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Public Relations Models

A workplan for modern public relations professionals

Liz Diachun

on 12 July 2014

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Transcript of Public Relations Models

Theorist in
favor of:
Theorist in
favor of:
Two-way Symmetry
The Four Models of Public Relations
Grunig & Hunt's work plan for modern practitioners
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The Four Models of Public Relations
Is one model really the best?
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Today's Press Agents
Getting their clients into the headlines
...or trying to keep them out
"There's a sucker born every minute"
P.T. Barnum
Work influence public opinion
The Press Agentry Model
Studies consistently show “press agentry to be the most common form of public relations”
(Grunig and Grunig 1992, 305)
Ivy Lee
Today's Public Information Officer
The 2-way asymmetrical model
Uses research to persuade and manipulate their audience to behave in a certain way
The 2-way symmetrical model
“Two-way symmetrical model is the most ethical approach to public relations and that ethical public relations also is the model most effective in meeting organizational goals.” (Grunig and Grunig 1992, 308)
“People are more likely to seek information that is relevant to decision situations in their lives than to seek information that reinforces their attitudes”
(J. E. Grunig 2006, 154-155)
One-way Communication
Two-way Communication
"Press agents of the mid-19th-century were the first full-time specialist to practice public-relations."
(Grunig and Grunig 1992, 287)
“The press agent invests no time in research and even less in the discussion of ethics. The aim is behavior manipulation.”
(Sledzick 2008)
Ethical Press Agents
“The thing about successful publicists is that they always think they can get others to say good things about their client or product or service, and they wonder why anyone would ever spend money on advertising and marketing with publicity is a lot cheaper and more effective.”
(Seitel and Doorley 2012, 29)
The Public Information Model
Journalist in residence
Criticism of Symmetrical Communication
Is symmetrical communication realistic?
Final Thoughts
“The unfortunate downside to the controversy concerning two-way symmetrical versus asymmetrical approaches is that it has stunted public relations scholarship.”
(Pfau and Wan, 110)
Batchelor, Bob. "Toward Pragmatic Public Relations: Melding Theory and Practice." School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent State University, Kent, OH.

Caywood, Clark L. "Twenty-First Century Public Relations: The Strategic Stages of Integrated Marketing Communications." In The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications, by Clarke Caywood, 3-12. New York, 2012.

Gomes, Phil. "Ears to the Third Rail: A Personal History of PR in Social Media." In The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated marketing Communications, by Clarke L. Caywood, 267-270. New York: McGraw Hill, 2012.

Grunig, James E. "Furnishing the Edifice: Ongoing Research on Public Relations As a Strategic Management Function." Journal of Public Relations Research (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.) 18, no. 2 (2006): 151-176.

Grunig, James E., and Larrisa A. Grunig. "Models of Public Relations and Communications." In Excellence in Public Relations and Communications Management, by James E. Grunig, 285-325. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Grunig, Larissa A., James E. Grunig, and David M. Dozier. Excellent Public Relations and Effective organizations. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Hallahan, Kirk. "Integrated Communication: Implications for Public Relations Beyond Excellence." In The Future of Excellence in Public Relations and Communications Management, by Elizabeth Toth, 299-336. New York: Routledge, 2007.
The Real World of PR
Background in Journalism

Wrote what is considered to be the first "Press Release" in 1906 for the Pennsylvania Railroad

