torstai 26. marraskuuta 2009
maanantai 23. marraskuuta 2009
Croatia: Some journalists want to have goods or other services for not publishing bad/negative stories about companies or persons. Sometimes they also try to trade with fake negative stories
Hungary: Some journalists work for their Media Company as well as PR agent for other companies.
Lithuania: A minister’s press officer also works as a program host.
Poland: Some companies organize nice trips for journalists with a lot of entertainment but without telling them some information or news about their company.
lauantai 21. marraskuuta 2009
In the slideshow (from the year 2004) I found a claim that crisis communication is the most trendy field in Hungarian PR-market. After surfing a little bit more I found a handy article about the crisis communication which I would like to share with you. The article by Kim Harrison is from the "Cutting edge PR" website (http://www.cuttingedgepr.com/articles/senior-management-notice-crisis-plan.asp), which provides ideas and information to boost someones PR career.
The article called "How to get senior management to take notice of your crisis communication plan" says that whether you are inhouse or a consultant, crises are relevant to you as a communicator because crises are largely about the perceptions of stakeholders. Operational managers can deal with operational emergencies, but crises happen when emergency incidents impact on stakeholders, whose actions can affect the ability of your organization to survive. That’s where you come in – to communicate with key stakeholder groups such as employees, customers, shareholders, government regulators and suppliers.
It’s not easy to get senior management to actively support crisis communication plans. Most of them don’t want to know about crises. They know the chance of being caught up in a crisis is tiny and they don’t want to take time away from their daily work priorities to deal with something that just might happen one day, and then again, it might not. And crisis preparation costs money in staff time, in equipment and other resources.
What’s more, many executives perceive crises and emergencies only in terms of an operational response. They look at communication only as an afterthought to the real work. This is an extremely frustrating attitude to encounter. Those executives will need to be convinced of the impact on your organization’s operations and therefore profitability before they take full notice of your communication plan.
A great crisis communication plan is only as good as the extent to which it is implemented. Here are some ideas to get senior management to respect your crisis communication plan and support its implementation:
Be an ambassador of communication. Every person in your organization involved in emergency management should know your first name and face. Meet the emergency-procedures planners informally and talk to them about how better communication with key stakeholders would help them achieve their crisis management goals.
Inform senior managers of clear objectives for communication in a crisis. When many emergency response planners think of ‘communication’ they tend to think of two-way radios or other forms of telecommunication. It might be better to use terms like ‘stakeholder information’ or ‘public communication’ in a crisis.
Tell senior managers how the overall response and recovery operation is more effective by investing in crisis communication activities. In fact, poor crisis communication could destroy the organization.
Always ensure you have fully completed your allotted tasks in the preparation of a crisis communication plan that you bring to discuss at committee meetings. Other people can tell if you have rushed your preparation or if you have neglected parts of it, so they will lose respect if you have failed to honor your commitments.
Since most executives are busy with their day-to-day activities, they tend to put off the time needing to be spent on emergency and crisis response activities. You can take the initiative and systematically arrange meetings with key managers to discuss the importance and the broad content of their communication role in a crisis
There are many high-profile examples you can cite of good and bad examples of crisis communication to back your case. Document each example concisely and circulate the documents in a regularly spaced series, ie a month or two apart, to management to drive your message home to them.
Any concerns about management not understanding the importance of crisis communication must be addressed in the pre-crisis planning phase. You need to be proactive and meet with the emergency response planners now. Show them your competence and expertise. Be energetic. Set your own time aside for thinking through and documenting for your reference any action points.
What do you think after reading this? Are these tips worth noticing in a crisis communication situation?
torstai 19. marraskuuta 2009
Adjusting to the completely new way of life has not been easy neither for businesses nor people. PR is no exception. Sandra L. Braun from the University of Alabama, USA, has interviewed Bulgarian PR professionals, journalists and directors for her study The Effects of the Political Environment On Public Relations in Bulgaria (link). Here are some of the most interesting findings about the state of PR today in Bulgaria.
1. "The scar of socialism":
Braun's interviewees stated that people thought that their former social identities were changed when democracy came and that they couldn't accept new identities. For public relations practitioners, this means dealing with a general public that is very difficult to influence, highly cynical, and resistant to public messages.
