History and Development of Public Relations
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History & Development of Public Relations
- MODELS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
- Press Agentry Model
- The first model, reflects PR programs designed for the solepurpose of getting favourable publicity for an organization in themass media. Often the organization does not reveal completeinformation in the attempt to control or dominate the environment.It is a common model publicists use to promote celebrities,products, sports or organization leaders.
- Two-way Asymmetrical Model
- The third model, was described as one that usesresearch &theories of persuasion to developmessages that are likely to persuade strategicpublics to behave as the organization wants them to.The two-way asymmetrical model achieves itsobjectives more than the press agentry or publicinformation models since it researches the publics'attitudes.
- Public Information Model
- The second model, describes PR as a function to disseminateinformation, normally from the organization's perspectives,through controlled organization media &mass media. In this model,PR practitioners were "journalist-in-residence" disseminatingrelatively truthful information but only that information theorganization chooses to release instead of the whole truth.
- Symmetrical Model
- The fourth model, J. Grunig (1997) suggested this model is the mostethical &effective model, which describes PR programs based onresearch &which uses two-way communication to manage conflict &amp;improve understanding with strategic publics. It negotiates rather thanforces a position between the organization &the concerned public.According to him, this model represents an alternative to thepredominant worldview that PR is a way of manipulating publics forthe benefit of the organization.
- Mixed Motive Model
- Also known as Additional Models. This model proposed a middle groundbetween the two-way asymmetrical &symmetrical models, whichrepresents two ends on a continuum. The model implies bothorganization &publics seek to negotiate outcomes that are mostadvantageous to both parties in the long term. J. Grunig (1997) said thatexcellent PR dept. balance attempts to "persuade publics with theasymmetrical model and negotiate with the symmetrical model" (p.265).
- Personal Influence Model
- This model suggests that practitioners use interpersonal communication tobuild personal and long term relationship with key individuals of theorganization's strategic publics, like the media, gov, political body or amongactivist groups. For example, Sriramesh (1992) said that practitioners inIndia "used various techniques like hospitality, giving gifts and brokering ofinfluence, to build lasting friendships" (p.246) His study suggested this modeluses one-way communication &its purpose is predominantly "synchronic"or asymmetrical.
- PR DEVELOPMENT : WORLD WAR II -INDEPENDENCE
- The British established a Dept. of Information in Singapore (1939) to keep the local media &people ofthen-Malaysia abreast of the situation &the development of World War II. However, the dept. wasshut down under the Japanese occupation (Dec 1941 - Sep 1945). British return at the end of theWar, a Dept. of Publicity &Printing was established under British Military Administration (BMA). In1946, Malaya Union was formed to replace the BMA &the dept. was renamed as the Dept. of PublicRelations. The primary roles of this dept were to return confidence in British rule, to encouragepeople to be self-sufficient in agricultural produce as there were shortage of food, to countercommunist threat, and to bring back peace &order to the nation. The dept. produced leaflets &usedradio broadcast, face-to-face communication to carry out their tasks. The dept. was renamed theDept. of Information (1948). A branch of the dept. was then establish in each state, to countercommunist propaganda (1948-1960). The dept. establish the Malayan Film Unit to aid in its efforts.During this time, British waged a battle to "win the hearts &minds of the people". Development ofcommunication infrastructure was accelerated in the early 1950s. Broadcasting facilities (radio)were expanded, cinema projectors &public address systems were doubled to balance the earlierreliance on targeted (leaflets) and interpersonal communication (UNESCO report, 1983). The purposeof the dept. are to promote their interests, mainly used the press agentry / publicity, publicinformation (propaganda) and the two-way asymmetric models as described by Grunig &Hunt (1984).
- PR DEVELOPMENT AFTERINDEPENDENCE
- Government PR
- Between 1960 &the early 1980s, PR was characterized by gov runnation-building campaigns to aid in gov efforts to build a democratic nation.The main functions were press relations work &dissemination ofinformation about gov policies and monitoring feedback from the generalpublic on these policies. In 1970, the gov set up PR units in almost all of itsvarious dept. &agencies, partly to explain &partly to promote acceptanceof gov policies. However, these positions are often not filled up by trainedPR personnel, thus, PR in the gov sector is still relatively undeveloped.
- PR in the Private Sector
- PR Consultancies
- PR in the private sector grew in 1960 with the growth of multi-national organization aswell as the formation of PR agencies. The first known PR agency, Eric WhiteAssociated started operations in 1965. As Malaysia's economy prospered &withincreased economic liberalism, it attracted more multinational companies &with themcame the international PR consultancies. Burson-Marsteller and Eric White Associatedwere among two pioneering consultancies. Soon after, local consultancies also sprungup to serve local businesses that could not afford the bigger internationalconsultancies. A majority of these smaller agencies specialized in graphic design,brochures, or video production, although they billed themselves as PR firms (VanLeuven, 1996, p.12). Several agencies also performed other limited tasks like mediarelations, event promotions and product launches.
- Corporate PR Departments
- Multinational companies, especially oil companies like Esso (Exxon) &Shell, wereamong the earliest corporations to set up in-house PR dept. Their PR activitiesfocused more on gaining acceptance of their organization in the community inwhich they operated, &in assisting in increasing employee productivity. Thosemultinationals supported various gov nation-building efforts by underwritingsports, arts &educational programs (Van Leuven 1996, p.212). Even todaycommunity relations programs are important in large Malaysian organizations likePetronas, Malaysia Airlines and Shell. They sponsor scholarship, donate to welfareproject for examples to Old Folks Homes and victims of fire and floods.
- Setting up of a Professional Body : Instituteof Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM)
- The setting up of IPRM in 1962 gave a further boost to the industry. Gov information officersmade up most of the members of early IPRM. In fact, they initiated the establishment of theInstitute. IPRM was set up in an effort to upgrade PR practice in the country. IPRM members alsodrew up &agreed on a Code of Ethics based on that of the British Institute of PR to self regulatethe practice in the country. Unfortunately, not all PR practitioners are members of IPRM.
- PR in early years has referred to mostly asusing persuasive speech to spread religions,such as Islam &Christianity. The Greeks &amp;Romans used public speech to win support fortheir policies.
- The beginning of American PR is often compared tousing publicity &promotion, whether for commercialreasons, fund-raising, or building personalities. Defensivepublicity was particularly important in the earlytwentieth century to counter muckraking journalism.
- Using information to create awareness &encouragesupport for &participation in campaigns becomemore popular during World War I &II. It was alsoimportant to gain independence from colonial mastersin many parts of the world. Information was key todevelopment &nation building efforts of newlyindependence government.
- With the rapid growth in communication technologies,development of infrastructure &more consumer-orientedsociety, PR has become more involved in marketingefforts. There is greater emphasis on promotions &amp;efforts to remain distinctive among competitors. Practitioners help to organize exhibitions &road shows &amp;prepare materials like information pamphlets.
- Increasing pressures on organizations, whether gov or corporate, byvarious publics including the better informed customer, employee &amp;activist has encouraged PR practitioners to take more managerialapproach in executing tasks. Practitioners are more concernedabout conducting public opinion polls to identify the support they mayhave for their employer / client. Strategic planning &amp;knowledge-based counselling of senior management is growing amongpractitioners.