Monday, 14 September 2015

Week 12 Lecture: Public Relations: Technology- Global Communication

Week 12 Lecture: Public Relations: Technology- Global Communication 


For the last class in public relations we looked at how technology impacts public relation today and tomorrow.  The reading looked at the uncomfortable truth about the Video Music Awards (VMA’s), and the Syrian refugee crisis. Social media has made a large impact on how people see and react too these issues. The lecture looked at 6 challenges of public relations on the internet. 

Challenge 1# Internationalisation

Globalisation is having a massive impact on public relations. News has become accessible globally and brought in greater coverage from a wide range of media outlets, this mean that the power has shifted from the media outlets to the audience, people’s opinion can spin a story in their favour. Walk free is a campaign to bring back kidnapped Nigerian school girls being forced into marriage for as little as $!2. Experts believe that if the Nigerian Government acts immediately and uses every resource at its disposal, it can locate the girls and return them to their families. However for this to happen they need to know that the world is watching — and waiting. Help save more than 200 schoolgirls from Forced Child Marriage — tell Nigerian President Jonathan to take all possible actions to locate and rescue the girls and prevent further attacks (Walk Free, 2015). 

This issue has created a mass of responses from the public with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls even the the first lady Michelle Obama has acted on the issue with a picture on twitter causing major support to the organisation. Internationalisation has allowed issues such as this to become a global issue through media and the reaction of the public.  
Challenge 2# Changing Publics 

Keeping on the subject of global public relations,  changing publics is about creating people to see and support a cause publics have becoming easier to create and have become more mobilised. This can be for both good and bad reasons. The story linked to the changing public challenge is the umbrella movement. The Umbrella Movement is a loose pro-democracy political movement that was created spontaneously during the Hong Kong protests of 2014. the story looks at how protesters have used social media to organise protest spots and share videos and information about what is happening. How have student organisers mobilised tens of thousands of protesters to sites across Hong Kong – facilitating supply routes, warning of assaults on protest camps, coordinating teams of medics? Social media. Facebook, WhatsApp and the new bluetooth-enabled FireChat lie at the heart of the Umbrella movement's success (Greenwood, P., Sprenger, R., 2014). 

These protestors have become chaining publics who have used social media networks to make a difference in what they are doing and to also advertise to people on a global scale of what they are doing and why. communication has become stronger online and the power has shifted to publics allowing them to dictate what is seen and heard. 

Challenge 3# Integration 

integrations looks at how all forms of communication mist integrate to reach more diverse and more complex publics.  Internal relationships between public relations, marketing and human resources needs to strong as well as internal communication which was discussed in the week 10 lecture.  linking to the Syrian refugee crisis organisations needs to become stronger and overall strategic vision for communication is required. 
The Syrian crisis has been a major discussion through the past blogpost from week 9 to week 12. THREE aid groups have called on the Abbott Government to take in 30,000 Syrian refugees. While they have asked this this Prime Minister Tony Abbot has responded by saying the Government will increase the intake of Syrian refugees, although it won’t increase the overall 13,750 humanitarian places for this year (Scarr, L, 2015). What the Government has failed to listen to the Australian people and there opinions, they must communicate more with the publics and have strategic views for what they want to do on the issue and whether they will listen to the global discussion and if they will become a part of solution to the issue of refugees. 

Many campaigns regarding the campaign have been created both online and offline which has made differences in bringing support in from businesses and publics. Integrations is merging together various skill sets and using them to achieve strategic communication with publics, which is what is occurring in the discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Challenge 4# The Media Landscape 

The media landscape look at the rise of web based news and the rise of citizen journalism. Journalism has become an online profession, many journalists score there information through technology because of the changing publics and internationalisation of issues on social media networks and online news platforms. Media fragmentation is being used in reforming old media channels into a modern source of information, radio is now live, local and international, TV is now free to air, digital and available through iTunes. New media channels have also risen with new communication avenues line Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Vimeo so which where should you get you information from? The answer is all of them each platform provides all different types of information depending on who you follow what you like and what you are interested in each offer a different way of viewing information and a different way of how it is present to the public 

Media Landscapes have expanded greatly in the past few years and will continue to do so as the technology race continues. Media will take take on new forms and information will become more accessible, which may cause overuse of media coverage taking away from proper issues and focusing more on social  news that causes very little change in how the world continues on. Media can take light away from important issues because of the changing media landscape causing publics to change what they want to see instead of seeing the struggles in the world around them, they see funny cat videos and news on the latest celebrity. 

Challenge 5# Gamification 

Games are now bring use to inform, educate and engage. In the link provided it shows ways that games have been able to change the way people see them. Gamification has allows users of certain groups to be rewarded and for companies to give to the public, a great example of the is a completion mini cooper cars did called Mini getaway Stockholm 2010. 

Through the competition they placed a virtual car in Stockholm and people had to find the car and capture on their phone using an app this competition lasted for week and many people competed in the competition in the end the person who had the virtual car at the end of week would win an actual virtual car. This is a great example of using a game to bring people together and get them interested in what you are doing and what you are selling to them. Gamification has become to be used as a PR tool in the 21st century, examples are games promoting road safety, health and fitness tracking activities which engages people and makes them interested in the company responsible for the activity. 

Gamification will continue to evolve the way PR is used through promotional games and loyalty rewards people can access. PR is a changing force in the 21st century and has brought enjoyment and advertisement into one way of marketing a companies products. 

Challenge 6# Ethical Landscape 

New Technology has shaped the way people send and receive information and has raised issues for the public relations industry. 

- Time;
- Trust; and 
- Timeliness 
The three T’s help to understanding what is ethically right on the internet. Truth look at what is actually true on the internet, trust is who can we trust online and how do we build trust in them? Timeliness looks at the reasonable expectation in times for responses and how do we ethically manage the fast pace of communication? 

Astroturfing is one of the ethical issues discussed.The tobacco industry does it, the US Air Force clearly wants to ... astroturfing – the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums – is on the rise. How do we stop it? (Monbiot, G., 2011).  Companies create multiple persons online to promote the company and to also stop any negative comments about the company many people question whether this is ethically right and if companies should hide themselves from the public to promote themselves. I think that to certain extents companies are allowed to promote themselves using persona’s online it isn't doing any proper damage to people and is just another way of advertising themselves. 

Even with the positives of astroturfing there can be a negative side where people can use these persona’s to exploit people from money like the ‘Nigerian Prince’ who spams people’s emails asking them for the credit card accounts to become “millionaires” by marrying a Nigerian Prince by paying up a certain amount of money to do so, instead these people lose hundreds of thousand of dollars to scammers this is where the use of persona’s is unethical and needs to be stopped. 

The internet has become a hub of communication and Public Relations has become an online platform for companies.  People perceive that everyone is one the internet while many are not all are Australia had 14.5 million users on social media (ABS, 2012). But with this mass collection on social media 70% of Australian small business’ don’t use social and of those that do 75% of businesses don’t measure social media (Yellow pages, 2013). So even with business being behind the technology race public relations will continue to be used online and make a difference in how people use it though media landscapes, changing publics and gamification, while also dealing with ethical landscapes and the internationalisation of information. 

1. Walk Free, 2015, Nigerian President: bring back our girls from forced child marriage,,
2. Greenwood, P., Sprenger, R., 2014, Hong Kong protests: A social media revolution, The Guardian,
3. Scarr, L., 2015, syrian refugee crisis: Prime Minister Tony Abbott under pressure as Europe buckled under refugee influx,, 
4. Monboit, G., 2011, The need to protect the internet from 'astroturfing' grows even more urgent, The Guardian,

Week 11 Lecture: Public Relations: Government and non-profit public relations

Week 11 Lecture: Public Relations: Government and non-profit public relations 


Discussed in the week 11 class was the look of public relations in the government and non-profit organisation through:

- role and purpose of PR  in the public sector 
- Government v Political public relations 
- PR in the third sector 
- Challenges and issues for non-profit communication 

The stories linked to the areas above were Woolworths losing profit due to not listening to customers, Subway’s rebranding of itself and the issue of gun laws in America. Each of these stories looks at how companies need to listen to the public and how they can make the public listen to them. 

In the discussion of American Gun Laws, America has chosen to keep the law that people are allowed to own guns, this has since become a mass problem due to the mass shootings and gun murders that occur daily in America. The US now averages almost one mass shooting per day (where four or more people are shot), with 1125 killed in such attacks since the start of 2013. In that time there have been 32,000 firearm deaths in total in the US. In June, Dylann Roof murdered nine people at a Charleston church, a race-motivated attack that Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams) cited as the catalyst for his sickening crime at WDBJ-TV (Young, M., 2015). 

