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Differences between PR and advertising

Advertising and public relations are often perceived as two opposing spheres.

At the initial stage of public relations' development people, who were working in the sphere of advertising, even thought up their version of an abbreviation "PR" — "underground advertising" (publicite resquillee)!

In fact, advertising specialists work completely different from his "colleague", acting in the field of PR. In contrast to advertising specialist, PR practitioners broadcast information, give some data, for example, to the editors of newspapers, which can be interesting for them, regardless of whether they will be published or not. And, of course, in this case there can be no question of paying the journalist for placing the necessary material.

Here is a specific example used to professional literature. So, the advertising campaign of the manufacturer of synthetic detergents will consist of sticking-up posters, distribution of booklets, publication of announcements in newspapers, organization of exhibitions, production of badges, magnets, stickers and distribution of advertising product samples. All these activities will be directed to the creation of good's high estimation and to that its name, packaging and quality (always "excellent") can become known to society. Radio, television, the Internet can fill up the campaign by their means.

Now let's suppose that the same company wants to conduct a PR-campaign. External PR (focused on the target and potential audiences) will demand creation of a special magazine for women which will be sent out to thousands of readers, among whom will be representatives of different sectors of society. In this magazine there will be no advertising in the truest sense of this word, but only the materials about the use of products and manufacturing company. All this will be accompanied by interesting stories. In addition, the company will also arrange a series of free seminars on household, the organizer of which will be known to the public. It will offer excursions in the company; will create women's clubs, etc.

Differences between PR and journalism

At the heart of almost every information are the facts. The fact in journalism can be defined as a reliable reflection of fragments of reality, which owns some social representativeness. In PR fact is the most attractive information for the potential consumers directed to stimulation of his behavioral reactions; it is a certain "segment" of reality, which serves the purpose of creating a favorable communication environment of the basic subject of PR.

One of the main tasks of journalism is looking for socially significant information, its processing and publication in media. The initiator of this process is the journalist.

The main characteristic of journalistic information, in comparison with advertising and PR-information, is that the most complete information about social subjects, processes is provided. And PR-information serves the purpose of creating an effective communication atmosphere of the social subject - firms, organizations, people.

PR-information is spread at the initiative of the basic subject of PR. This kind of information is intended for a certain segment of the audience. Ideally, PR-texts are published free of charge: this is one of its main characteristics.

So, here are the differences and common things of two spheres:



1. Purpose
Journalism: Reflection of an event picture of the world, objective analysis of public problems in order to resolve them.
PR: Creation of positive image and its management of him, crisis management.

2. Object
Journalism: Socially important information, various facts of the current reality.
PR: Reputation (negative information is not provided).

3. Functions
Journalism: Communicative, informational, value-oriented, social-organizing, psychological.
PR: Communicative, informational, consulting.

4. Main methods
Journalism: Persuasion.
PR: Persuasion, suggestion.

5. Typical communication channels
Journalism: Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, Internet.
PR: Media, actions (conferences, briefings, festivals, etc.), Internet.

6. The nature of work
Journalism: Individual, collective, productive, creative.
PR: Individual, collective, productive, creative.

7. Material types
Journalism: Informational, analytical, artistic, publicistic.
PR: Press release, newsletter, report, scenario, press conference, PR campaign.

8. Audience
Journalism: Mass audience, society.
PR: Target audience, public.

Differences between the goals and activities of PR and propaganda

According to G. L. Tulchinskiy (candidate of philosophical sciences, expert in communication theories , differences between public relations and propaganda can be noted in a following way:

Propaganda
• Persuasion
• Motivation to action
• Isolation and opposition
• Misinformation, defamation of the opponent, lie
• Secrecy, duplicity
• Imposing of will, arbitrariness

Public Relations
• Understanding
• Consent
• Constructive cooperation
• Providing of positive information
• Sincerity, openness
• Ethics of freedom and responsibility



Thus, if PR is based on objective information, propaganda is based on manipulation.

Propaganda influences on target audience in a unilateral way while PR supposes bilateral communication.

As Edward L. Bernays says: “Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos”.


