A Public Relations professional today is a ‘Jack of all trades”, skilled in several fields and disciplines. In order to truly qualify as a professional, the first step is specialization.
Specialization is the first step towards professionalism. This helps one eliminate the “Master of None” drawback. The narrower the domain, the deeper runs the information. And the depth of knowledge creates a discipline in both theory and execution.
Professors Hunt and Grunig, 1984 developed the four important Public Relations Models. Based on these frameworks, PR strategies, programs and campaigns are developed. However elaborate, the basic structure of these campaigns circle back to one of Hunt and Grunig’s frameworks.
The Press Agentry Model is a one-way publicity model. The concentration of effort in this model is directed toward gaining maximum coverage from the media. However, communication is one-directional. Hence, there is an absence of feedback in this framework. Created by PT Barnum. Drawbacks are lack of research, use of persuasion and a propagandist approach. Also, this model does not deem ethics, informational accuracy, and facts to be necessary. An inflated version of the truth is disseminated. Usually used in promoting sporting activities like boxing.
The Public Information Model is once again a one-way approach. Here, the PR professional plays the pseudo-reporter. Again, the information is uni-directional but there is the emphasis laid on accuracy and fact.
This model was developed by Ivy Lee, an early PR expert. Used mostly, in government and NGOs.
Indian Railways introduced a ‘baby berth’ in sleeper coaches on account of Mothers’ Day to allow mothers to travel comfortably with their infants. Noted Journalist Faye D’souza tweeted, “No moms were consulted in the making of this baby berth.”
Although the measure was a well-intentioned introduction, it draw much flak from its target group – mothers who felt it unsafe to place a child on the outer edge of the bed.
The Two-way Asymmetrical Model is an attempt at a mutual understanding and connection between the organization and its public. “Scientific persuasion” uses research to direct effort toward conveying the organization’s narrative to stakeholders groups. Although the least practised model, it is used mostly by businesses and corporations.
The Two-way Symmetrical Model is a mutual framework of information give and take. The parties forge a bi-directional relationship, where information flows both ways. The model is highly preferred by Hunt and Grnig themselves, seconded by Edward Bernays and other prominent communicators. Feedback is an essential element and is widely used in the communication of private organizations.
Public Relations models has several frameworks to its credit. However, the best approach for modern PR is to plan, research effectively, back the facts with verified sources, and disseminate information smoothly with constant consideration of the feedback.
This blog was originally published by Apeksha on her blog page here
– Apeksha Nayampally
Apeksha is a student at School Of COmmunications and REputations (SCoRe) – Class of 2022 – Spring Batch. She is based out of Mumbai. She is a commerce graduate from M.L.Dahanukar College of Commerce. Also, has completed PG Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communications from MICA. She can be reached on Twitter as @A_Nayampally and on LinkedIn as Apeksha Nayampally