Week 2 – Foundations

At first thought I was going to begin this post with a sentence about how this week challenged my understanding of PR, but then I realised that my concept of PR coming into this course wasn’t incorrect, just narrow. For this reason, I’m going to use the word ‘broadened’ instead.

I recall telling someone I was going to Uni to do PR, and they said something about ‘spinning bull****’. The assumption that PR is one-way. A company makes a mistake, and a PR practitioner pulls out a bag of tricks. Two weeks of reading have calmed my social conscience. I have no interest in being that practitioner. The gears in my mind engaged as soon as I read “public relations personnel can help active the organisation’s social conscience” (Lesley eReader). The more I read the more I begin to understand just how much potential there is to not only change corporate image, but actually change the practice of organisations. Having the understanding that communicators should be counsel to management and be operating on a tactical management level makes me more determined than ever (and very glad I chose a business management sub major).

The quote used by Chia and Synnott (page 39) – “in an era when so much information is stored, transmitted and accessed electronically, organisations are transparent whether or not they choose to be” (Duhe 2007: 58) – I think is representative of a lot of the challenges I will be faced with in my career. New media in its many capacities has changed the corporate landscape, and having active publics (perhaps thanks to Web 2.0?) may challenge emerging PR practitioners as to how to maintain good consumer relationships and corporate reputation.

Anyway, I’m excited.

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2 thoughts on “Week 2 – Foundations

  1. I think changing the culture of an organisation to be a better corporate citizen would be very satisfying. And getting out information early when they stuff up something is something management often resist – at their peril. I think PR is a lot about the art of persuasion. You’d be good at that!

  2. Have a look at APP forest conservation policy as a possible and recent case study of what you described. APP was behaving scandalously by mass logging of Indonesian forests while promoting messages about their commitment to conservation. As a result of intense lobbying they are turning over a new leaf to make the corporate behaviour consistent with their PR. Their new policy:
    http://www.rainforestrealities.com/newsroom/press-releases/approadmap-forestpolicy/
    Brendan May helped persuade them and tells the story:
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/asia-pulp-and-paper-pledges-immediate-end-to-deforestation/4588898

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