Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reading: Understanding 21st Centruy PR

Reading before week 4: Ch.1 Understanding Twenty-first Century Public Relations by Joy Chia
and Ch. 2 Trends and Developments by Joy Chia

If in the first lecture I (finally) got to know what Public Relations is, and how it is different from journalism, from the reading I now have in-depth understanding about PR and many things around it.
For example, fun to find out how in PR, there's public (a group of people) and there's stakeholder (public that has an influence to your company).

I find the opening story of the chapter about Tracy Jones, the president of Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), interesting. Making me think, perhaps it's a good idea to start your carreer as a journalist, when you young, with all the rush and adrenaline. Then as you get older, you move on to a more settled but as challenging carrer in Public Relations.

I should've known that PR's neatherthal is from Greece (p.6) --as many others' are. After all, Greece is the birthplace of many sophists.
At first, t seems to me that PR sounds like marketing: it publicize something, but with the purpose of seeling it. But I realize now that PR is about maintaining reputation (both the reputation of someone, or an organization) and relationship (between PR company and client company, client-public, PR-public, PR-media, client-media).
I cannot completely agree, though, if it's said that PR is "to make a difference to society" (p. 7). Well, at least, I can't see the direct connection.

Just like journalism, PR also prone to govt interverene (p. 7) so maybe it's a good idea if a PR practitioner is under a certain solid organization for Public Relations, like PRIA in Australia.

There are 4 effective ways to do PR: Research, Evaluation, Planning, Communication (RACE) (p.8).

Reading about theories of PR, it occurs to me that PR is not an exclusive practice. I mean, not like medical or engineering practitioners who have these fancy terms that ordinary human can't understand. And you can't go anywhere else when you study medical, or law, for example. You have to stay around the science.
On the other side, PR is all about logic and creativity. When you study Public Relations, you study about basic things in relating and communicating with other people.

-Global Alliance
-International Public Relations Association.

Lecture 3 (Week 4) - PR vs Journo

Week 4
We finally got our reading material. Ms. Wilson somehow managed to get a copy of the first chapter of the book we're supposed to read to be put in our online UoN library. Going to start reading soon.. Hopefully I'll be able to finish before evening :p

Today's lecture was interesting. Now I understand more and more what a PR practitioner does (see, I now even know that PR is the job, PR practitioner is the person. Yup, FINALLY I know).
But the more I understand about PR, the less confident I am to become one. The job doesn't suit my character (or rather, my character doesn't suit the job).

You see, the first thing is, a PR person must know all and every newspaper there are in the country they're residing. Better yet, plus all of the magazines. Then, they must know the journalists. Not just know as in acquaintant, but know as a friend.
Ms. Wilson jokingly said, PR practitioners are basicly need to suck-up, both to the journalists and to their clients. That's where it doesn't go with me --when I don't like someone, I show it in their face -__- need to do something about that.

There's one thing that I realized in the lecture: PR and journalism are like twins. You know how twins look alike, when they're young they wear all the same things, accessories and clothes. But as they get older, somehow they don't get along well, sometimes worse than ordinary siblings.
Not a very good analogy for PR and journalism; but that's how I see them now. Maybe that's why both PR and Journalism in UoN are together?

Oh, we also learned about four PR tactics: written, spoken, acted, imagined.

Just for fun, this morning, Ms. Wilson mentioned something about TODAY newspaper tends to write the positive things in their news. Hm...interesting.. I never noticed that.

- OCD company

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lecture 2 (Week 3) - A knowledge on hold

Well, we are supposed to read "Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice" by Joy Chia and Gae Synnott.
But I've yet able to get a hold on the book.
The campus' bookstore doesn't provide it, and I don't have time to look around yet (or I just don't try hard enough..).
I'll update my blog as soon as I get the book and read it. Before the week ends, I promise. I will go to the National Library and few bookstores later, to find the book.

Oh, our debate group is announced. My team will have the debate on week 8 (that is 8 March).
- \ . . - : - . . / -

Update on the book: I went to National Library on Friday, 22 Jan, to search for the book. But they don't have it as well. They really don't publish it in Asia, it seems.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lecture 1 (Week2) - What is PR?

Right, that was the same question that has been bugging me, too, for so many years.

I know this sounds pathetic, but I truly get the answer only today, in my first lecture of Introduction to Public Relations course -CMNS1290.
It's not like I've never tried to find out what PR is all about, but the books and articles that I tried to read, talk about what the professional PR are doing, instead of explaining what they simply are.

So, for those who had or having the same fate as I did, here is the answer, Public Relations communicate to the public through the media, on the behalf of an organization.