2. Wrong perception of public relations:
Many of the professionals interviewed in the research felt that the public does not understand the term, the function, or the purpose of public relations, that the public views the profession negatively and largely associates it with propaganda and duplicity.
A communications professor even said that: "In the scientific world, it is very normal to say “public relations.” Everybody understands. But if you go to the street and say “PR man,” people don’t understand. Bulgarians think about Superman. If you say “PR specialist,” that’s a bit better."
3. The "Black PR" and corruption:
Many participants commented on the concept of Black PR.It was described as “PR meant to hurt an opponent or competitor—even lies about another.”
A good example was given: "In an election there were two candidates for President. And one, he came on TV and he didn’t say I will do this or I will do that. He said that he had heard his competitor had been with criminals."
Many participants also agreed that editorial corruption exists in Bulgaria which means organizations (have to) pay for journalists to publish their press releases.
Braun, S. (2007). The Effects of the Political Environment On Public Relations in Bulgaria. Journal of Public Relations Research, 19(3), 199-228.
keskiviikko 18. marraskuuta 2009
Atanas said, that first I should understand cultural and political backgrounds and social relationships, that I can understand something about Macedonias PR and media today. I said, that I don´t know much about Macedonias or other Eastern europes cultural or political history. I told him, it is very hard to imagine, what it means to live through these huges changes, when the nation is facing new political, economical and social future - and new way to communicate more freely than before too.
Atanas told that many things has changed after 1991, when the Federal Rebuplic of Yuogoslavia break-up. Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, members of states of Yuogoslavia, voted for independence. They wanted to leave limitations of communism behind. And then started the war. Ofcource, before and during war, military based PR and propaganda played huge role.
During the war PR professionals could be found from military organizations and from media. Public relations is still quite young profession and industry in Macedonia. Macedonia is already member of NATO and now hopes to enter European Union in next wave. Macedonia has developed PR and global communication skills to help this enter. EU gives already money to Media development projects.
Atanas told, that especially young people have taken new information technology in use. Internet, social media, example facebook and blogging are very used. Students from another countries are studying in Macedonias colleges or universities and turism has increased. Building global networks is very important. Before the war Internet was the window to the world for young people. They couldn´t travel freely. Now it´s possible, if you have money enough.
Communications activities has been increased. Macedonia needs new investments, new industry to build up country after war. Balkan already have big global companies, but they really try to have more. So they use new public relations concultant to develope PR.
Because of war and used propaganda, people don´t trust media or governments official communication so much anymore. Sometimes it might be hard to trust even other citizens too, but still, traditional printmedia and TV are strong communication channels today. In Macedonia local TV channels have very strong position and they are very popular. Even the country has still big economical and political problems, they develope strongly new media. Border between old and young people could be seen. Young people can use new media, but old people can´t. So TV is important media for all. Intresting little thing was TV payment - every household pays TV-payment in their electricbill, even they didn´t have TV.
In Macedonia personal relationships are very important. Face-to-face communication is important between public relations professionals and journalists, or between organizations public relations people. Trust is everything. PR services has incresed in all big industries. But still, experts are needed to develope PR and ommunications processes on Macedonia.
Source: Interwiev 18.11.2010, Atanas Aleksovski
maanantai 16. marraskuuta 2009
Hostel (2005) and Hostel II (2007) are two horror movies. The main plot of both movies takes place in Slovakia. The story is about a youth hostel where innocent backpacker tourists were cached and then sold to people who can satisfy their abnormal needs. They pay money for killing those tourists.
The problem was the PR gag how the movie was advertised. The producers and every poster told that the plot based on true events. So the audience got the impression that it is quite dangerous to travel through Eastern Europe. Slovakian politicians criticized the movie because of the fact that their home land is shown as a corrupted and a shabby country in both movies. Director Eli Roth got an invitation to get to know the country better but he disapproved.
„Movies, for the most part, are free publicity for the tourist board of any country featured on the big screen: People see the movie and want to visit the country.
But what happens when the plot of the movie involves backpackers who are kidnapped for the sport of torture, dismemberment and murder? This was the idea behind last summer's horror flick, Hostel.
