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: