Homework Assignments

Chapter 11 Questions (due 04/05/11)

1. Some ways the Internet has completely revolutionized a media system includes characterizing media through the areas of mediasphere and the blogsphere.  New media features widespread broadband, cheap or free, easy-to-use online publishing tools, new distribution channels, mobile devices, and new advertising paradigms.  The Internet has compelled the democratization of the information around the world for the first time in history.

2. Some characteristics of the Web that made it possible for public relations people to do a better job of distributing information include users being able to update information quickly, without having to reprint brochures and other materials.  The web allows for interactivity by having viewers ask questions, download information, and give feedback to organizations.  Online readers can dig deeper into subjects that interest them by linking to info provided on other sites, articles, and sources.  Material can also be posted, so there is no space or time limitation, and organizations can reach niche markets and audiences on a direct basis without filtering messages through editors.

3. It is important for an organization to have a website because a website is a distribution system in cyberspace.  Organizations can use their websites to market products and services as well as to post news releases, corporate backgrounders, and product information. Position papers and photos of key executives and locations. Websites also can provide PR professionals with valuable feedback from consumers and the general public.

4. The difference between the concepts of “pull” and “push” have to do with the Internets effect on interactivity. The “pull” concept means that on the web, users actively search for questions, and on websites, visitors actively “pull” informations from the various links that are provided.  Consumers are constantly interacting with a site “pulling” the most relevant information for them. Users has total control over which information they call up and how deep they want to delve into a subject.  The “push” concept is that information is delivered to the consumers without active participation.

5. A website can generate revenue and save money because compared to other ways to distribute information, a website is much cheaper. By not having to mail out information to consumers, organization save money on envelopes, stamps, packaging, and other printing information. A has a great ROI, or return on investment, that saves a company significant amount of money.

6. The major difference between the Web 1.0 generation and the Web 2.0 generation is interaction. The 1.0 generation mainly used the Internet to transmit information from supplier to receiver.  While that function still occurs now, the 2.0 generation has more interactive experience where users have multiple tools available through which to talk to one another in real time.

7. “Social Media” is defined as the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.  Applications of social media include blogs and social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Conversations through social media sites are compelling, vibrant, emergent, fun and full of chance insight.

8. Some ways in which a corporate blog differs from an organizational blog is that corporate blogs are usually written by an executive and represents the official voice of the organization. Corporate blogs are usually written by someone in the PR department and at times is outsourced to Pr firms.  Corporate blogs, at their best, will make the company become more transparent to their customers, partners, and internally.  Corporate blogs also need to provide useful and informative information that audiences can use.

9. Some typical guidelines imposed on employee blogs are if an employee is blogging about a company they work for, they must specify that they are an employee of the company and enter a disclaimer that their views are their own and not those of the company.  Also, expressing one’s identity is important if any employee is blogging on subjects related to or on behalf of a company they work for.

10. When considering producing a YouTube video, an organization should consider that videos can be part of their marketing and PR outreach to online communities.  These communities are usually well educated and relatively affluent. Organizations should also consider what type of video they wish to produce.  A video can be information, humorous, or trying to make a specific point. The benefits of creating a video include being that bloggers may pick of the video and repost it with a conversation attached. This can give it new life.

11. Organizations can effectively use Facebook, texting, and wikis by using these media outlets as opportunities to make “friends” to gain consumer insights, building brand awareness, and creating customer loyalty.  Organizations can use these outlets to target specific demographics like college students. This demographic participates in texting daily 90% of the time.  These sites and media outlets are great ways to promote and sell products and services as well as gaining new consumers that would not necessarily have heard or used a promoted product.

12. A good podcast needs to be informative, conversational and entertaining.  Some tips for creating a good podcast include keeping the program to less than 15 minutes, using several stories or segments, not reading from a script, creating a RSS feed, and creating new podcasts on a weekly basis.  Podcast is a tool of communication that will continue to grow, so it’s imperative that PR professionals learn how to use this tool effectively.  

Chapter 10 Questions (due 03/31/11)

1. Some key characteristics of the youth market that are relevant to PR practices are that children and teenagers influence their parents’ buying decisions, have their own purchasing power, and will mature into adult consumers.  Children have more autonomy and decision-making power within their own families than ever before, making them an ideal target audience.  For the “Y Generation” electronic media is the most used media source.  It is estimated that this generation will spend 23 years online during their lifetime.  That being so, PR practitioners have really tried to use this media outlet to their advantage when targeting the youth demographic. 

2. Senior citizens are so important to PR practices in the United States because the lifespan of American 65 and older have increased drastically within the past few decades.  Senior citizens make up 12.8% of Americans and are an important opinion group.  They are also a consumer market with special interests. Senior citizens are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population using the Internet, and are among the largest consumers of television, magazines, books, and newspapers.

3. The role of women as opinion leaders are beneficial from a PR standpoint because women have a lager network of friends and tend to maintain more regular contact with the circle of friends and acquaintances than men.  They value the opinion of friends, experts, and media as opposed to marketing message.

4. PR professionals can effectively reach groups like the GLBT and religious groups by marketing themselves with the same interests as those groups.  Between 22 and 30 million gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people live in the U.S. Most of them support companies that reflect and support their views.  Supporting gay issues will make the gay population loyal to whatever you are selling.  For religious groups, products and services structured around religious themes sell to.

5. Some opportunities for PR professionals regarding emerging audiences are that there is an expansion of types of media that are popular among groups.  Radio, newspapers, and television programs targeting ethnic groups like Hispanic and African Americans have become extremely popular, creating a multitude of outlets for PR professionals to send their messages through. Because a wide range of ethnic groups are devoted to media outlets to stay connected to others in the group, Pr professionals can reach a huge amount of people with strategic message distributions.

6. The various changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the U.S. will affect the practice of public relations in a great way.  PR personnel need to work very hard make their messages fit with the culture and ethnic values of the many new groups in the U.S.  Practitioners must be proactive in shaping communications to be responsive to different cultures.  PR personnel must also be aware with the subgroups of ethnic groups in the U.S. PR practitioners need to recognize that there are diversity interests among racial and ethnic minority groups and operate separate media circuits for the different ethnic and racial groups.

7. Some challenges facing public relations professionals in dealing with global audiences include overcoming language barriers and consider social differences if they are to practice culturally appropriate and locally acceptable public relations.  Unique aspects of the local political, economic, and industrial structures also affect the strategic planning and execution of PR campaigns.

8. Online media has become a very significant and swiftly expanding tool for PR practitioners. E-mail and the Internet are used to deliver information about clients’ projects, and to exchange ideas.  Companies now maintain sites on the “world wide web” where they can explain their companies and brands, promote their products and services, and to sell merchandise.  Websites are also places where videos, text, audio, and other company material so anyone can easily access them. Online discussion groups and chat rooms allow PR people to reach opinion leaders in specific fields with facts and opinions favorable to their cause.

9. Some attractive features of social media in terms of reaching audiences are that things like Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace provide forums for people to exchange ideas, make virtual friends, and pursue romantic relationships. Social media represents an emerging venue for public relations communication. Some possibilities for PR specialists to take advantage of the growth of sites like Facebook and Twitter include creative interactive communication between the PR professionals and the publics they are trying the reach. Pr specialist can create special events, like Kodak’s interactive website promoting people to post photos or MySpace’s Battle of the Bands, which allow individuals to participate in the PR events.

Chapter 9 Questions (due 03/17/11)

1. For me, ethics is a set of rules people make individually that determine if a course of action is right or wrong. Two individuals might disagree on what constitutes an ethical dilemma or concern because when it comes to what is ethical, people have different standards and perceptions of what s “right” and “wrong.” Most ethical concerns are not black-or white, but fall into the grey area. It is all about the individual, but working in PR, the group often has to make decisions together.

2. While some argue that codes of ethics have “not teeth” because they are not usually enforced, that it not the only reason for creating codes of ethics.  Codes of ethics are mainly established for the purposes of education and information.  Codes try and enunciate standards of conduct that will guide members in their professional lives.  Those who have established codes of ethics in their professional world have much higher awareness of ethics and professional standards.

3. Public relation professionals can play the role of “ethical advocate” by disseminating persuasive information so long as objective and reason able persons would view those persuasive efforts as truthful. Another way would be to consider accommodating the needs of both the organization and their publics.  Other times, public relation practitioners face a categorical imperative, where they purely advocate for the organization’s position. 

4 Like what has been stated earlier, when it comes to ethical issues, there is a grey area in whether people should lie or be completely forthcoming in their work as a PR practitioner.  I have always believed that honesty is the best policy, and if faced with a morally unethical situation, I believe that I would uphold the ethical standards of PRSA, rather than stay loyal to my employer.  However, my job as a PR practitioner is to represent my employer.  So to be perfectly honest, I would not know what to do.