The unlucky country in which the story takes place is Slovakia. Obviously the depiction of tourists being brutally murdered for fun and profit in quaint little Slovakia didn't sit well with local residents (even though the movie was filmed in neighboring Czech Republic).
Director Eli Roth received his share of hate mail over his slanderous depiction of a Slovakia far more screwed up than it actually is, populated by lunatic sadists, throngs of gypsy children, and bleak surroundings.
So, what is he doing now? Filming Hostel II, of course.“
Taken from: http://www.gadling.com/2006/11/10/hostel-ii-more-bad-pr-for-slovakia/
Transsiberian was another horror movie in 2008. It tells the story about a couple who is travelling with the transsiberian train trough Russia and gets a lot of problems with the citizens and the corrupted executive. I guess movies like this, help to produce bad bias and make bad PR for the country in which the plot takes place.
For this post I chose to speak about Pristop, a PR society in Slovenia that has dealt with these topics. In 1996, this Group has conceived an public information campaign for a program against the atmospheric pollution in Slovenia.
The Slovenian government, committed to reducing pollution, has created in 1996, a program of loans at low levels of interest to encourage businesses and households to invest in less polluting energy sources. The loans were granted for the purchase of more ecological heating systems.
To achieve this goal, to convince firms and families, Pristop has adopted a sophisticated strategy of communication. The task was to inform groups of the existence of these loans, and convince others to change their habits or still to teach another group the notion of environmental protection. Pristop has used TV spots, advertisements in newspapers, articles, conferences and meetings to convey separate messages to each audience: people, trade associations, political parties and media.
I think it’s quite important because according to the target audience the message can be different and the mode of communication can also vary from one to another.
The Pristop Group received the prize of the International Association of Public Relations, which rewards the excellent quality of its information campaign, in the field of the design but also of the implementation.
I chose to talk about Pristop Group because I think that their commitment for this kind of information campaign is very important. I have also found an other campaign for Amnesty, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nP6OPWXj20
lauantai 14. marraskuuta 2009
I found out that Romanian Ministry of Administration and Interior - Information and Public Relation Directorate organized the Third Edition of the International Conference in the Field of Public Relations, 17-19 June 2009, at Sibiu, Romania. The main topic of the conference was this year- "PR Strategies-Key Documents in Communicating Law Enforcement Institutions".
After finding this fact I started to search more information about the subject 'PR in Romania'. I needed few minutes of surfing to discover some interesting writings. With you I would like to share an informative slideshow and an interesting article called "Is There a Minimum Age for Being a PR Expert?" (in Romania).
The slideshow is quite long so if you are interested to read it (what I truly hope) please go to http://www.slideshare.net/katamper/pr-in-romania.
And now about the article by Ruxandra Scortea. She writes that by all conventional knowlege, ‘expert’ is not instantly associated with ‘young’, yet the Romanian PR industry proves this assumption wrong. Romania has been playing a game of ‘catch up as fast as you can’ with the Western world over the past 15 years. While the PR industry is still young, it has come a very long way in a very short time, growing in leaps and bounds to respond to the economic development.
As with other ‘new’ industries in a young market economy, PR in Romania is about 10-12 years old, therefore many of the senior people are in their late 20s or early 30s. This is intriguing for business people not familiar with the region, its culture and history. Part of the same crowd myself, especially in the first career years, I could sense skepticism from a distance. Talking about practical experience, especially in crisis communications, always did the trick: “And how old are you?”
Of course ‘hours of flight’ are essential – understanding media relations does not make one a consultant in reputation management. But it took some good years for a young industry to prove itself and become awarded on the same stage with countries that have a long-standing tradition in PR.
In our office the average age is 28 and we make no exception to the industry. Of the people I interviewed for jobs in the past two years, I can count those above 35 on the fingers of one hand. And the consultants in a team for a large project some years ago were all under 35, from lawyers to HR or PR experts. Luckily there is no language barrier for professionalism. Regardless of age or culture, professionals recognise themselves as such, move beyond any preconceptions and simply roll up their sleeves.
In my now (respectable) early 30s I realise the privilege of growing at the same time with my industry, which is what we, the Action network, have been doing in fact so successfully for more years than I’ve been around.
