McElreath statesthat all public relations (PR) program consists of a wide variety of role and functions (1997, p.161). Theoretically, PR is a comparatively new discipline which converges modern management, communalisation, administrative engineering, sociology, social psychology and other sciences. In other words, PR can be widely implemented by the governments, business enterprises, public institutions and social organizations in the development progress of modern market situation (Harlow, 1976, p.36). It has been shown that PR is a comprehensive and effective tool which facilitates the progress of an organisation's structure. Practising through the platform of PR theory will enable PR practitioners have a better and clearer understanding on PR. Thus, it is advisable and necessary to put the PR theory into practice.
According to Kirby's (2009, p.33) review, the contemporary public relations theories can be categorized into three groups, consisting of communication, receiver response and practice theories. This essay explores three theories of different groups and identifies three appropriate examples of chosen theories in contemporary public relations practice. Firstly, it states the definition and situation of each theory. Secondly, it chooses a relevant example and demonstrates how the chosen PR theory is applied to practice. In addition, it discusses the links between the key elements of each theory and its practical example. At last, it considers on ethical issues like challenges or benefits and discusses which type of ethics is suitable for each example. Its purpose is to make connections between three theories and their application in the real world.
The hierarchy of effects is a typical type of the theories of communication, concerned with the process of communication. Unlike other type of communication theories, such as Shannon and Weaver's model of communication, situational theory, the public sphere and systems theory, it is also a dominant model for advertising or advocating with clear demonstration. Actually, it is a one-way communication, highlights the message/ objectives (without complete truth) through media and values the results of the communication from the receivers (the public) (Kirby, 2009, p.33). Its purpose is to propaganda as it is "producer oriented" (Kirby, 2009, p.34).
In order to advocate the new safe's excellence, a safe firm advertised a three-sentence post. In the first sentence, it wrote that looking for the owner of a million US dollar. The next two sentences shared the information that there was $1,000,000 inside the safe at the exhibition hall; anyone could take the money away in any means without alarming. The advertisement roared over the city. All sorts of potential owners came but left with empty hands. The major local newspapers reported on this issue freely but significantly. In the end, this firm's safe won increasing appraisal. This example reflects on the practical use of planning news event in the PR activity. Its process can be structured into two sides: the firm and the public. The firm formulates the advertisement by the firm and disseminated the advertisement. Thereafter, the mass public receives the message on the advertisement, comprehends the message on the advertisement, comes to try but in vain and changes their attitudes and reinforcing the safety of the safe. These six steps reflect on a hierarchy of effects which leads to learn new behaviours and then it results the behaviour change (McElreath 1997, p. 159).
There are different means through which the sender sends the information to the receiver. Seitel suggests the complex impacts come from by personal biases which can be nurtured by a myriad of factors, including stereotypes, symbols, semantics, peer influence and media (2007, p. 53). "NEW" is the key point for the making the news, especially in promoting a new product (Seitel, 2007, p.54). There is no news value if following others because the public will lose freshness and interest. Thus, several capabilities of the PR professionals can be learnt from this case analysis. For this, they unlock the positive mind, full play creativity and imagination, and take stunning action to win. Quite often, it is suggested to evaluate the objective on the pyramid type. The lower level aims that the receivers are informed and get a general recognition on it. Subsequently, it targets at a higher level of responses more clearly.
As this case is a producer oriented fall into the ethic catalogue of teleology. In PR practice, teleology is a doctrine explaining phenomena by their ends or purposes. The safe firm wins excellent advertising effect with no cost. In this process, the PR practice arrives at its goal. Thus, it is a successful practice, related to the hierarchy of effects theory, which gains the maximum effects by making news.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory is a one-way communication, attributing to the theories of receiver response. Its group members like behavioural public relations model, social exchange theory, social learning theory, agenda setting theory and elaboration likelihood model also concern the receiver response. The Maslow model concerns the receivers' response of the communicated message. This theory model was defined by US psychologist Abraham Maslow (1954, p.91) when he observed that everyone had a motivation of needs. These need have been put in five stages from the lower layer to the upper, including biological and physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation. Actually, the hierarchy of needs in PR can be interpreted with personal or organizational motivation and the thereby satisfaction. It mainly involves with issues of self-interest.