Before all the deaths American strongly opposed ideas of stopping people from owning guns, the actions being shown today begin to question the reason behind letting the law continue and how the popular decision is not always the right decision in this instance. One of the struggles with changing people’s opinion in the public sector is: 

- Size and Complexity; 
- Community expectations of government responsibility; and 
- Growth in adversity (lobbying) 

The American Government has struggled with the question of should they stop the guns? For years they have said no, it is there right to bear arms and to carry a firearm with them. In the video below it is a segment by SBS on gun shootings in the United States. They have dubbed summer the summer of mass shootings. They also show a video made to show what to do in the instance of a gunman in your building and the actions you should take to survive. A swat team officer also goes to schools and teaches teachers what to do in the event of a gun man in the school and the possible exits that they can take in their own school. 

Through this issue the debate on being a government that is intent on being ethical and doing good must be proved. The United States government needs to look at the ‘fourth sector’ which is a society based business model. Sabeti explains the reason behind this. Our current model of capitalism has generated prosperity and improved the quality of life, but not without undesirable environmental and social consequences. Calls for its reform are getting louder, and many approaches have been put forth. Government and markets must recognise and support for-benefits as an equally legitimate model (2011, pp.12). 

The activities that happen in the ‘fourth sector’ are: 

- corporate social responsibility (reference in week 10 blogpost) 
- sustainability
- cause-oriented marketing and purchasing 
- venture philanthropy 
- social investing 

Applying these activities to the gun law issues through the government and gun supporting organisations could change the opinion on the majority of American’s pro-guns. The debate will continue, hopefully America will soon realise the tragedies that have happened and continue to happen because of the gun crisis and stop the law and make America are safer place to live, instead of living of fear. 


1. Young, M., 2015, The scary fact about gun control in America,,
2. Wilburn, K., Wilburn, R., 2014, The double bottom line: profit and social benefit: Business Horions, (57), pp. 11-20,
3. Sabeti, H., 2011, The for-benefit enterprise: Harvard Business review, 89 (11), pp. 99-104 

Week 10 Lecture: Public Relations: Corporate Social Responsibility

Week 10 Lecture: Public Relations: Corporate Social Responsibility


During the week 10 lesson, we discussed public relations in three different areas:

- Internal Communication; 
- Corporate Public Relations; and 
- Corporate Social Responsibility 

Because these are such large areas of the public relations sector, only one will be discussed. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept but unfortunately has been defined in so many ways it is often misinterpreted. In the 21st century, we find CSR to have a remarkable acceptance among practising managers; publicly traded corporations especially label CSR an assertion tool for their long term legitimacy and profitability (Isaksson, L., Kiessling, T., Harvey, M., 2014). 

The issues discussed in class were the on going story of Nick Kyrgios and his actions shown in the media recently he said to his tennis opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis that his girlfriend cheated on him with her doubles partner. This story has sparked outrage around Australia and was supposed to cause Nick Kyrgios grief instead, according to a Forbes article, the “bad boy” image could  mean big money for the Australian Tennis player. 

The refugee crisis is another story that we have looked at throughout the semester. The story by CNN was covering the refugees arriving at the Macedonian border who were running away from war torn Syria. The refugee crisis continues to plague the world as hundreds of thousands flee to Europe per month. 

Through these stories CSR will be discussed in terms of the problem in immigration Corporations begin to look at ways they can promote themselves through the good deeds that they do. The traditional set up of a CSR program is that a corporation contributes resources to a social impact outside of there own scope. Immigration is one of the most talked about problems of today and is one of the most impactful problems on people’s lives. Corporations  must begin to back up non-for profit organisations who help the refugees with food, shelter etc. and through this they will gain long-term benefits through a charitable persona. 

One of the problems with CSR is the whistle blowers. The recent technology race has restructured peoples’ accessibility to, and usage of mobile computing. We have witnessed a radical shift in which mobile devices have shifted from mere diary and e-mail functions to becoming universal portals actively targeting social issues (Isaksson, L., Kiessling, T., Harvey, M., 2014). Kyrgios is a great example of how people have taken a media story and exploded it’s impact on people through mobile social media networks. 