Directions of corporate reputation measurement

There are several directions of corporate reputation measurement. One of them is estimation of the value of reputation in the judgments about the company. The results of such measurements show a constant increase in the importance of reputation. For example, annual polls of the organization MORI revealed a noticeable increase in the importance of reputation in the judgments about the company over the past decades. There is the following question in these surveys: "What is the most important factor that you take into account when making judgments about the company?" In 2000 executives of the companies evaluated financial results as less significant factor than in 1977 (their value fell from 59% to 43%), and reputation factor has acquired higher value (from 60% to 74%).

Another direction of measurements is comparative assessment of audience perceptions about the strengths/weaknesses of the organization, on the one hand, and the priorities of the audience, on the other hand. The gap in the estimates prompts what changes are necessary. If strengths correspond to the priorities of the audience, the reputation is positive. If they don't correspond to the priorities, they significantly won't affect the organization's reputation.

The third direction of measurement is detection of correlations between separate attributes and general reputation. These measurements show the directions, in which investment in communications provide the greatest profit.

Numerous researches in Western countries have shown that nowadays the corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become the most important parameter. For example, British organizationն MORI regularly conducts researches on the factors of British companies' reputation. In particular, the most significant factors among members of the British Parliament are social responsibility and environmental responsibility.

Interest in CSR reflects profound changes in the relations between companies and all interested people, including consumers. For example, by the end of the 1990s the part of British people who believed that corporate responsibility is the most important factor in making their purchasing decisions, increased from 28% to 41% (Lewis S. «Measuring corporate reputation»).

In world practice, the principle "healthy business is intended to promote the establishment and maintenance of a healthy society" is increasingly accepted. The most extensive research, that confirms this tendency, was conducted among 25,000 people in 23 countries from six continents. The interviews revealed that impressions about the companies often depends mostly on corporate citizenship (56%) and to a lesser extent on the brand quality (40%) or business principles (34%) (O'Connor Nigel «UK corporate reputation management: The role of public relations planning, research and evaluation in a new framework of company reporting»).

The wave of attention to social responsibility is like an attention to the environment a decade earlier. The public wants to know mostly about the company's "health", which is hidden behind the trademarks and products.

The fourth direction of reputation measurement is researches of the influence on the reputation of the company's relations with the media. Journalistic researches by MORI method show a close correlation between the rating of companies' relations with the media and their general reputation.

European Code of Professional Conduct in PR (Code of Lisbon)

The Code is officially adopted at the General Assembly of CERP (European Confederation of Public Relations) in Lisbon, April 16th 1978, and adopted by all the 18 National Associations (from 15 European Countries), who are institutional members of CERP.


Section I – Criteria and standards of professional qualification of practitioners bound by this Code

Clause 1
Every professional member of (national association) duly admitted as such in accordance with the rules of (national association) is deemed for the purpose of this Code to be a public relations practitioner, and to be bound by the Code.

Section II – General professional obligations

Clause 2
In the practice of his profession the PR practitioner undertakes to respect the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in particular the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press which give effect to the right of the individual to receive information, within the limits of professional confidence. He likewise undertakes to act in accordance with the public interest and not to harm the dignity or integrity of the individual.

Clause 3
In his professional conduct, the PR practitioner must show honesty, intellectual integrity and loyalty. In particular, he undertakes not to make use of comment which is misleading or information which is false or misleading. In the same spirit he must be watchful to avoid the use, even by accident, of practices or methods incompatible with this Code.

Clause 4
PR activities must be carried out openly: they must be readily identifiable, bear a clear indication of their origin, and must not tend to mislead third parties.

Clause 5
In his relations with other professions and with other branches of social communications, the PR practitioner must respect the rules and practices appropriate to those professions or occupations, so far as these are compatible with the ethics of his own profession.

Section III – Specific professional obligations: Towards clients or employers

Clause 6
A PR practitioner shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the express consent of the clients or employers concerned.

Clause 7
In the practice of his profession, a PR practitioner must observe complete discretion. He must scrupulously respect professional confidence, and in particular must not reveal any confidential information received from his clients or employers, past, present of potential, or make use of such information, without express authorization.

Clause 8
A PR practitioner who has an interest which may conflict with that of his client or employer must disclose it as soon as possible.

Clause 9
A PR practitioner must not recommend to his client or employer the services of any business or organisation in which he has a financial, commercial or other interest without first disclosing that interest.

Clause 10
A PR practitioner shall not enter a contract with his client or employer under which the practitioner guarantees quantified results.

Clause 11
A PR practitioner may accept remuneration for his services only in the form of salary or fees, and on no account may he accept payment or other material rewards contingent upon quantitative results.

Clause 12
A PR practitioner shall not accept for his services to a client or an employer any remuneration from a third party, such as discounts, commissions or payments in kind, except with the agreement of the client or employer.

Clause 13
When the execution of a PR assignment would be likely to entail serious professional misconduct and imply behaviour contrary to the principles of this Code, the PR practitioner must take steps to notify his client or employer immediately, and do everything possible to see that the latter respects the requirements of the Code. If the client or employer persists in his intentions, the practitioner must nevertheless observe the Code irrespective of the consequences to him.

Towards public opinion and the information media
Clause 14
The spirit of this Code and the rules contained in preceding clauses, notably clauses 2, 3, 4 and 5 imply a constant concern on the part of the PR practitioner with the right to information, and moreover the duty to provide information, within the limits of professional confidence. They imply also a respect for the rights, independence and initiative of the information media.

Clause 15
Any attempt to deceive public opinion or its representatives is strictly forbidden. Any form of blackmail, corruption or exertion of undue influence, especially in relation to the information media, is forbidden. News must be provided without charge and with no private understanding or hidden reward for its use or publication.

Clause 16
If it should seem necessary to maintain the initiative in, and the control of, the issue and distribution of information, within the principles of this Code, the PR practitioner may buy space or broadcasting time in conformity with the rules, practices and usages in that field.

Towards fellow-practitioners
Clause 17
The PR practitioner must refrain from unfair competition with fellow-practitioners. He must neither act nor speak in a way which could tend to depreciate the reputation or business of a fellow-practitioner.

Towards the profession
Clause 18
The PR practitioner must refrain from any conduct which may prejudice the reputation of his profession. In particular he must not cause harm to his national association, its efficient working, or its good name, whether by malicious attacks or by any breach of its constitution or rules.

Clause 19
The reputation of the profession is the responsibility of each of its members. The PR practitioner has a duty not only to respect this Code himself but also:
a) to assist in making the Code more widely and better known and understood;
b) to report to the competent disciplinary authorities any breach of the Code which comes to his notice;
c) to take any action in his power to ensure that rulings on its application by such authorities are observed and sanctions made effective.

Any practitioner who permits a violation of the Code will be considered as having himself breached the Code.

Evaluation of PR-tools' effectiveness

In practice, when there is a problem of evaluation of this or that PR-campaign's effectiveness, it is necessary to analyze all tools of the whole PR campaign.

Thus, let's consider some methods on evaluation of PR tools' effectiveness:

1. Circulation of company's press releases
Approaches:
- Evaluation of number of prepared and published in media press releases.
- Evaluation of feedback. Find out what kind of reaction was received after the distribution of press releases, the number of journalists' comments, quantity of calls and letters from representatives of the target audience, etc.

2. Holding press conferences
Approaches:
- formation of necessary media circle.
- comparison of indicators of "target media" and "accredited media";
- comparative analysis of indicators of "accredited media" and "journalists who have come to a press conference";
- analysis of the questions, asked by journalists, and answers to them;
- calculation and analysis of the number of publications after the press conference.

3. Corporate events, special events (for example, conferences)
Approaches:
- Polls/surveys;
- Publications in media.

4. Monitoring of media
Approaches:
- find out: the kind of the publication — announcement, news, article, review, analytics, etc.;
- size of the publication;
- circulation (in case of printed media);
- nature of the publication — positive, neutral, negative;
- number of publications;
- cost of the publication;
- studying of media audience.

After evaluation of specific PR tools' effectiveness, it is necessary to analyse the changes in opinions and attitudes of your target audience. The main methods here are: mass polls and surveys before and after the PR campaign.

Factors influencing public opinion

Among the numerous factors, that shape public opinion, the most important ones are:

• Personal factors, i.e. set of the characteristics, including physical and emotional condition of individuals of the target audience, their age, changes in interests, which are often connected with transition periods in human life. There are also other personal factors, such as the occupation and professional orientation of individuals, which have some influence on their time and energy, as well as preferences in carrying out leisure.

• Social factors reflect the origin of people, their position in society, the level of social security and protection.

