Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chapter 12 - "Measuring Successful Relationships"

They say “measurement and evaluation is important to improve the probability of achieving program success..” but how?

So previously we learnt that evaluation can be conducted in the beginning of a campaign to inform about the cost, etc; throughout the life of a campaign (process), or at the end of event to sum up research and campaign activities. Now, I will discuss the 3 ways in which evaluation can be done as a formative and summative measurements tool, such as by:

Metrics: it’s a method of evaluation to uncover precise characteristics about reporters or journalist in the way they cover stories. That is, a measurement of the work behaviour of certain journalist. It is to know their position in a story, rather than what is published. It is important because once we know their characteristics/position in a certain issue, a media profile can be built.

For example, there is one newspaper that cover on the development of a small town. You live around there and you are not in support of the construction due to environmental issues. Then, you can collect all the articles about the development written by a journalist over a period of time. After that we can do coding (or by content analysis) to find out what is his/her stand is in the development. It will reveal the level of hostility, dismay, or hope that the individual composes around the subject. Then, since we know their position, we can do something to bring them to a more pleasant situation.

Message exposure: is a way to evaluate how the media and other stakeholder might view the event. Usually involves collecting clippings about our issue/event. Then we look at the style and tone of language used in those published material. There are 3 chances of our event to be reported: objectively, positively, or negatively. It could be a success if the event is reported positively, and vice versa.

& Finally is by Media Impressions: by measuring the number of audience who are exposed to the material in the media. We can measure effective cost per impression by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the total effective impressions (target audience).

These 3 methods are beneficial to maintain cost-effectiveness. We can also use that to bill clients.. Other ways to measure success is by surveys or focus groups which most of you readers are more familiar with. we can use either of these methods or a combination of these for a campaign to be successful.

So.. which one you think is the best way to evaluate? Feel free to comment!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Public Relations in Strategic Management and Strategic Management of Public Relations: theory and evidence from the IABC Excellence project

From James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig

My name is Pham Hoang Anh, hope you enjoy reading it!

As the title of this journal, we can realize that they establish about one of the important roles to build the effectiveness for organization. That is Public Relations and in this article, Public Relation is a critical part of an organization’s strategic management processes and of the consequent strategic management of public relations in an effective organization. This article started by elaborating of theory of the value of strategic management in public relations. During this entry, I will tell you the result of this research and what is my opinion about it.

One of the results of this research is that they have the theory that can apply in any organization around the world. And I do agree with their scheme that different organization, culture or political – economic systems must appear with different concepts. Even I do not have any experience for any organization in the real life but I think different countries have extreme different culture, for example, between Western and Asia. We cannot apply the same concepts to the dissimilar of values, which are independence versus communalism and consensus – society before self. Especially, we are living in the society with the harmony and maintaining social stability so we need the theory that relevant with organization itself. Furthermore, we also cannot apply the similarity theory between the huge organization and the small company.

There are two research questions for the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of organization function, but I only want to express about the ineffectiveness question which is “how must public relations be practiced and the communication function organized for it to contribute the most to organizational effectiveness?” The answer of this question that is they engage public relations into the strategic management consistently to contribute the best successful for organization and I am of the same mind with that answer. In another words, public relations must follow the strategically method to become the excellent public relations for any company that we want to work with. In the end of this part, I may say that it is also the most important point of this article is about.

Now I want to move on to the other topic of this article, which are how public relations contributes to organizational effectiveness. This part talks about how to measure the excellent in manager, even I know this is one of the component to contribute successful organization but I do not prefer this part to interested in it because I think it focus about organization behavior than public relations or strategic management. In the other hand, I totally agree that writers defined excellence in public relations as the theoretical relationship between characteristic of public relations and indicators of organization effectiveness. Personally, it is really concise and very tie definition for public relations. As what I have learned so far, public relations involve activities that work to design a strong public image for your company or organization, no matter you work for the big organization or small company, public relation practitioners must help the public to understand not only the outer surface of company but also the mission of what they are doing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chapter 10: Timelines and Budgets

This week blog will be covering chapter 10:

Timelines and Budgets

This chapter has covered all the necessary knowledge about timelines and budgets, however, I will not be discussing more about timelines, as being a PR practitioner, we are all supposed to work within the given deadline. Hence, I will be covering more on budgeting.


Well, first of all the fact about budgeting is most organizations don’t use budgets to help them meet their profit goals. According to those organizations, the effort that is required to build and use workable budgets is just too much. They feel that learning how to budget is more frustrating.

However, that’s a mistake to ever think that way. Do you ever notice that a company that is used to budgeting is likely to meet their profit targets and avoid costly surprises? Because they have estimated of expenditure needed before going straight to do the task.

Well, now the same thing happens in the PR world. In PR, they do have budgeting and financial planning. According to the reading, a budget is defined as a periodic estimate of expenditure or, more simply, the amount of money needed for spending on a specific, object or task. In PR, budgeting is used for a media campaign between an agent and a client. It is also said that budgeting is not something to be taken lightly, despite the general feeling of dread it may invoke in those less numerate.

After looking through the importance of budgeting mentioned earlier, its clearly meant that budgeting is vital in PR world. Hence, still according to the reading, a good starting point in working up a proper budget is to add up all the tangible elements such as venue, computer technology, refreshments and prose material. But, how to manage the budget once we’ve known the estimated budget needed to do a task? Simple, you just need to discuss it with your client before the preparation., about the cost of the activities involved and the potential success if the results to avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Therefore, here are some important steps according to Richard Stanton on how to develop your client budget.

First one would be setting up a workshop that involves the client’s marketing staff and its marketing agencies, such as its advertising and media buying agency to review business and marketing objectives for the coming year. The objective of that is to make sure that the company could plan its strategy and weight activities and budget according to the marketing priorities.

The second one which is also the last step would be getting all the team members and senior management involved in brainstorming method that helps to generate original and newsworthy ideas that can be filtered and costed to a certain limit of the allocated budgets.

So, to conclude all these, every major company in the world including PR company should get used to budgeting - and you can bet that there will be a good reason for that. So the next time you think about budgeting, follow these 2 steps and your income statement will be more informative and your stress level a good deal lower.

So, basically here are what I got for this week posts.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hello Headz! Sorry for the late post!

This week blog will be covering chapter 11 on

“Risk, Uncertainty, and Crisis: How to Identify and Manage Them”

Well, as we all understand, risk is something every of us expose to ourselves in everyday of our life. For example, when you drive a motor vehicle, you’ll be risking the events that your car would crash, hit the trees, or worse, falls off the bridge. But please don’t stop driving. So far, nothing has happened. Why? Because you know that if you fasten your seatbelt, drive with care, follow the rule, you will reduce the risks of all those mentioned.

Now, the same thing happens in PR. When we begin a media relations campaign, we expose our client to potential injury and potential loss. Our duty is therefore to minimize those risks to a manageable level, or if possible, to avoid them.

According to the reading, there are four stages of risk and uncertainty in beginning the media relations campaign.

First risk would be when we deliver a campaign proposal to a client who we considered as the most important stakeholder in media relations. A client, who is more attuned to the risk associated with their business, would not want to engage the proposal that has a high level risk to his career. Such as, if he knows that the material we send may have a great possibility for the journalist to dig further and write a negative story, he might end up rejecting the proposal. In this case, we should be able to apply the persuasion theory and ensure him that the risk is manageable.

Second risk, which is related to Nur’s previous post, would be the item we deliver to the media. In this case, we take the risk that our item would be rejected together with 70 percent others. Journalists receive more than 50000 pieces of information that could be labeled ‘news releases’ a day. How is that not possible to see ours tossed in the bin? To reduce that risk, we should be able to come up with interesting story, catchy headline, and promising story angle to draw their attentions in the first place.

The other risk would be when there is a knowledge gap. Sometimes, what we write may not be something the reporters have knowledge about. In this case, it might lead them to a free shot, and worse, would lead them to use the material in a way we did not expect. What we should do to reduce this risk is to frame a story that the journalists have knowledge and are familiar about (this requires you to research about their profile with direct consequences for a client). The other thing is to apply the knowledge gap theory. This theory assumes us to communicate in a way that could reduce the knowledge gap between what the individual has already known and what is received.

So, by reducing risk and uncertainty, it can reduce the probability of an event to turn into a crisis.

