Praxis at Its Best
Presenting a robust introduction to public relations strategy, this book helps readers explore their perceptions of what strategy is or might be; highlights influencers of strategic decision making such as distinctions among B2B, B2C, and B2G as well as public relations roles and organization types; discusses the education and training value and limitations of the popular case study; and provides a easy-to-understand overview of four theories important for every "student" (academic and non-academic) of public relations to understand. Excellence theory, contingency theory, rhetorical theory, and social capital theory are introduced. In the spirit of praxis (the application of theory to practice), the authors provide theory-specific and other relevant "keys" for use as the reader seeks to apply what is read to actual public relations cases. As might be expected, highly structured case studies that clearly distinguish between objectives, strategies and tactics are included for the purposes of education and training. The featured set of case studies includes: March of Dimes Rebrand; Inside Pediatrics Children’s Mercy Kansas City; Vanity Fair Women Who Do LiftTOUR; TouchNet + Heartland; WeatherTech Public Relations Super Bowl Ad Buy; ZF Race Reporter/Fan Reporter: Europe, Japan and the US; Pinnacle Not So Silent Night; Lee Jeans—Influencer Relations; Fight CRC One Million Strong Collection; Tips for Kids—Seventeen Years Later; and Dairy Queen’s Fan Food Not Fast Food Campaign: Retrospective Cases Analysis from the Outside.
Chapter Two: Approaches to Public Relations and Strategy: Taking Our Place
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Approaches to Public Relations and Strategy
Taking Our Place
Understanding strategy assumes we willingly engage in perspective taking and reflective thought simultaneously. A successful public relations strategist understands clearly that public relations is a communication and business function, that decision making is inseparable from consequences, the nature of strategy is really a complex kind of thing, and to be a SRC strategist is not easy but it is fruitful. Chapter two is dedicated to framing all of this for you, but first, it’s important to visit the definition of public relations that drives this book. Public relations is “planned and strategic results-driven communicative effort with the publics in mind.”1 In the spirit of complexity and interconnectedness, let’s unpack the definition.
Public Relations Definition Examined
Planned indicates that public relations is characterized by intention—always—even if the plan is to plan to change plans as WIGO changes or, simply, to plan to let the plan emerge across WIGO, as WIGO changes and across time. Even crises communication strategy is planned, whether it be in the form of a pre-existing crisis plan or a quick 15-minute phone call among those most equipped to deal with a crisis in a proactive manner. Strategic reminds us that in planning and anticipating we ask how and why questions, and we readily look for and accept complex and interconnected responses to our questions. For instance, a financial...
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