5. Gifts given to media can be considered unethical because those types of events can contaminate the free flow of accurate and truthful information to the public.  Pr firms need to be trustworthy and have credibility, and if they are seen as a firm that believes the media can be bought, any information released from that firm can also be seen as incredible and not trusted.

6. PR staff and firms need to know the legal aspects of creating and distributing messages because they need to understand that what they put out to the public for their clients have the potential to be punished with harsh laws if it is found to be untrue.  PR firms cannot hide behind their employers by saying “they made me do it.” PR firms need to be well-versed in the law and make accurate decisions about a course of action if a message seems to be false in any way like with copyright, liability, or privacy.

7. To avoid libel suits, a PR person can do a number of steps.  Using accurate information and delicate choice of words, needs to be used in all news releases to avoid harmful words that could provoke legal retaliation.   In order to avoid trade liable, statements made by companies need to be truthful, with factual evidence and scientific data available to substantiate them.

8. The concept of fair comment and criticism is more often than not used in modern, progressive organizations.  Many employee newspapers carry letters to the editor because they breed a healthy atmosphere of two-way communication and make company publication more credible.

9. Some precautions that a public relations person can take to avoid invasion of privacy lawsuits include making it aware that e-mails written at work are subject to monitoring and could be fired if they violate company policy.  Organizations can also make e-mails part of the FOIA, and that companies need to be aware that whistle blowing can occur if an employee knows that an organization is guilty of illegal activity.

10. Some precautions that should be taken if an organization wants to use the photo or comment of an employee or customer in an advertisement include making sure they know where the photo is coming from.  If a customer buys a copyrighted photo, they own the item itself, but not the right to make additional copies.  This remains with the photographer unless specified otherwise. Duplication of copyrighted photo is also illegal. Violation in transfer of copyrighted photos can also be punishable.  With writing, original authors own the work, while other can obtain “license” to reproduce it. Writers can agree to assign all copyright rights to the work they have been hired to do or what they have approved of. Agreements must be documented in writing, specifying the use of the material. PR personnel should negotiate multiple rights and even complete ownership of the copyright.

11. Basic guidelines of copyright law that PR professional should know about include that copyright does not protect ideas, but only the specific ways in which those ideas are expressed. By copyrighting material, companies can prevent their competitors from capitalizing on its creative work.  The law presumes that material produced in some tangible form is copyrighted from the moment of its creation. To provide full legal protection, official registration of the copyrighted work can be made within 3 months of creation.

12. PR people help an organization protect its trademarks by capitalizing them and never using them as nouns.  Using trademarks as adjectives, like “Kleenex tissues” or “Xerox copies,” are insistent in organization to avoid the problem of having a name or slogan become generic. By distributing trademarks as adjective, PR people keep the trademark from becoming a common noun through general public use and also prevents any company from using the generic name to describe one of their products.

Chapter 8 Questions (due 03/15/11)

1. Self-interest can be defined as the issues that appeal to people’s psychological, economic, or situational needs.  Self-interest helps individuals decide which issues and beliefs that they will have when forming their own opinion that will directly affect their role in public opinion. Events are defined as the large situations that grab attention.  These events will in turn create media buzz and escalate a discussion of public opinion.

2. Opinion leaders are knowledgeable experts who articulate opinions about specific issues in public discussion.  Opinion leaders frame and define issues that often have their roots in individuals’ self-interest.  Public opinion is usually crystallized into a measurable entity through the influence of opinion leaders. The filter of face-to-face communication between opinion leaders and others creates the public opinion.

3.  In the formation of public opinion, the media plays a role in unfolding a conflict and serve to promote public debate by engaging widespread public involvement.  This is known as escalation.  Mediate among parties and de-escalate the conflict are also possible of the media. Media can also resolve conflict in early stages of a dispute and its job is to interpret the issue, deliver opposing position, and suggest avenues for resolution.

4. Theories about mass media that directly affect the formation of public opinion are agenda setting and framing.  Agenda setting believes that the media content sets the agenda for public discussion.  On top of that, media conveys a set of attributes about the various subjects in the news and color the public opinion.  Framing has to do with selecting certain facts, themes, treatments, and word to shape a story.  Interpretation is involved in relaying a story that can form and change public opinion.

5. The three objectives of persuasion in public relation work are (1) to change or neutralize hostile opinions, (2) crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes, and (3) maintain favorable opinions.  Of the three, the most difficult persuasive task is to turn hostile opinions into favorable ones.  Once people have decided on a set of beliefs, they often tend to ignore or disbelieve any information that contradicts their personal view.