This issue has turned around for Kyrgios. Men’s tennis is begging for an infusion of excitement, with fan favourites Federer and Nadal on the decline, and increasingly lukewarm receptions to Djokovic’s greatness. If Kyrgios can become more consistent on the court, he would be primed to become the player fans love to hate — a heel, if you will. 

Investor Relations is a subset of public relations and corporate communication that deals with a company’s relationship with the investment community (Doorley & Garcia, 2006, p.210). The function of Investor Relations is to create a favourable relation with key financial audience and contribute to building and maintain the company’s image and reputation Kyrgios has used Investor Relations in his own way. By listening to the public and applying it to his relationships with sponsors, he has realised the lack of enthusiasm made by fellow tennis players and has turned his excited and spirited image to contribute to his reputation, he has turned a bad situation into a profit. 


1. Isaksson, l., Kiessling, T., Harvey, M., 2014, Corporate social responsibility: why bother?, Organisational Dynamics, 43, pp. 64-72, http://dx/
2. Doorley, J. & Garcia H.F., 2006, Reputation Management: The key to successful public relation and corporate communication, (3), pp. 211-212,

Monday, 7 September 2015

Week 9 Lecture: Public Relations campaigns: Research and the planning process.

The topics discussed in the class were: 

- The roles of research in planning for public relations
- Elements of the planning process 
- Difference between public relations strategy and tactics 

We looked at what campaigns are and how they are useful in public relations. The examples were Earth Hour and my favourite the torch of freedom campaign by Edward Bernays. These two examples were very useful in understanding the effects of what an effective campaign can make a difference and achieve it's goals as well as the parts to a successful campaign. When going through the reading I was confused on how this was relevant to the discussion on Campaigns. I decided that I would use the topic of the reading about the distrust of immigrant’s seeking employment in Canada and how a campaign can be made to better the connection between immigrants and employers. 

When creating a campaign you need to think of the type of campaign you a making there are three types. 

- Awareness;
- Attitude; and 
- Action 

The focus types for the  campaign are Action which is behaviour modification and Attitude which is changing or attempting to change attitudes towards immigrants seeking employment. In the reading it states that in the Canadian context, the rate of unemployment for recent immigrants is nearly 30%, in contrast to 7.1% for those born and raised in Canada. (Kerekes, Chow, Lemak & Perhan 2013). Although for immigrants it can be a struggle in finding employment in another country because of lack of education and language skills, Reitz (2005) argues that ‘the real problem is not so much [immigrants’] skill levels, important as they may be, but rather the extent to which these skills are accepted and effectively utilised in the Canadian workplace’ (p.3). 

The two general models of creating a campaign are RACE and PIE: 

R= research 
A= action 
C= communication 
E= evaluation 

P= planning 
I= implementation 
E= evaluation 

Following these two models I would help create the campaign. In regards to immigrant employment I would begin in researching the struggles of unemployment and the opinion of Canadian employers towards immigrants. With this the research begins. The groups being focused on with the campaign is businesses and the immigrant community. The campaign would include videos of the good ways immigrants have become apart of the Canadian employment community and the beneficial differences they make in the businesses. Having discussions on the willingness of immigrants to work can boost the trust between employers and future employees. 

The two sides of research is Qualitative (discovery-based methods) and Quantitative (verification-based methods). Qualitative research explore the issue which can be used to develop messages based on audiences motivations. Quantitative research methods are surveys using questionnaires which can be used to verify the severity of the situation. 

Research is the key to an effective Campaign, without research the action, communication and evaluation cannot happen properly, how can you communicate with people, when you have not researched what you need to talk about and why. Businesses need to see the willingness immigrants have to work and to make a life for themselves in country they have no connection to personally, culturally or socially. They are willing to try and that needs to be recognised. Campaigns are an important part in sending and receiving information to other people about important notices but also allows to groups using campaigns to see how people react to who they are and what they are going to do and whether they need more support and to keep the relationships they already have strong with the people standing with them. 


  1. Kerekes, J., Chow, J., Lemak, A., Perhan, Z., 2013, Discourses of trust: Trust or betrayel: immigrant engineers’ employment-seeking expierences in Canada, 16, pp. 269-284
  2. Reitz, J.G. (2005) Tapping immigrants; skills: New directions for Canadian immigration policy in the knowledge economy. choices, 11(1): 1-18. Retrieved from