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Public Relations Strategy, Theory, and Cases

Praxis at Its Best

Tricia Hansen-Horn and Adam E. Horn

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.

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Chapter Three: Public Relations Complexity and Interconnectedness: Economic Area, Organization Type, Situations and Contexts, and Specializations


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Public Relations Complexity and Interconnectedness

Economic Area, Organization Type, Situations and Contexts, and Specializations

This chapter presents an overview of the B2B, B2C and B2G economic environments that characterize public relations activities; as well as the for-profit, non-profit, social-enterprise non-profit, and government macro-environments that structure organizational existence and purpose. It’s followed by a review of prominent public relations situations and contexts, and role specializations that exist within the widely varied public relations industry. This chapter’s discussions should serve as a launch pad for your professional ability to imagine and work through increasingly complex public relations situations and the interconnectedness that characterizes them.

Economic Area: B2B, B2C, and B2G

B2B stands for business-to-business, B2C stands for business-to-consumer, and B2G stands for business-to-government. Business-to-business activity serves the needs of businesses (of all kinds, non-profits included) and not individuals. In involves purchases, requests for qualifications (rfqs), requests for proposals (rfps), contracts, etc., designed to facilitate business as usual. It generally consists of large-scale transactions between manufacturers and retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers, or wholesalers and retailers. In addition, it includes contractual public relations services to a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or organized ← 32 | 33 → group. Note, the contract can be for organizational communications needs, products, services, or even idea generation. In terms of products, a B2B transaction can be the purchase of commercial toilet paper for a Coca-Cola bottling plant. Toilet paper is a large US commodity. In...

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