The first public relations professional in an executive-level position
Edward Bernays
"Perhaps the most fabulous and fascinating individual in public relations, a man who was bright, articulate to excess, and most of all, an innovative thinker and philosopher of this vocation that was in its infancy when he opened his office in New York in June 1919."
- Scott Cutlip
“Organizations often do not practice the models purely, however. Many use different models for different situations and different programs. And, in addition, there maybe theoretical reasons yet unexplored for white organizations combine the models"
(Grunig & Grunig 1992, 297)
Can these theories actually be implemented?
Works as a journalist in residence, often comes from a journalism background
Disseminates information through press releases, web pages, flyers, etc.
Answers the news media, open and honestly, when questioned.
Does not solicit feedback from the public - communication only flows out.
Persuasion in Public Relations
Social Media and Two-way Communication
Although there is still a great deal of naysaying in the public relations literature about the symmetrical idea, there is so much logical, empirical, and ethical support for it after 20 years of research and theoretical development that its value seems axiomatic to me.
(J. E. Grunig 2006, 156-157)
Symmetrical Communication in Practice
Symmetrical communication is balanced; it adjusts the relationship between the organization and the public."
(Grunig and Grunig 1992, 289)
James Grunig
"Public relations is the
profitable integration of the organization new and continuing relationship with stakeholders, including customers, by managing all communications contacts with the organization, which creates and protects the brand and the reputation of the organization."
(Caywood 2012, 3)
“Excellent public
relations is managerial, strategic, symmetrical, diverse, and ethical.”
(Grunig, Grunig and Dozier 2002, 306)
Let's do what is needed when its needed
"Organizations change models of public relations as situations and issues change or that they use different models for different programs.”
(Grunig and Grunig 1992, 297)
“Criticism of the symmetrical model in particular seem to be centered around two areas: that it is a too idealistic (normative) model to be practiced, and that advocacy rather than two-way symmetrical communication is the main purpose of public relations.”
(Holtzhausen 2007, 363)
The dominant public relations theory is derived from a 1984 study sponsored by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)... Dubbed the “Excellence study” by Grunig and his team, the theory attempts to outline the qualities that “excellent” PR departments display. Much of the research centered on how a public relations department should be managed and configured to provide the greatest value to organizations and the people (“publics”) that interact with them"
(Batchelor, 8)
“When someone opens up their lives to twitter, Facebook, their blog or any online social platform, they bring their living rooms online: the discussions, the news, the memories, the heartaches, the joys, the hobbies, the job stress, the hopes and dreams.”
(Gomes, 270)
“Indeed, persuasion is the essence of strategic communication.”
(Hallahan, Holtzhausen, et al., 22)
Persuasion “is intrinsic to public relations activities aimed at external publics. Persuasion plays an implicit role in community relations, media relations, crisis communication, and other public relations tasks. Persuasion is more explicit in such endeavors at fundraising, lobbying, and commercial and social marketing. We also argued that controversy over whether public relations should operate from an asymmetrical were symmetrical model is misguided; that public relations is a form of strategic communications in which persuasion plays an intrinsic role.”
(Pfau and Wan, 126)
Hallahan, Kirk. "Integrated Communication: Implications for Public Relations Beyond Excellence." In The Future of Excellence in Public Relations and Communications Management, by Elizabeth Toth, 299-336. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Hallahan, Kirk, Derina Holtzhausen, Betteke van Ruler, Dejan Vercic, and Krishnamurthy Sriramesh. "Defining Strategic Communication ." International Journal of Strategic Communication 1, no. 1 (2007): 3-35.

Holtzhausen, Derina R. "Activism." In The Future of Excelence in Public Relations and Communications Management, by Elizabeth L. Toth, 357-379. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Laskin, Alexander V. "The evolution of models of public Evolution of models of public relations 37 relations: an outsider’s perspective ." Journal of Communication Management (Emerald Group Publishing Limited) 13, no. 1 (2009): 37-54.

Pfau, Michael, and Hua-Hsin Wan. "Persuasion: An Intrinsic Function of Public Relations." In Public Relations Theory II, by Carl H. Botan and Vincent Hazleton, 101-136. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Sietel, Fraser P, and John Doorley. Rethinking Reputation: How PR Trumps Marketing and Advertising in the New Media World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Sledzik, Bill. The '4 Models' of public relations practice: How far have you evolved? Aug 10, 2008. http://toughsledding.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/the-4-models-of-public-relations-practice-how-far-have-you-evolved/ (accessed Feb 22, 2013).
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