This is an example telling the origin and existence of online marketing of Daigaku Honyaku Centre (DHC). DHC Corporation specializes in manufacturing cosmetics. It bears a good understanding of the blooming online business market and gears to use this new media to promote its brand and products. The process of DHC's s online marketing includes four methods: online virus marketing via ad network; experimental marketing via try-out experience; word of mouth marketing via persuasion from friends, consumers, pamphlet, mass media; membership via telephone or online booking free try-out, booking orders. Further, DHC grasps the advantageous of network to cut down marketing cost and increase marketing occupation speed in the same time. Through website advertising union, DHC constantly strengthens the concepts of its direct brand marketing and addictive-free products to the potential consumers.
In the cosmetic industry, consumers vary their needs in different level of Maslow five stages. That is to say, different products cater for different levels of human needs. Maslow (1954, p.92) explained that "self-actualization" was ongoing and fulfilling process of the particular and individul desire that pushed people to become what they desire. Comparatively, cosmetics have the characters of small size but of high price, convience of purchasing and low perception of risk. So they are quite adequate to sale on the online mall and special shopping websites. It is widely agreed that the network is the contemporary fashion platform for searching information and entertainment. This case shows that organizations move to the right places where gathers the majority of consumers. DHC invetigated the consumers' needs and then planed the online marketing program. It arranges distribution of cosmetic try-outs to attract the web visiters and potential consumers. Moreover, it assures the credibility and function of its cosmetics. Therefore, it fulfills its aim to stimulate the consumption desire.
In the one-way communication ptocess, receiver responses are cognitive responses (thought processes), affective responses (feelings and emotions) and behavioural responses (actions) (Kirby, 2009, p.33).. In the practice od online marketing, DHC suffers many challenges. The primary one is how to get online visitors and how to motive the potential consumers to buy its products. As the online shoppers are untouchable without the connection of network and computers. They prefer clcking the website to order and pay, rather than shoppping on the noisy streets and crowdy shopping centers. Thus, the key issues for DHC's online marketing is to find the consumers and gain confidence from them.
The DHC case enlightens that there is not only the huge powers from the network, but also a warning that any kinds of advertisements or marketing programs should be planned on the premise of people. Practicaly, there is the existence of demand to have production which is to have consumption and the market; or, it is a must to create requirements when there is no demand present. Thus,the key to the real marketing success lies in human will and needs.
The four models of Grunig and Hunt (1984), also named as the theories of practice, are used quite often in PR practice. There are press agentry, public information model, two-way asymmetric public relations, two-way symmetric public relation; particularlay, the two-way symmetric model is widely applied as the ideal model of PR. The two-way symmetric model purposes a mutual understanding, just views of both the publics and the organisation (Grunig & Hunt, 1984, p.22). This approach advocates relationship building through dialogue, listening and gained mutual understanding.
Jonson & Jonson (JNJ)'s survival from the Tara Noel / Tylenol capsule involvement is a case of crisis PR. Recalled as 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders, several persons were sick or died for taking the Tara Noel capsule. Later, the examination of Tylenol capsule showed that it contained cyanide toxics. By the rapid and wide spread of the news, the consumers were striken with panic and the company's image rocked bottom. As a result, JNJ suffered a disastrous economic decline. After a serious of precedures, JNJ endured and survived. The survival process of this can be recoginesed as following. Strategically, it applied four aspects of crisis public relations: firstly, taking initiatives and puting the public first; secondly, responding and acting with Ssincerity and honesty; thirdly, taking own responsibility first; fourthly, investigating the truth. In the outside environment, JNJ drew supportaton from the media. It halted all the commercial advertisements on the newspapers, maganizes and televisions. Also, it issued a national-wide danger warning to hospitals, doctors and retailers. On the behalf of consumers' benefits, JNJ provided information and unfold the truth through the mass media. Lots of staff were placed to monitor news coverage and the phone so that they could be familiar with the needs of the consumers. Moreover, JNJ cooperated with the media. All the developing process of crisis were exposed to the media. Thus, it got back a good impression to some extent and create a precious preferred public opinion environment.
