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!


  1. Ouhhhh Yeeeessssss!!! I love the part when you say ‘be original and don’t use cliché!’ harharharhahrar

    I don’t remember that passage from Sun Tzu Art of War… seems you’re getting more violent recently, is that a hidden agenda of Call to Arms for 30 Seconds to Mars? *clear throat*

    “Really? We can use PR for nation building as well?” --> absofreakinglutely!!!
    “ Indonesia is in a state of primary engagement with public relations for the purposes of nation building.” --> primary as in ‘starting stage’ or as in ‘indispensable’… one thing that’s worse than cliché is ambiguity.
    “I've never heard of it as long as I live there. It is indeed "practice narrowly" there.” --> absoprettilutely!!!

    In case you missed it, this is something that I had in mind to correspond to the latest passage of mine.

  2. Ng..why do you love that particular sentence?

    Read again. There are many different translations, but there is this sentence about doing a wise decison. I've edited the blog, btw, and add the links to the literature.
    That's not violent, that's learning to be smart. I've been bullied for too long. Time to go to war..!

    *ahem* Anyway, I've read that particular post of yours. Come on, you make it sounds bad. You didn't mention the awesome food we have there, the friendly people, the indeed "long historical values" which is unique (almost forgotten, though), beautiful, beautiful nature.

    I'll gladly spend the rest of my life there (after I extort a bit of dollar from other country first, though. Mwhahaha..).

  3. OK, you asked for it.
    Usual drill: stop reading if you don’t like it.

    Awesome food- “If it tastes good, it’s bad for your health”.
    If you pay some attention, especially if you have cholesterol and gouty arthritis in your 20s, you will soon realize that it’s kind of an imbalance diet that sometime (more than just sometime) will bring malice to the people who indulge in them.

    The friendly people- Maybe your circle of friends. But we do not live in a circle of isolation aren’t we?

    Long historical values- that’s exactly what I meant of 3 centuries of slavery, and the values are degraded to either materialism or mindless obedience to the authority.

    Unique, beautiful nature- not forgotten, just badly polluted. I went up the hilltop, just to find that the fog and cool weather has been pushed away by carbon emissions. I went to the beach just to find myself doing a voluntary work, cleaning a pile of rubbish on the shore just to sit down and relax.

    I don’t mind to go back there again though, if I’ve snatch a hundred of million dollars from overseas and a billion dollars from the native land. Not that I’m a materialist but because I know that a certain percentage of it will be taken for tax, and the under-the-table tax.

    By the way, I know you’ll read right all the way down to the bottom. Let’s talk about the more serious issue: Cliché. It’s a cheap tools for every mediocre-intelligence people, who, will deliberately over-utilizing them, just for the sake of appearing wise. Not a smart move. Because sooner or later, after 20 clichés, we’ll know their actual quality, and it just make us sick (if you’re healthy in the first place).

    Your homework: the next time you met a clichéful person, please just walk off and forget the whole conversation, or please give them a good slap if you can. I Hate cliché!

  4. I read it all the way down --out of appreciation that you actually spend your valueable time to comment.

    But I shall not reply further lest this will be never-ending (even long after I graduate from UoN).

  5. hahas! sorry for the bluntness but.. is there even PR activities in Indonesia? i havent really seen one there though. and I seriously thought it was all about bribery over there. lol. ok, i'm sorry if i offended anyone. ha!

    i guess the main difference in strategy would be due to the different culture. it's like, in sg, freebies may do the trick to attract ppl's attention to an event. but it isnt necessarily so in other countries.


  6. Yello J0leen.

    There's many PR activities going on in Indonesia backyard indeed, both from private and government side (if my definition of PR is does not fail us).

    my favorite is always Sampoerna Foundation. I heard the media guy from this this great-evil-tobacco-maker is quite good with tapping into local music market and humongous charity. Of course they learnt this from their big cousin Philip Morris (which latter acquired the group as we all know, or do we?).