However, this does not mean there will be no crisis. A nature of political, cultural, economic events, relationships to individual behaviors and attitudes will always cause a crisis in an organization to rise.

And therefore, lead us, as a PR practitioner to find way to identify, manage, and overcome this disaster.

In media relations, crisis is most often linked to reputation. One critical thing we should note in managing the crisis of an organization is to protect and maintain its image and reputation.

So, according to the book, there is a five-stage lifecycle in dealing a crisis,

detection- preparation- containment- recovery- and evaluation.

I will briefly explain how it works by giving the example of action films.

Imagine the genre set was the American west with cowboys and herds. There are robberies firing pistols to the air causing the steers frightened to run. Brave cowboys would get hold of it and turn the dangerous path to a calm walk before rounding the herds up.

Detection – hearing the gunshots

Preparation – staying in the saddle

Containment – Turning point

Recovery – when the herd slowed to walk

Evaluation – when the dust is settled (where the boss counts number of dead cowboys and examines the damages)

So, basically those are what i covered for this week posts.

I hope you find it informative enough!

remember to comment!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Week 10 reading: Writing a Media Release

For this week, I will touch more on media releases as per the reading mentioned above, its advantages and disadvantages.

So what is a media release? To freshen up everyone's memory, including mine, media release is like a short newspaper article which is send to various media outlets/channels to gain their interest in the hope that they will publish it. Normally, media releases are only a page long and consists of interesting facts.

I find that journalists and PR practitioners generally need and are inter-dependent on one another for story suggestions and sources – like a sort of mutual independence. It works both ways in a way that PR practitioners would provide journalists with news to which then, only the journalists can decide whether to publish them or not. PR practitioners would have to bear in mind that the news they provide have to be either 1. newsworthy, 2. related to the coverage area or, 3. both. It is also important to bear in mind that journalists receive hundreds of releases daily with more than 70% of them ending in the waste bins, therefore, it is very important to present an excellent media release which interests a number of people.

What are the benefits of writing and issuing media releases? One answer would be that it is ‘free advertising’ should the journalist decide the release is worthy enough for publication. Especially in product advertising in magazines where there is little or no budget, publishing a release is definitely beneficial for the company as they do not have to fork out a single cent – free publicity. In other words, media or press releases are powerful tools to build business awareness.

According to the reading, there are more advantages of using a release such as:

  • enables you to inform a number of reporters/publications at the same time
  • saves time
  • helps the reporter get the facts right

However, there are always two sides to a coin. Writing media releases also have its fair share of disadvantages. Unless you know how to write well and have the basic knowledge of putting up several information in a piece of paper, then it is likely that you will not get your desired outcome. Also, since only 30% of releases received by journalists each day are used, the chances of having yours chucked in the waste bin are very high.

So just hope it is a quiet news day the day that you send in your media release because only then, the chances of having it published is higher!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Introduction to HEADZ

Hello and good day readers! I am Nur Haryanti here with the first post update for HEADZ. First and foremost, let me address the name of our PR consultancy – HEADZ. Now, why HEADZ? How we came up with such a sappy name?, you might wonder.

Well, our nine year old consultancy is a five, all-ladies team and our mission is to provide clients with high quality personalized public relations. Of course, to do so, we have to put our HEADZ together to come up with a holistic approach to our client’s needs and ensure that the outcomes are targeted and cost-effective. HEADZ simply means that all our five team members generally need and support each other throughout that whole process so as to provide and deliver the best for our clients.

Blog schedule

Hi fellow HEADZ team members and readers!
To avoid possible complications, the following is the schedule for the individual post updates:

Week 4, due 21/09/10
Nur Haryanti
Week 10 reading: Writing a Media Release

Week 5, due 27/09/10
Cindy Charisma
Week 6 reading: "Risk, Uncertainty and Crisis" of Media Relations

Week 6, due 04/10/10
Indah Purnamasari
Chapter 10: Timelines and Budgets

Week 7: Trimester break

Week 8, due 18/10/10
Pham Hoang Anh Jenny
Week 3 reading: Public Relations in Strategic Management and Strategic Management of Public Relations: theory and evidence from the IABC Excellence project

Week 9, due 26/10/10
Nadia Ingrida Kanali
Week 4 reading: