Blog Log 1


CO 350

Spring, 13





Blog Post  1

On your blog, post answers to the following questions



“Why I don’t care about defining PR”

  1. What was the basic process      the PRSA used to come up with their definition of PR?

The Public Relations Society of America used an opinion collection process to come up with their definition of PR.  They asked for definitions from leaders of the PR industries.  They ended up collecting over 900 definitions that consisted of 16,000 pages of opinions.  They narrowed down the definition from those opinions.


  1. Why does the author not      care about defining PR?

The author of this blog does not care about defining PR because she believes that the process of public relations is constantly changing.  At the end of the blog she states that one of her favorite definitions is that “public relations is as public relations does.”  She does not feel that the practice needs to be defined in order to shape opinions of the practice of those that are in the departments of journalism and marketing.  She does not need to change it from the opinion that they “spin” things and would rather that public relations focused on the practice rather than the definition itself.


“The Big Question: What is public relations”

  1. First, return to homepage      of “PR conversations:” what is this website all about?

This website is about news in the field of Public Relations, opinions on where the practice is headed, conversations about the line of work, and posts from contributors from the industry.

  1. p. 2: according to      Falconi, what has been the traditional 20th century model of      PR? What sort of model would he like to replace it?

The traditional model of PR in the US during the 20th century according to Falconi has been a “rhetoric, persuasive-based, marketing oriented, and asymmetric communications.”  He would like to replace this model with one that communicates with an organizations publics rather than to its publics.  This model should also see each public as its diverse and unique culture for which its own strategy should be placed and relationships to be maintained.


  1. p. 24: According to      Yaxley, how does the fable of the blind men and the elephant relate to the      issue of defining “public relations”?

The five blind men who try to describe the elephant each have a different perspective of the texture of the elephant.  Someone who feels the trunk vs. someone who feels a leg or a tail has a different textural perspective.  None of the men are wrong because that is the elephant from their experience, yet none of them can describe the entirety of the elephant because they lack the other perspectives.  In Public Relations, those who work in media relations see PR as a way to pitch stories to the media, alert the media, and relate to the media about a company’s practices.  Those who work in promotions see PR as a marketing tool.  Those who work in other aspects could see it as relationship maintenance, sales, or any other thing that does not describe it in full.  That is why trying to stick a definition with public relations is very hard—it is a very multi-faceted field.


  1. p. 26: Explain Steyn’s      idea of “paradigm”

Steyn’s idea of a paradigm is a scientific worldview.  This is how a set of researchers understand the fields that they study.  Steyn believes that there are multiple paradigms in PR because it is such a multi-faceted area.  There are those that go through very one-sided communication where in others there are active relationships.


  1. p. 30: Explain Arrow’s      contrasting blindmen/elephant fable

In Arrow’s blindmen/elephant fable, while the men were arguing about what the elephant was, the elephant fell asleep for a very long time.  While the elephant was asleep, the men continued to argue while it developed a cocoon.  Then once the elephant awoke and broke out of the cocoon, larger than it was before, the blind men continued to argue and the elephant walked away.  The elephant walked away and ran into new elephants and continued to change and live far away from the men that were still left arguing about the original description of the elephants.  This describes PR because while people are arguing about certain parts of the elephant rather than the elephant as a whole, the elephant as a whole is changing and growing.  The field of public relations is always going to be changing and growing and thusly the description will change along with it, which is why a consistent definition will be difficult to achieve.


“50 shades of PR”

  1. The author asserts:      “Greater luminance will only result from embracing all shades of PR” What      does the author mean by that?

Early in this article she distinguishes that PR is a field with many aspects to it, and those aspects can be classified into shades.  Some of those shades are considered unethical, and some are considered more professional than others.  Light shades are the shades that are reserved for management, she discusses.  There are other shades that are often confused with marketing and promotional duties.  She does not agree with discounting these shades of PR as marketing or any other corporate process because PR is a multi-faceted industry that requires acceptance of all facets to embrace.