6.  Nine factors involved in persuasive communication are (1) audience analysis, (2) appeals to self-interest, (3) audience participation, (4) suggestions for action, (5) source credibility, (6) clarity of message, (7) channels, (8) timing and content and (9) reinforcement.  Audience analysis consist of knowing the beliefs/attitudes of the audience trying to persuade, while appeals to self-interest include marketing specific issues based on public’s personal needs.  Audience participation makes attitudes/beliefs change or enhance by participation, and suggestion for action makes people endorse ideas or take action if they are proposed by sponsors.  Source credibility is based on expertise, sincerity and charisma and clarity of message include one clear idea, being easily expressed and being direct.  Channels mean having many areas to get your message out (TV. Twitter, face book), timing and content means conveying a message during ideal environmental factors where it’s familiar and supported.  Reinforcement means having a clear understanding of public’s core values and strengthening their message.

7. The three factors in source credibility are expertise, sincerity and charisma.

8. The five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are (from lowest to highest): basic needs (food, shelter, work), “security” needs (confident in their retirement, safety in home/job), “belonging” needs (association with others, reason for communities) “love” needs ( human need to be wanted/loved), and “self-actualization” needs.  It is important for public relations to understand people’s needs because success in persuasion largely depends on accurate assessment of audience needs and self-interest.

9. Techniques used to write persuasive messages are having truth, honesty and candor because messages are already suspect because it is advanced on behalf of a client/organization and half-truths and misleading information do not serve the best interest of the public or organization. Not using false evidence illogical reasoning and identifying yourself as an “expert when you are not are key to remember when writing persuasive messages.

10. Propaganda techniques used in PR messages include plain folk, testimonial, bandwagon, card stacking, transfer and glittering generalities.  Plain folk can be used by PR practitioners to show their clients “humble beginnings, while testimonial means finding an expert to make a source credible.  Transfer means associating products, organizations or client with something that has high credibility, status or visibility.

Chapter 7 Questions (due 03/10/11)

1. Kirk Hallahan’s five categories of media and communication tools are message exposure, PR personnel provide materials to the mass media and disseminates other messages through controlled media like newsletters, accurate dissemination of the message, where the basic information remain intact as it is transmitted through various media.  Acceptance of the message, the audience not only retains the message, but also accepts it as valid, attitude change, audience not only believes the message, but also makes a verbal or mental commitment to change behavior as a result of the message.  The final tool is change in overt behavior, where members of the audience actually change their current behavior or purchase the product and use it.

2. Two-way communication is an important aspect of effective communication because it establishes a dialogue between the sender and the receiver, as opposed to one-way communication that simply disseminates information.  Two-way communication created balance between the sender and the receiver.

3. Some kinds of message and communication channels that I would use for a passive audience include using photos and illustration and catchy slogans and hosting events featuring entertainment.  This will make passive audiences more aware of the message.  For active information-seeking audiences, I would use demonstrations at trade shows and creating links to more detailed information on an organization website.

4. It is necessary to use a variety of messages and communication channels in a public relations program because communication only takes place if the sender and the receiver have a common understanding of symbols being used.  It is extremely important to have a variety of messages so all publics can be reached and understand the messages that are being sent.

5. Five steps of the adoption process are awareness, when a person becomes aware of an idea or a new product, interest, when an individual seeks more information about the idea or the product.  Evaluation, a potential consumer evaluates the idea or product on the basis of how it meets specific needs and wants. Trial, the person tries the product or the idea on an experimental basis, and finally adoption, when the individual begins to use the product on a regular basis or integrates the idea into theory belief system. Some factors that affect the adoption process include the amount of time needed to adopt a new product or idea.

6.  The role of staged objectives in evaluating public relations programs are to create a set of clearly established of measurement objective that are part of the program plans.  Bu agreeing on criteria that will be used to measure success, PR personnel and management will be on the same page.  By having set objectives, you can then compare your results to the set goals to see if you have accomplished what you originally hoped for.

7. Four ways that publicity activity is evaluated include computerized news clip analysis, survey sampling, quasi-experimental designs and counting how many news releases have been made.  There are no clear drawbacks to the evaluation methods; in fact, the evaluation process is beneficial because it increases the pressure on organization to prove their value to the “bottom line.”

