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway," he said.
A Lucky guy… Bernays' involvement with the American Tobacco Co. started in 1928, when he took on the job of promoting the Lucky Strike brand. Spotting a gap in the market, Bernays specifically encouraged more women to smoke. Female smoking was bordering on taboo: in 1922, a woman was arrested for smoking in public in New York, and even in 1928 women smokers were generally disapproved, or stigmatized, but attitudes would soon change, thanks to Bernays.
Torches of Freedom 1929 was a big year for Bernays. By the end of it he would have helped thousands of women to take up smoking, and staged what's been called the first global event of the century, and arguably the most successful. Bernays' first campaign was focused on a supposed health benefit of smoking - with the slogan "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet", he encouraged women to think of smoking as a way to keep a slim figure. But the market was slow to move. In 1929, however, he caught the public imagination by hiring young models and debutantes to join the Easter Parades in New York and elsewhere, posing as suffregettes while lighting up cigarettes and wearing banners describing these as "torches of liberty".
Other tobacco icons… In 1972, PR and advertising helped make Marlboro become the No. 1 tobacco brand in the world. As the anti-smoking movement spread, the Marlboro Man came under attack for his role in luring new customers to a cancer-causing habit – a PR nightmare for the tobacco industry.
Government PR Today, the total number of people working in federal government public information jobs is around 5,000, making the federal government the nation’s largest single employer of PR people
Positive Spin Washington Post Thursday, August 31, 2006 U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid at two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq…
Three PRs: Public relations is an industry of specialties that include the following: * Financial PR * Product PR * Crisis PR
Good PR seeks to: Be socially conscious Be environmentally aware Provide good products and services
Time and space you cannot buy Product PR uses public relations techniques to sell products and services Not only is it less expensive than advertising the product, PR often works better
Crises A public relations crisis is when PR representatives must counteract an overwhelming negative event or information that can be damaging to an organization
Here’s a portfolio of PR crises… See if you can name or identify them:
Actor Mel Gibson went on a rampage when he was arrested in July on suspicion of drunk driving, making anti- Semetic remarks... Right before or right after the release of his film, “The Passion of Christ.”
Ted Arthur Haggard, a former American evangelical preacher, resigned his leadership earlier this month of the National Association of Evangelicals and stepped aside as pastor of his church because of allegations by former prostitute and masseur Mike Jones that Haggard engaged in sex with him for three years and used methamphetamine.
Michael DeWayne Brown was Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, a position generally referred to as the director or administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), resigned for his handling of emergency response to Hurricane Katrina victims.
Ken Lay, an American businessman best known for his role in the widely-reported corruption scandal that led to the downfall of Enron Corporation, became synonymous with corporate abuse and accounting fraud when the scandal broke in 2001. He recently died while on bail. Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron Corporation who was convicted of federal felony charges relating to Enron's financial collapse, was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months in federal prison for his 19 counts of conviction.
Since 2003, San Francisco Giants homerun king Barry Bonds has become a key figure in the BALCO scandal and despite the fact that Bonds has never failed a drug test, a number of journalists have alleged that Bonds used steroids as well as other performance-enhancing substances.
Floyd Landis insists he was drug free when he won the Tour de France, and said that a French laboratory "made some mistakes" when its results showed he had elevated levels of testosterone.The American's positive doping test came less than a week after he won cycling's biggest race on July 23.
The Business of PR There’s more than 150,000 people in the country involved in public relations jobs… And more than 4,000 organizations that offer PR services
The difference between PR and Advertising Advertising is a controlled media message that is paid for directly by a client whose intent is to sell products and services Public Relations is a partially controlled media message that is paid for indirectly by a client with the intent of improving image or promoting good will toward an organization
Type of clients: Federal, state and local governments Political candidates Lobbying organizations Educational organizations Non-profit organizations Industry Business Athletic Teams and Entertainment Organizations International Interests
PR Responsibility No. 1: Writing –News releases –Newsletters –Brochures –Reports –Speeches –Radio and TV copy (PSAs and other forms of promotional copy) –Trade paper and magazine stories –Institutional advertisements (in-house ads) –Facts sheets –Product information –Promotional material
Other PR Responsibilities: Editing –Special publications –Employee newsletters –Shareholder reports –And other communications for employees and the public Media Relations and Placement –Contacting the news media: newspapers, magazines, Sunday supplements, trade publications, radio and TV –Responding to media requests for information
More Responsibilities: Special Event planning and supervising –Press conferences (and other media events) –Convention exhibits –In-house tours –Anniversary celebrations –Promotional contests –Awards programs Public speaking Research Production –Photography –Layout for brochures and newsletters –In house ads –Audio and visual presentations
Media Campaigns Often include most of the preceding and involves strategy and management
PR people influence the news… Public relations provides publicity –Publicity is free –Publicity is considered an uncontrolled for of the media
Some PR people prefer working behind the scenes…
Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush -- “Bush’s Brain” …
Some prefer the spotlight… It’s all about style
Tony Snow is the White House Press Secretary for the George W. Bush administration. After years of regular guest- hosting for The Rush Limbaugh Show, he launched his own talk radio program, The Tony Snow Show, which went on to become nationally syndicated. He was also a regular personality on Fox News Channel since 1996, hosting Fox News Sunday, Weekend Live, and often substituting as host of The O'Reilly Factor.
Hacks and Flacks Hack: a writer or journalist who produces dull, unoriginal work that merely repeats information in a press release Flack: a publicity agent who publicizes or promotes someone or something shamelessly
Impact of public relations Nearly half of the stories that appear in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV were based on press releases Ninety percent of daily coverage is started by a company (or organization) making an announcement for the record
During the Iraq War.. The Bush administration used a three-part public relations strategy to promote U.S. involvement: –Encouraged repeated use of key phrases –Allowed embedded reporters and photographers to accompany invading troops –Created and promoted a “theme of the day” that helped keep supporters and the media “on message”
Influence of the Internet Negative PR spreads quickly on the Internet –Google Anti-Disney, Anti-McDonald’s, Anti- Microsoft, Anti-Bush and see how many hits come up –Organizations should monitor the Internet to protect themselves against slanted, malicious and downright libelous material
Quotes of the day… "Credibility is very much like virginity. Once you lose it, it is impossible to regain."
Ain’t it the truth… “ Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. ” - A.J. Liebling
Let’s end on a positive, hopeful note… “ Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos. ” - Edward Bernays, Propaganda
But remember… Caveat emptor … "let the (consumer) beware…”