Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 11 - A moment of quietness

So, today will be our last blog entry as, in Friday (according to the course outline), our blogs will be marked. I will miss this, writing a journal of what we learnt in an online blog. This is fun, different. We had an assignment like this last semester, to make a learning journal, but it was in hardcopy and we had to decorate it like a scrapbook. It was weird -how do you scrapbook a series of serious theories? Not to mention it was a waste of money and space.

Anyway, back to this week. There's nothing much going on, but you know what they say, it's always calmest before the storm. We still have the PR Communication Plan to submit in few weeks --along with all the assignments from other courses. Can you feel the tension rising?

In the tutorial today, Ms. Tanya specially discuss about our PR Communication Plan. I think it helps a lot, because I didn't know what are the differences between Strategy and Tactics. They sound the same, and the search in Google didn't really help. But now I understand a lot more, thus I can peacefully continue doing my plan. So...

This will mark the end of my blogs, then
[maybe I'll continue it, though, if I decide to work in PR line ;)]
See ya around!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week 10 - Closer to the edge..

It's the end of the semester. As usual, it's ending with a neck-breaking speed. Ok, I'm exaggerating. It just feels like it. This blog must be complete by next week. And we have to work on the PR plan halfway, or more, by then.
No lecture and no debate today. On to our readings, then... v


Reading for week 11: Writing a Media Release by Candy Tymson
Seems to me that in order to be able to write a good media release, we have to understand the media first. This is again where I feel that PR course is a combination of many things. One of them is journalism.
In the article, the writer mentions the elements that'd make a news story (journalism jargon, which mean a news piece) interesting for the readers (which in this case, is the media). A media release to a journalist is like a news story to the public, that's the concept.
I feel the elements mentioned are related to the 5W1H concept:
Who: Is the story about someone famous?
When: Is it recent, or far too long in the past?
Where: Is it anywhere near the reader?
What: Is the story different? Unique? Or just a bland one?
Why: Why should the readers pay attention? Is it useful? Is it an achievement? A record-breaking?
How: How does it affects the readers' feelings?

And one important thing to deal with the media is: honesty. You don't want to be caught lying by a journalist (and worse, to a journalist).
The timing for media release/publication is also important. We shouldn't announce something that is ordinary or can be found everyday. Otherwise, readers would be turned of and lose interest even before they read about anything. [It's like The Art of War, Sun Tzu said, "The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim."]
Small (but crucial) details to be remembered: get your facts right, use only one side of the paper, don't forget the date stamp and page number(s), keep it short,
Lastly, like any other literature, in a media release's: BE ORIGINAL. Don't use cliches.

and Ch. 13 Focus on Asian Public Relations Management by Richard Stanton
Well, when I started to read this chapter, I wonder: Why should we differentiate the PR practice in Western countries and in Asia? It turned out, however, that what the reading means by 'Asia' is the countries in which freedom of speech is not so free (pg.359: "..the relationship each country has to processes of capitalism and democracy.").
I also realized that the different cultures play important parts in making the PR practice different in Asia and Western countries, especially because in PR human interaction is the main point. For example, Asians are not so direct in speaking up their mind (pg.364) so PR practitioners need to be aware of this when doing campaign or presenting something for the public in Asia.

The reading also discuss about public relations practice in many countries: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
As an Indonesian, and my boyfriend is Vietnamese, I particularly interested in the statement that: "As in Vietnam, Indonesia is in a state of primary engagement with public relations for the purposes of nation building." (pg.371) Really? We can use PR for nation building as well?
It is also surprising to hear that there is actually PR practices in Indonesia. I've never heard of it as long as I live there. It is indeed "practice narrowly" there.

I'll just keep it short for this reading... the case study at the end of the chapter talks about a campaign to persuade voters to pick Incheon (a South Korean city) over Delhi, India, as the host city of 17th Asian Games in 2014. A public relations campaign. Just what we need to understand more about our final project. It's only an example, but good enough. Sweet!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 9 - Let the debates begin..

bad day
It's the debate day today. There are two groups contending: group 3 (that's ours!) and group 4, each with their own topic.
Our topic is, "Blogs established by PR practitioners on behalf of clients/organisations facilitate two-way symmetrical communication between organisations and their publics." While the topic for group 4 is, "Community events invariably benefit from securing corporate sponsorship."

Kinda scary at first, but it's not so bad, after all. Turned out that what I fear didn't happen: We didn't talk about two completely different things.

We've also started our plan for our final project -the OCD PR plan. I already have few ideas for the publication, but keep thinking that they're ludicrous -maybe they're not so relevant for real life. Will contemplate more on it.


Reading for week 10: Ch. 12 New Media and Public Relations by Kate Fitch I think this week's reading the topic closest to our heart (my classmates and me) as it talks about the thing dearest to us: the internet. I realized that this topic is closely related to my debate topic. If only I read it a week earlier -_-"
Talking about the internet is always controversial. Some people seems to be unable to accept the fact that we can send and receive information in real-time, yet. Talking about the use of internet of Public Relations is even more complex.

There are two seemingly different views on the relation of new media technology with public relation practice. However, in my opinion, these views seem to conclude the same thing: right now, internet has yet successful in carrying out two-way communication between organization/company with its audience.
The first view hinted that "the potential of the internet to promote two-way communication continues to remain unrealized", while the second suggested "while technology can potentially enchance two-way communication... this may mean that information flow is not controllled or even generated by organizations and gatekeepers".
Conclusion: Either because of the potential is yet being used to the maximum or there is an influx of information on the internet, a two-way communication through it isn't realized yet.
This is what makes the use of internet in public relations is still "controversial".

I don't think I'll discuss more on the reading as it mostly going around about the different form of new media. Plus about ethical issues, but we already talk about that in chapter 4.