After reading this I couldn't help but wonder what is the average age of PR professionals in Finland? Group 3 or anyone who knows, please inform me.
torstai 12. marraskuuta 2009
First the facts: as we all know men are better than women in basically everything: driving, football, cooking and so on. The only question remaining is whether men are better in PR? Antoaneta Vanc and Roxanne Hovland from the University of Kentucky, USA, decided to find out in their research "Perceived Gender Preference and Physical Attractiveness For Corporate Public Communicators in Romania" (2008).
Joking aside, the research is actually relevant to the subject of our blog. Vanc and Hovland's research questions were:
- Would participants in the study perceive that men are more credible than women as public communicators?
- Are there any differences in how men and women view women/men as corporate spokespersons?
- Do women/men perceive that in organizations it is important that women look attractive?
- Do women/men admire men with athletic bodies?
Romania is an interesting country for a research like this. Under communist regime men were preferred to women in the elite groups in most organizations. According to Vanc and Hovland Romanian culture is also described as a highly masculine with a high degree of gender differentiation. Public relations as a profession has been rapidly developing in post-communist Romania but there is still a general misperception and misunderstanding regarding what public relations means.
The results of the research are a disappointment: men and women are equally credible as organizations spokespersons. And actually higher percentage of men than women believed that women are better in public relations communicator positions. On the other hand a big relief is that 89% of women admired men with athletic bodies.
What do you think would be the results for a research like this in Finland?
Ps. For a more objective interpretation of this research I recommend everybody to read it themselves here.
Vanc, A., & Hovland, R. (2008). Perceived Gender Preference and Physical Attractiveness For Corporate Public Communicators in Romania. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association, 1-34. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
tiistai 10. marraskuuta 2009
Also, I don´t know much about Macedonia or "Former Yougoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM or FYR Macedonia". The constitutional name of the country is Republic of Macedonia and it is usually called simply Macedonia, despite the disambiguation concerns of the neighboring Greeks in the Greek province Macedonia and the official provisional name the country has under UN.
I tried to find something about Macedonias PR history, but i found many pages, which shows different sides of Macedonias history. They were coloured very strong politician point of view.
Here is one view of eastern europe media:
Some basic things about Macedonia:
And here is link where is few Macedonias media
-Macedonian Information Agency
-Macedonian National Broadcasting Company [English version]
-Pressonline [English version]
-VOA) Voice of America - Glas na Amerika, Makedonski
-Deutsche Welle – Macedonian Service
And nice way to know something about Macedonias history:
Link to Oliver Stones film "Alexander" http://alexanderthemovie.warnerbros.com/ .
I will interview my colleeg soon, so next time I hopefully have some experiencial knowledge about Macedonias PR history.
In 1951 the PR activities started with a campaign to support the Hellenic tourist organization. PR know-how came from foreign countries.
In the 1960s the Hellenic Society of Public Relations was founded and numbers over 250 members.
In 1996 the “Hellenic Public Relations Consultancies Association” was founded by the seven leading PR agencies in Greece. Later the association was joined by six more agencies. The associations functioned as an independent entity up until June 2001, when its member-consultancies transferred their allegiance to the newly formed Association of Advertising and Communication Agencies. Durign it's short-lived history, the Hellenic Public Relations Consultancies Association managed to draft a code of professional practice, laid the foundations for the establishment of the Institute of PR, participated in the International Comittee of the Public Relations Consultancies Association and organised two international conferences in Athens.
In 1999 the first academic department was founded which concentrates on PR at the Technological Education Institution (TEI) of Western Macedonia. In the public sector, the only academic program at undergraduate level that focuses exclusively on PR is offered by the TEI of Western Macedonia. Before 1999 there were PR courses in several universities in Greece, introduced in the mid of the 1980s. In the soon future there will be a master program in the University of Athens. In Greece PR is examined from the communication and from the business perspective. Today it is not clear where the focus will be in future.
Hot issues in PR in Greek are technological, economical, political and cultural development. Many agencies exploring the applications of Internet PR in internal and crisis communication. Today an average PR agency has 14,5 employees and 26,5 clients.
source: Public Relations Managment in Europe. A nation by nation Introduction. (google books)
maanantai 9. marraskuuta 2009
For this new post I have chose to speak about PR in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria became a democracy in 1989. Before, under the domination of the Communist ideology, there was no obvious need and no freedom at all to practice public relations. That is why, as most of the contries from East Europe, Bulgaria discovered a progress of freedom of expression after the changes to democracy in 1989 and the real public relations profession emerged, which can be described as one of the manifestation of the freedom. As the media sociologist Todor Petev points out "in Western societies Public Relations emerge and develop to meet the needs of business corporations and their customers, whereas in the young democracies of Eastern Europe they appear as a necessary means of reorganization and stabilization of social interactions and relations in a period of total crisis."
Public relations in Bulgaria is closely linked to media relations.
To show this huge influence, I give you an example :
In the afternoon of the 21 December 1991, the program of the first Bulgarian television channel has been interrupted by a special flash announcing that an accident took perhaps place in the Kozloduy nuclear power station (north of Bulgaria).
Some local radios, as Reuter and Deutsche Wele, repeated the news and it has caused panic among the Bulgarian population and among some of neighboring countries. Most of people have taken emergency measures applicable to nuclear alert. For instance : some have begun to source water and caulking their windows, others have tried to move away from the nuclear power station.
However, this crisis was a farce of a group of students who realized the television program "Neck-neck". They were inspired by "War of the Worlds", a radio new broadcast and presented by Orson Welles and Mercury Players in New York in 1938. At that time, it caused an immediate panic among listeners who had not realized that he was a science fiction. Thus, the Bulgarian students, following this example, were originally one of the biggest media scandals in Eastern Europe.
Some elements help to understand why this joke has taken such this size.
- The Chernobyl accident occurred five years ago, and at this time, his long-term effects began to emerge in Bulgaria, such as the increased incidence of leukemia in children. Moreover, people remember the disaster that many had been kept secret for six days and after the information was presented approximations.
This fact can show us a facet of Bulgarian PR. The Bulgarian authorities, have not responded to this crisis. The spokesman of the institutions involved have not clearly stated that it was only a joke. Bulgarian practitioners seem to be trying to manipulate the dissemination of information and its inﬂuence on publics. They attempt to get favorable publicity into the media, and not surprisingly, do not want to share unfavorable information about their organizations with the media. I really think that this professional belief can limit the development of public relations in Bulgaria and has implications for the ethical standards of Bulgarian public relations practitioners.
- Bulgarian media didn’t stop talking perpetual technical problems of this nuclear power station.
This event would never provok such a reaction without the absolute trust of viewers in the television information. Indeed, compared to the eighties, when the Bulgarian population was very skeptical about the information, then controlled by the government, the years ninety was marked by trust in the media including television. A survey conducted in 1991 shows that at the time, 50% of the Bulgarian population described television as the medium most authentic.
I hope that you find this example as interesting as I think and maybe it will be interesting to imagine what it could be happen if the same new was broadcasted in the countries of your topic ?
perjantai 6. marraskuuta 2009
The article "PR Trends in Eastern Europe" by Lutz Meyer, immediatly cought my attention because it sounded very fresh and important. It says that communications in Eastern Europe has identified five major trends through-out the region:
1. Multi-national, centrally managed accounts for corporate communications as well as marketing communications
2. Corporate Social Responsibility programmes – often combined with crisis communications
3. Integrated public relations programmes (direct to consumer – event – media relations) to complement marketing campaigns
4. The public sector utilising the power of public relations campaigning
5. Internal communications to support management change and enhance employee motivation
For further reading, go to http://www.actioncomms.com/432.html.
I think it's very interesting to know what is going on now in the field of PR in Eastern Europe. I like the way these five trends summarise all the main points of the long article. They really help me to learn something new. When the subject is wide, I think it's nice if something essential can be said shortly but extensively.
torstai 5. marraskuuta 2009
The website is of course full of tables and stats of all sorts. I've picked here two tables that give interesting perspective to our assignment. I put both graphs together myself and therefore they may not look as formal as you would expect from Eurostat. I also didn't include all Eastern European countries, that would have made the graph impossible to read.