8. Measurement of message exposure differs from measurement of audience comprehension of the message with the types of tools and procedures that companies use to do the measurements.  PR companies often hire clipping services to scan large numbers of publication.  Some tools that PR firms use to measure the message exposure include media impressions, internet hits, advertising equivalency, systematic tracking, information requests, cost per person, and audience attendance.  As for measuring audience comprehension, PR firms use surveys and techniques like baseline research.

9. Methods that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a company newsletter or magazine are the clipping count method, to make sure that information was appearing in the media.  The second method is content analysis.  In the MetLife example, the company created “Media Reality Check” which analyzed message accuracy by focusing on basic facts, misstatements, and omissions.

Chapter 6 Questions (due 03/3/11)

1. Some questions that a public relations professional should ask before formulating a research design are; –what is the problem? –which kind of information is needed? –how will the research results be used? – Which specific public should be researched? –Should the organization do the research in-house or hire an outside consultant? –how will research data be analyzed, reported, or applied? –how soon are the results needed? and –how much will the research cost?

2. Five ways that research is used in public relations include achieving credibility with management, defining audience and segmenting publics, formulating strategy, test messages and preventing crisis. Achieving credibility with management means that PR firms use research to link communications and business outcomes, which is often overlooked.  Defining audience and segmenting publics mean using research to obtain detailed information about demographics, lifestyles, characteristics and consumption patterns of a public, while formulating strategy uses research to focus communication resources where they would do the most good. Test messages means using research to determine which message is most salient to a target audience, and preventing crisis uses research to uncover trouble spots and public concerns before they become news.

3. Survey research can be used a publicity tool because it helps public relations practitioners target audiences they wish to reach and to shape their messages. Surveys, also known as content analysis can also determine if a need exists for additional public relation efforts.

4. The procedure for organizing and conducting a focus group include gathering a group of 8 to 12 people who possess the characteristics of the largest target audience.  A trained facilitator uses nondirective interview techniques that encourage group members to talk freely about the topic or suggested message themes. The setting is a conference room and the discussion is informal.  A focus group can last between 1 and 2 hours. The goal of a focus group is to develop qualitative information rather than hard data. Focus groups identify attitudes and opinions among participants about a given subject.

5. The pros of using a focus group are it allows an organization to help identify the attitudes and motivations of important publics.  Focus groups allows for an organization to formulate or pretest message themes and communication strategies before launching a full campaign.  The cons to using a focus group are that an organization will be unable to gather hard data.  The results of a focus group are attitudes and opinions and therefore cannot be summarized by percentages or projected to an entire population.  There is no room for generalization and the interpreting aspect of research results is more difficult.

6. Some guidelines that should be followed when releasing the results of a survey to the media and the public includes having a plan.  It is important for an organization to arrange their results in a coherent design.  This is called systematic planning, or gathering info, analyzing it, and creatively applying it for the specific purpose of attaining the objective. Two models of planning, the MBO and Ketchum model, stresses using strategic steps in moving professional and clients to ultimate objectives and goals wanted to conduct their research.

7. Public relations program plans identify what is to be done, why, and how to accomplish it.  Preparing a plan allows practitioners to make sure all elements have been properly considered and that everyone involved understands the “big picture.” While there are some variations, almost all PR program plans consist of 8 steps: Situation, Objective, Audience, Strategy, Tactics, Calendar/timetable, Budget and Measurement.

8. The difference between an informational objective and a motivational objective is that informational objectives are meant to primarily expose audiences to information and to increase awareness of an issue, an event, or a product.  Motivational objectives are bottom-line oriented and are based on clearly measurable results that can be quantified.  This would include the goals to increase a product sales, a sellout crowd for a theatrical performance or more donations to a charitable agency.

9.  The difference between a strategy and an objective is that a strategy describes how, in concept, a campaign will achieve objectives.  It provides guidelines and themes for the overall program.  An objective on the other hand is defined in terms of program outcomes rather than inputs.  Objectives are not the “means”, but the “ends” in a campaign.

 Chapter 5 Questions due 03/1/11

1. The roles and functions of public relations departments have changed in the most recent years in quite a few ways.  Public relations departments are expanding from traditional functions to exercise influence in the highest levels of management.  Public relations have transformed from publicity and one-way communication to complex process of negotiation and compromise with key publics.  Public relations now is about building relationships with various groups and creating policy and two-way communication with specific types of publics.