In the perspective of rerurning to the market, when the invetigation results proved its innocece, JNJ strived many endevours. It put efforts to hold the brand, promotiong the new medicine packing. Lastly, it designated several spokespersons and held a creative press conference. There the JNJ management layer members answered the qustioons from more than five hundred journalists. Meantime, the video of the new-paking Tara Noel was display at the conference. Later, the affiliates of JNJ called up thousands of saleapersons to play this Tylenol video. In this prcocess, most medical tretment groups and community members were informed and got back to purchase medicines from JNJ. Thus, after one year, JNJ regained the consumer's crebibility and took big portion in the market.
Despite a number of critics doubting the validity of all four models and the practicality of the symmetrical model in particular, Pearce (2009, para.7) intorduced Grunig's theory that about public relations, PR practitioners and corporates' CEOs do consider and apply these four models because they wholly describe the effective communication among different types of stakeholders or publics. He salso claimed that symmetry communication in PR practice is the process of "balancing the interests" of the company and the related consumers (as cited in Pearce, 2009, para.16). In this case The JNJ's chairman -James Burke "looked in complete control" and took effective measurements (as cited in Rehak, 2002, para.5). JNJ carried out crisis managemnt publicly collected back all the shelf tablets and held the aboveboard spirit of fairness. JNJ apologised to the pulic ithout hesitaton. Moreover, all of theses strategies were perfomed through the aid of media. In return, consumers got various accessible means to share their opinions and complainments, got compensation regained concsumer's credits. From the above analysis, JNJ examplizes a two-way symmetric communication of public relations with the aid of mass media.
Detailedly, as soon as the bad news was informed, the company take three effective measurements within an hour. They appointed a group of members to withdraw and check the medine, sent crisis managers and public relations expertise to the spot for the benefits of public, and reported all the relevant ongong information and truth to the public and media. So it can be defined the company's Kantian philosophy ethics as deontology, a standardalized obligation to choose the "right" thing and avoid ding the "wrong" things (Broad, 1930, p.277). JNJ bears the responsibility, compensates the patients at the sacrifice of the firm itself. In a word, JNJ pays great attention to corporate's credibility, practices with humanism and worship the publics and consumers' interests in the first place.
According to the applications of the three PR theories, it's not hard to find that issues management, strategic positioning, public and media communication, and reputation management are the key elements of PR theories related to the business operation strategies (Wilcox et al., 2002, p.5). Notably, global politics and economics are advancing rapidlyï¼›they do not only bring server challenges to the development of PR, but also provide a wide developing filed. On the other hand, human beings are facing some global problems, such as the environmental protection, population expansion, war and peace, international terrorists, smuggling, human rights and autonomy, regional economic cooperation and development, resource research and development and so on. The significance of their existence and ways to solve are no longer limited to a certain class, nation, or country. As this is the very scope that the application and practice of PR are involved to. Practitioners and professionals will confront with the following common task and challenge: through global and trans-cultural to form communication, form a global common sense, promote the international coordination and cooperation, and forge to study and solve these global questions. From this point, it is predictable that there will be an increasing attention and application of the multi-functional PR, including advisory, forecasting, thesis writing and crisis management. At least, this is the microscopic trend for the developing of PR.
To conclude, this essay has put three contemporary communication theories into practice, including Public Relations Hierarchy of Effects Model, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and the Two-way Symmetric Model. It is a critical analysis and manifest of these theories and their potential implications - individually and in combination - for public relations practice. The main parts of each theory begin with a description of a theory as a foundation for what it means and where it focuses. The next section illustrates a detailed example and demonstrates how the previous theory is applied in the real world context. The final parts of these theories bring considerations on the ethical issues.
In application of theories, this writing has provided a comprehensive and sophisticated analysis of the links between all elements of your chosen theories and your practical examples, and provide strong justification for your decisions. Understanding of ethical issues, an individual and comprehensive discussion of ethical considerations in the three practical examples have been fulfilled. However, there are much more sophisticated applications of one or more of PR theories to the organisation's management and behaviour in different situations to be discussed in the future study.