First graph is the Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate from 2000 to 2009 and forecast to year 2011 (complete table here). I am no expert in economics but I can tell one important character for the region and that is development.
Click the picture to view it in full size.
Another graph I picked is the one showing the percentage of Individuals aged 16 to 74 regularly using the Internet. On one hand this graph shows how rapidly Eastern Europe is developing. But on the other hand we can see that there is still a big gap to Scandinavian countries. Also it is visible that differences between Eastern European countries and significant. These figures sure have impact on the methods and forms of PR in the region.
keskiviikko 4. marraskuuta 2009
One of my colleeg, Unit Director Atanas Aleksovski, was born in Macedonia and he lived also in Bosnia before he moved to Finland about 10 or 15 years ago. He promised to tell us something about Macedonias and Bosnias PR history and processes and maybe he knows something about other countries too. He is now also city councillor in Tampere, and I know that he is very intresting about these things.
So, we try to find time to discuss about this Issue soon, but I thought, it would be nice, if you send me few good guestions to ask.
This would be nice way to have information from eastern europe.
tiistai 3. marraskuuta 2009
In the beginning of the 90s Poland had a fast growing PR market. The development slowed down in the late 90s that was connected with general economical problems. The entry of the EU helped Poland to regain the PR market (as well as the economical market) Today, there are about 100 companies which offer PR services in Poland. In the article the author writes something about a "lack of ethical guidelines" (we had this topic in the PR lecture today) Probably the biggest problem is the corruption of journalists and political decision makers. That means a constraint of the freedom and independence of Polish media.
The paper is based on a research about the bribery in Poland. The result of the research shows that many communication experts are confronted with bribery at their workplace. There's a disunion if the Polish PR works with ethical manners. On the one hand almost 50 % of PR experts are agreed with the Polish PR ethics but on the other hand 25 % of PR experts and about 40 % of the journalists disagreed with it.
The author is of the opinion that PR experts have a social responsibility to educate their organizations and clients to practice PR in an ethical way.
Today, I want to go back to a poster campaign of the WW II. "Watch out, enemies are listening"
I found this poster and a translation on this topic-releated blog: http://artpostersofwar.com
"The walls do even listen
It doesen't take too long
from chattering to treason"
In 1941 the motive was created by Nina Vatolina. It shows a woman who is instructing silence to the audience. So the Soviet people should care about what they're talking about. "The walls do even listen" - I guess behing the walls lurks the Nazi Regime in this case.
After I found the Soviet poster, I remembered there were similar posters in the Nazi propaganda. For example a poster like this one:
The Nazis wanted to alert the people that there could be spys from the enemy everywhere but otherwise it was also a warning for the German citizens that they really should watch out what they were talking about. To voice; disbelief in the ultimate victory of the Nazis, was a crime.
maanantai 2. marraskuuta 2009
Our research topic is to learn a lot about PR process in Eastern Europe to reach the best understanding as possible. The first question can be the following: What can be described and named the Eastern Europe? By researching answers to Internet we can find a lot of answers that differ from one point of view to another. For instance: where the CIA world Factbook described Eastern Europe as a “group” of 6 countries , the United Nations Statistics Division count more than 10 countries. I estimate that for our research we can limit the term of Eastern Europe to the ex countries of the Soviet Union, so the previous communist countries. That's why we could believe that we’ll find for all of those countries the same kind of process in PR or a huge influence because they have belonged to the same kind of system, the Soviet Union.
However, by reading an article about the PR in Russia, I have discovered that Russia has developed its own vision of PR, which can be described as an adaptation to the Russia life. Indeed, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian country was divided about the future of the country: in one hand, there were those who wanted to make sacrifices to have a new democratic future and in the other hand people who wished to return to past, to the Soviet-style imperialism. As we can notice, the “futuristic” part has won. By becoming a democratic society, consents have to be reached between the Russian government and people. So it needs communication (exchange of information and ideas). As David W. Guth says : This is where public relations plays its critical role. It is through the ethical application of public relations that individuals and organizations enter the great marketplace of ideas. And, through the proper application of public relations, it is how practitioners engineer consensus.
This citation can lead us to a reflection about PR and where they appear and develop: is it possible to have a development of public relation in a non-democratic society?