Theory and Practice handout - ",1PUBLIC RELATIONS...

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Unformatted text preview: "--.,,1PUBLIC RELATIONS: THEORY AND PRACTICEPublicrelationsispracticedinthousandsoforganizationsthatrangeintypefromgiant,multinationalconsumer,goodscompaniesto,small,humanserviceagencies.Apublicrelationsdirectorforaneducationalinstitutionmaydevotehisorhereffortstofund-raising-andstudentrecruitment.Ontheotherhand,apublicrelationspractitioneratalargecorporationmayberesponsibleforthefirm'srelationshipswithcustomers,suppliers,investors,andemployees.In the UnitedStates,therearetabout18o~oo(Ypeoplewho claimthemselvespublicrelationspractitioners.Notallcallwhattheydopublicrelations.Manycalltheirworkpublicinformation,publicaffairs,publicity,communcations,andcommunityrelations.Publicrelationspractitionersdosuchavarietyofjobsthatsomescholarsquestionwhetherpublicrelationscanbeconceptualizedasasingleactivity.Thispapershedssomelightontheoryandpracticeofpublicrelations.Themainpurposeistohelpstudentsdevelopabroadperspectiveofpublicrelationssothattheywillbeabletodifferentiatebetweenvariousfunctionsofpublicrelationsintheirfuturecareers.ThepaperaddressesthefollowingfourpublicrelationsmodelsasestablishedbyGrunigandHunt:(1)thepressagent/publicitymodel,(2)thepublicinformationmodel,(3)thetwo-wayasymmetricmodel,and(4)thetwo-waysymmetric.model.Thepublicrelationsmodels,asusedhere;areabstractions.Inscientificusage,amodelisarepresentationofreality.Thehumanmindcannevergraspallofrealityintotal,butitcanisolateandgrasppartsofthatreality.Themindthenusesthosepartsof realitytoconstructideas.Thoseideasmodelreality,althoughtheyalsosimplifyit bynotincludingallof reality.Evenifwecouldobservethebehaviorofeverypublicrelationspractitionerintheworld,westillcouldnotremembereverythingwehadobservedthesepractitionersdoing.Butifweconstructmodelsofpublicrelationsbehaviorbyobservingthemostimportantcomponentsofthatbehavior,thenwecanmakesome'senseoutofthemanydiversecommunicationactivitiesthatwecallpublic~shouldbestressedagainthatthesemodelsaresimplificatio~andsimplificationsarealwaysfalseinpart,becausetheyalwaysleavesomethingout.-2PurposeofPublicRelationsThemodelsdifferinthefunctiontheyprovideforthesponsoringorganizations.Publicrelationsservesasapropagandafunctioninthepressagent/publicitymodel.Practitionersherespreadthefaithoftheorganizationinvolved,oftenthroughincomplete,distorted,orhalf-trueinformation.Forthepublic-informationmodel,thepurposeisthedisseminationofinformation,notnecessarilywithapersuasiveintent.Thepublicrelationspersonfunctionsessentiallyasa'"t"jQumalistinresi~nce,whosejobis\0r~ortobjectivelyinformationabouthisorherorganizationtothepublic.Practitionersofthetwo-wayasymmetricmodelhaveafunctionmorelikethatofthepressagent/publicist,althoughtheirpurposecanbestbedescribedasscientificpersuasion.Theyusewhatisknownfromsocialsciencetheoryandresearchaboutattitudesandbehaviortopersuadepublicstoaccepttheorganization'spointofviewandtobehaveinawaythatsupportstheorganization.Thepressagent/publicist'sattemptsatpersuasion,incontrast,aremoreintuitivethanscientific....
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Theory and Practice handout - ",1PUBLIC RELATIONS...

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