2. Some ways in which structure and culture of an organization affect the role and influence of public relations departments include the size of a company.  Large, complex organizations have a greater tendency than smaller firm in including public relations in the policy making process. Being more concerned with policy issue and public attitudes, large firms rely on public relations sources like news conferences, formal contact with the media and writing speeches.  On the other hand, smaller organizations usually feel less public pressures and therefore has less important role in high decision making.  Public relations usually revolves around writing company newsletter and issuing routine news releases. Large companies also view PR as primarily a journalistic and technical function, which at times can limit the role of PR departments as well as take part in management decision making. Often the primary indicator on whether a PR department is influential and powerful depends on if the top communication officer has a seat at the management table of an organization.

3. The type of knowledge that a public relations manager needs today would include specialized knowledge in financial communication and labor issues.  Most managers are divided among different areas in a company in need of PR.  Large corporations might have PR for media relations, investor relations, consumer affairs, governmental relations, marketing communications and employee communication. Managers need to have specialized knowledge, but still be diverse enough to handle any situation that they might be thrown in to.

4.  Choosing between the terms “public relations” and “corporate communications” I find public relations to be more appropriate because I feel that PR is such a broad field that anyone can use, that naming it “corporate communications” will limit the understanding of what is group does for a company.  When explained the function of “corporate communications” I feel that most will instinctively say “oh, so you are in PR.” I think that keeping the name PR is better because people will easily understand it, but there can be sub-division to included new forms of PR like employee communications, consumer relations and corporate philanthropy.  An employee can say “I work in the public relations sector of the company with specialization in employee communications.” It makes the title less confusing and actually more specific than calling themselves workers in “corporate communications.”

5. The difference between line and staff function is line function, like a vice president, can delegate authority, set production goals, hire employees, and directly influence the work of others.  Staff function, like basic workers, have little or no direct authority.  They indirectly influence the work of others through suggestions, recommendations and advice.  Public relations is thought of as a staff function.  PR are experts in communication and the line managers, like a CEO of a company, rely on them to use their skills in preparing and processing data, making recommendations, and executing communication programs to meet organizational objectives.

6. A compulsory-advisory role within an organization is a good one for public relations department to have because it requires top management to listen to experts in what is going on is a crisis before making decisions.  When a comulspry-advisory role is setup, the organizational policy requires that line managers at least listen to the appropriate staff experts before deciding on a strategy.  This can save a company from making a quick and wrong decision, when there are possible alternative PR strategies that will make the situation move smoother.

7. The four areas of an organization that are the most likely to develop friction with public relations departments are legal, human resources, advertising, and marketing.  Legal will most likely create friction because legal staff members are always concerned about the possible effect that any public statement can have on current or potential litigation.  There is a conflict on which information should be released.  For Human Resources, the fight with PR lies over who is responsible for employee communications.  Human Resources believe they should control the flow of info; PR administrators counters that satisfactory external communications cannot be achieved unless effective employee relations are conducted simultaneously.  Advertising and PR compete for funds to communicate with external audiences, while Marketing sees customers or potential clients exclusively as key publics while PR practitioners define public more broadly.

8. Seven services that public relations firms offer clients include marketing communications (promote products and services through tools like news releases, feature stories, and media tours), executive speech training (coach top executives on public affairs activities, like personal appearance), research and evaluation (conduct scientific surveys to measure public attitudes and perceptions), crisis communication (counsel management on what to say/do in emergencies), media analysis (examine appropriate media for targeting specific messages to key audiences), community relations (counsel management on ways to achieve official and public support for projects like building a factory, and event management (plan/conduct news conferences, anniversary celebrations, rallies and national conferences).

9. International business to U.S. public relations firms is extremely important.  Most of the major public relations firms generate substantial revenues from international operations.  Edelman had $450 million in revenues in 2008, with one-third of that coming from international offices.  Burson Marstller generates half of its revenue from its 71 international operations.

10. The standard methods used by public relations firm to charge for its services include basic hourly fee, plus out-of-pocket expenses, retainer fee and fixed project fee.  The 1st works with the number of hours spent in a client’s account is counted each month and billed to the client. Out-of-pocket expenses include cab fares, meals and airline tickets.  The 2nd works with a basic monthly charge billed to the client covers ordinary administrative and overhead expenses for maintaining the account and being “on call” for advice and strategic counseling.  The 3rd method works with the PR firm agrees to do a specific project for a fixed fee.  There is one other method, pay for placement, clients paying for actual placement of articles in the print media and broadcast mentions instead of paying hours worked, is the least popular method and is hardly used.


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