Monday, February 8, 2010

Reading: Theoretial Contexts

Reading before week 5: Ch.3 Theoretical Contexts by Marianne D Sison

So, this week's reading talks mostly about the theories that surround Public Relations. Worth to note, though, the profile story at the beginning of the chapter is inspiring. I'd like to quote Richard Amos, when he describes PR as "a mega-exciting yet talent-light' industry". Talking about the roller coaster life ;)

Anyway, I notice that PR shares many theories of communication (at least I recognize the ones that we studied in our Communication Studies course), like the agenda setting, semiotics, transmission models, persuasion. But to think about it, of course PR practitioners must understand these concepts in order to understand the media audience, and in what way the media might influence its audience.

I'm a bit surprised that someone (sometwo?) has actually categorized PR practise. They who have succeeded in doing so were James Grunig and Todd Hunt, thus the model is called Grunig and Hunt's four models. They are:
1. Press Agentry: one-way communication, reflect publicity model, PR as publicity agent.
2. Public Information: one-way communication, sort of informational campaign.
3. Two-Way Asymmetric: use of scientific/factual information to persuade the audience.
4. Two -Way Symmetric: organization and its audience have equal power, for example, a dialog with community groups.

There are variations to these groups, however. Like personal influence (an influence depending on one's interpersonal communication skills) and mixed motive (PR practitioners see their organizational behaviours through the public's perspective).

But the one thing that captures me the most in this chapter is the Four Rooms model that was developed through VMIA (Victorian Managed Insurance Authority) and SHJ's (Scaffidi Hugh-Jones) Change Support Pack.
The Four Rooms model of change are the Contentment Room, the Denial Room, the Confusion Room, and the Renewal Room.


  1. I really agree when you to Richard Amos quote as he stated that PR is mega-exciting. I think this job has really a lot of challenges and one has to always be on the ball to face the changes, problems that may arise. There are really a lot of communication theory ad as PR practitioners, we need to try to get to know about as many theories as possible.

  2. Indeed.. turns out that PR is not less exciting that war correspondent ;)