Assignment 1 - blog

Item Reading Journal Blog - 25 %
grading criteria reading journal blog.doc (32.5 Kb)

All students are expected to read all set course readings.

This reading and learning journal will be kept in the form of a blog. Each student will set up a new blog on or as directed by your lecturer specifically for this purpose and will post their blog URL as a reply to the Blog forum set up for this purpose in the Discussion Board. This will be done in class.

Please don’t use your full name in order to protect your privacy. Examples of blogs that received HD marks in past courses are:

You can write more if it helps your learning but no less than 200 words each week.

Once each student has their blog set up, each student will reflect on what they have discovered/learnt from the course required readings. Students can post opinions and put forward arguments in their blogs but these need to be backed up by evidence to support the position taken. i.e. Writing "I think that's wrong" is unacceptable but "I think that's wrong because evidence presented in the study by Grunig and Grunig (reference here) clearly showed that the exact opposite was the case!"

At a minimum each entry for each week will be no less than 200 words and include entries that address:

a) the key points of the readings, and

b) the application of the readings to public relations practice (include examples from case studies or current campaigns that you've seen)

You can write about other aspects but each week those two area must be completed.

The reading journal blog will be updated weekly prior to each week’s tutorial class. Students will be assigned a partner each week from their class and each week you will comment on each other's work. You must respond to the comments received on your blog - you are marked on this aspect of the blog exercise. You will be given time in class to comment on other students' posts from that week so all students must have completed their work for the week.

Even if you are not attending class that week for some reason, your blog posting for that week must be ready to be read and commented upon. You should also comment on another student's blog. Suggested approaches for students to begin their comments include

  • I thought your point about ______ was interesting in that…
  • I took the author’s meaning to be quite different in that ….
  • I thought the way you approached the reading was helpful to other students as ….
  • I can’t believe we saw things so differently. I totally disagree with what you said about _____ because…..

There is no limit on the number of comments and blog entries that can be made and students are encouraged to use the journal to highlight other insights and findings that they have made. This assignment is designed to facilitate your learning.

The grading criteria are clear as to the requirements and how students will be assessed for this assignment. You will be assessed on readings set for Weeks 3 to 10.


Students should note that this is individual work. In keeping with the University’s policy on Student Academic Integrity, students discovered working with others without permission on this assessment task and presenting the resulting work as though it was completed independently may invoke a penalty.

Issues such as substantial changes in style and expression between out of class blogging and in-class blogging may be grounds for investigation to ensure academic integrity is being maintained.

If you include words that are not your own e.g. sections from the readings, please ensure that these are properly referenced. You will be penalised if they are not. Blogs will be checked by the course coordinator for evidence of plagiarism. Do not copy from other blogs - Turnitin picks these up too.


When setting up the blog, students should not include personal information like photos of themselves, location, contact details, star signs and hobbies etc that could encourage people from outside the course to submit unwanted comments.

If you receive unwelcome and/or inappropriate comments please stop blogging immediately and advise the course coordinator immediately of the situation by email.

GENERAL BLOGGING GUIDELINES (sourced from Barbara Nixon's PR blog)

Keep these general guidelines in mind when you post blog entries for our class:

  • Blogs are public, so write in a way that you will be comfortable with anybody reading your work (co-workers, friends, potential employers, parents, etc.).
  • Public blog posts may be indexed by Google and other search engines, so be mindful of your online identity you are creating.
  • Remember that Google may cache previous versions of your blog posts, even if you delete them. Google never sleeps.
  • Use an engaging title that captures your blog post and promotes reader interest.
  • Write about anything that interests you as it relates to our class content, even if there is no specific class assignment. Writers get better writing by writing.
  • Give credit where credit is due - If you use the direct words or lists of another blogger/writer, you MUST put the words in quotation marks. Cite the source by including the name and URL of the source; hyperlink to the source. OR use APA style. If you paraphrase another blogger/writer, you MUST indicate where you found the information.
  • Cite the source by including the name and URL of the source; hyperlink to the source. OR use APA style.
  • When using images in your blog posts, indicate where the images come from, either by linking back to the image source or providing a photo credit on the page. A great source for images is Flickr, especially when searched using CompFight.
  • Failure to cite sources in blog posts will result in the same penalty as failure to cite sources in traditional research papers or other writing projects. Consult with your tutor if you are in doubt about how to attribute the sources.

Guidelines for Commenting on Blogs

  • Reading your classmate and colleagues’ blogs to will give you ideas for your own writing.
  • When you comment on another person’s blog, you can potentially start a dialogue and gain new social contacts.
  • Like blog posts themselves, you never know who will read your comments.
  • It is good practice reply to comments on your own blog - plus you get marked on this component in this course.