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What Is Public Relations Select 2 Definitions And Assess

Term Paper Title: What Is Public Relations Select 2 Definitions And Assess
Word Count: 1346
Page Count: 5.38 (250 words per page double spaced)

What is Public Relations  Select 2 definitions and assess


     The Mexican Statement, agreed on by the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations in Mexico City in August 1978 (Seitel, 1992, 8), reads,
"Public relations practice is the art and social science of analysing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling organisation leaders, and implementing planned programmes of action which will serve both the organisation's and the public interest."
Strengths
1. The emphasis that public relations practice is an art and social science.
By stating that PR practice is an art implies the element of specialised skill, knowledge and methods involved (Tymson, 1996, 4). It also implies that PR practice is not completely objective, as there are subjective factors involved. PR practice deals with the human element, which is by nature unpredictable; therefore not completely objective. PR practice also considers the inputs which social sciences (eg. psychology, sociology, anthropology, statistics) can contribute. For example, a PR practitioner would have to consider cultural factors when planning a programme or campaign for its targeted publics so that there would be less risk of unintentionally offending other segments of the society.
3. The emphasis on "analysing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling organisation leaders, and implementing planned programmes of action".
     Here a trend is established for PR practice. "Analysing trends" would imply the need for employing proper research methods to gain feedback on audience attitudes (Tymson, 1996, 5). "Predicting their consequences" emphasises the importance of forecasting, based on research results. "Counselling organisation leaders" show the need for PR practitioners, whether consultants or in-house PR managers, to advise organisational leaders on PR issues and activities, for example, sponsoring a charity event to boost the company image and improve goodwill between the organisation and its publics. "Implementing planned programmes of action" emphasises the execution of carefully planned PR activities and programmes. Within this definition a 4 step process for PR practice is summarised, implying that PR practice is a meticulously planned process. The factor of social trends implies that PR practice is an on-going process as trends are ever-changing. This emphasises the need for continuos research to monitor trends and attitudes as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the PR programme (Tymson, 1996, 5).
4. The emphasis on public interest.
     Consideration for the public interest is an important responsibility as PR practice stresses the  need for the building and maintaining of goodwill, mutual understanding and two-way communication between an organisation and its publics. Successful PR programmes depend on the public for feedback for guidance (Tymson, 1996, 4). PR also has social, political and economic responsibilities (Tymson, 1996, 4).
Weaknesses
1. Does not emphasise specific publics which are targeted as the audience.
     Every PR programme or campaign must have specific targeted publics. The Mexican Statement does not clearly emphasise this important factor, only alluding to the general public. This definition leans towards a more macro view on PR practice, ignoring important factors such as the internal publics within an organisation.
     A good example for this definition is the Courtesy campaign which the Singapore government has launched. Research has shown that Singaporeans lack social graciousness (analysis of social trends), and the government has therefore developed the Courtesy campaign in an attempt  to educate the public on the need to develop a gracious society (after predicting dire consequences, eg. a self-centred culture). Messages are emphasised through the various mass media, with the Prime Minister as the main spokesperson. The messages are aimed at the role-models of society, for example, parents and teachers (counselling organisation leaders) as well as the general public. The programme lasts a month every year, and reward...

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