• Cultural factors have a major influence on public opinion. At the same time it is also necessary to take into account the representatives of various subcultures according to their nationality, religious beliefs, sports, musical and other interests.

• Psychological factors characterize the effect of elements of psychological interaction with partners, colleagues, clients. In this case it is necessary to consider the level and quality of education, marital status, elements of motivational model, taking into account real possibilities of establishment an effective feedback with the public.

The emergence of rumors and formation of public opinion takes place at the level of everyday consciousness. In this process social mood is crucial. It acts as a background, influencing on emotional component of both rumors, and public opinion. Social mood is the prevailing state of consciousness of various social subjects during a certain period of time, characterized by type and level of emotional intensity (apathy, depression, recovery, enthusiasm). Social mood is expressed through emotional states, frame of mind, values and beliefs of the people.

Factors of corporate reputation

The main factor influencing corporate reputation is a real production activity of the organization. It affects the reputation more than a special activity on corporate reputation management.

If the organization pollutes the environment, reduces the quality of products and neglects the needs of workers, then no branding campaign will save its reputation.

The most important among the factors of reputation management is accounting of the audience expectations and the sequence of steps in the communication.

As for the audience expectations, reputation management should be determined by the priorities of the target audience.

The organization need to turn to a certain audience, rather than to its own program, as it often happens. A dialogue, but not a monologue is necessary. In order to maintain the dialogue, it is necessary to do a monitoring of constantly changing needs of the target groups and their criteria in making judgments about companies.

The same company can have different reputations in the eyes of different interested people, which are based on their own economic, social and personal judgments.

In modern western researches the optimal model of the sequence of communication stages in the management of reputation is presented in five blocks or stages of corporate communications:

- The first block is awareness, in which the organization said: "This is who we are."

- The second block is involvement. The message of the second block is: "That's what we can do for you."

- The third block is relation. The message of the third block is: "This is how we maintain our responsibility." It shows the company's contribution to public affairs.

- The fourth stage is this conviction through the messages "That's what we think."

- The fifth block is the motivation to action: "This is what we want you to do."

Jumps to the last levels, without taking into account the first three stages, can cause the following reaction: "So what?"

Formation of business image by means of clothes. Expressive characteristics of clothes

Fashion designers say: "Costume is an I-concept that is worn on us". Clothing is a multidimensional message about us: our business qualities, economic opportunities, aesthetic taste, belonging to a certain social group, attitude towards surrounding people.

The main characteristics of cloths, by means of which image is formed, are:

- color,
- style,
- lines and silhouette of clothes,
- harmony in selection of elements,
- fabrics,
- variety and quantity of clothes,
- cost of clothes.

According to researches the effect of a color is stronger than the effect of a form. Therefore conversations about the technology of creating business image usually begin with the question of opportunities of color image management.

Functions, structure and tasks of external image

Formation of the organization’s external image is designed to carry three standard image functions:

1. Create the desired impression about the organization in the eyes of external audiences.

2. Disclosure of the organization's specifics and the benefits for the customer.

3. Encourage recipients to take action.

Depending on the implementation degree of these functions, it is possible to speak about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of an external image.

Departments of corporate development, public relations services, advertising and marketing departments, as well as other departments, directly involved in business communications, are the services, which deal with the management process of the external image.

Necessary steps in the formation of the external image are:

- Individualization - determination of the organization's specific characteristics, which distinguish it from others, or determination of corporate identity;

- Accentuation - underlining of advantageous characteristics, the dissemination of information about the organization;

- Promotion - creation of favorable conditions for the perception of desired characteristics by the audience.

The process of purposeful management of external image begins with the design of choices of the organization's desired image. Then the offered options are tested by using focus group method and the working draft of desirable image is chosen. On the basis of the chosen project all image components are being developed, controlled and, if necessary, updated.

The projected image should be believable, authentic, reliable, bright and concrete, emotionally charged, built on several unique characteristics of the organization, simple, and focused on the expectations of the target groups.

Technical tasks of image communications are:

- determination of strategic target audiences and "centers of influence" in the opinion of target audiences;

- establishment of the content of image components;

- creation of messages;

- channel selection and implementation of communication in accordance with the previously defined "centers of influence";

- analysis of the factors that promote and hinder effective communication.