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Wag The Dog February 16, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 6:35 pm
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Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.

  • The PR practitioner in the movie Wag the Dog embodies the situational orientation. One characteristic of this orientation is that the end will justify whatever means taken, as long as the end is beneficial. This movie is filled with examples of this. One is when they fake the war in Albania. This is by no means ethical in my book, but they jusitfy it in the end, because it put the president in a better light.

According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, how is the PR practitioner unethical?

  • Advocacy- The PR practitioner is unethical because in no means is he acting in a responsible way for his client. Had someone found out about the scheme, not only would the practioner receive backlash, so would his client.
  • Honesty- I’m trying to remember one part in the movie when the practioner was honest. I can’t think of any… One huge dishonest moment is when he decides to portray a convict as a war hero.
  • Expertise-The practitioner does have expertise in what he is doing. He just abuses his knowledge and power by doing unethical things.
  • Independent- Though he is independent, the practitioner is not responsible for his actions. This is shown when the CIA accuses the practitioner. He is deceitful once again and pretends that he has done nothing wrong.
  • Loyalty- He is loyal to his client (the president) but not loyal to his collegues or the public. For example, when he feels the Hollywood producer is about to share his secrets, he gets him shot.
  • Fairness- Lying, portraying false images, killing, etc etc etc, the practitioner does not conduct his business in a fair way.

What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?

  • Wag the Dog is a play on words. It is describing how the PR professionals can control the minds of the public. The tail (a very small portion of the dog’s body) is in charge of the dog (the majority of the dog), similarily, in this movie, a small number of people (practitioner and producer) are in charge of the majority of people (the public).

In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?

  • The practitioner confirmed the stereotype that PR professionals can turn any bad situation around into something completely different. Obviously, in this movie, the president had the heat taken off of him for his sex scandal, by the “war” in Albania.
  • A positive stereotype he confirmed was the loyalty of PR professionals. He shows how loyal they are to his clients.

Chapter 2: The Evolution of PR February 4, 2009

In class the other day, we discussed the Evolution of Public Relations. I know more in detail about how Public Relations works, and was surprised to see how many well-known names from history have been intricately involved with Public Relations. I was interested to learn Public Relations was a practiced tool even during in ancient times. For example, Julius Caesar wrote a book in order to promote his goal in becoming the emperor of the Roman Empire. I also thought it was interesting to see how Public Relations played a role in the Boston Tea Party. “PRWeek has calledit ‘the greatest and best-known publicity stunt of all time.” Henry Ford used the two basic PR principles: positioning and being accessible to the press. I was suprised to see President Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to use news conferences and press conferences for public support. These days, those are both heavily relied on for any issue. It suprised me that he was the first to utilize them because those seem like they would’ve been around for hundreds of years. I would like to know more about aspects of women in Public Relations. I was concerned when I read that even though women dominate the Public Relations field, men still dominate the management levels. When I am in a career, I would like to know if I work hard enough and am successful in my endeavors, that my gender will not affect my placement in a management position. Overall, our class discussions were enlightening to me. I learned more than I thought I would by breaking off in groups and discussing the eras with classmates.

All information is based off of the content from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.


How I Feel About Twitter February 3, 2009

Filed under: Assignments-PRCA 2330 — sbsullivan @ 4:39 am

At first, Twitter was really confusing to me. I didn’t understand the point of it, and how everyone was connected. I didn’t understand what the difference between a “Tweet” and a “Direct Message.” I wasn’t sure how I would find all of my classmates just by using the tag PRCA2330. I also was iffy about people using it as a network tool.  Now I understand I was wrong. Twitter is a very important tool for networking and learning about things that are interesting. For example, I love to cook. On a whim, I searched for Paula Deen. I was delighted when I found her. I started “following” her and now whenever she updates her page, I am notified. This makes her more like a real person to me, rather than just a celebrity. I started following someone with the tag PR in their username. I did this because I am going into Public Relations and wanted to see if Twitteris as good of a networking site as I had been told. Not a day after “following” this user, she sent me a message saying she was delighted I am using Twitter because it is an important tool in the career world, especially in Public Relations. She also went on to say if I have any questions or need a contact for someone in PR in my location, not to hesitate to ask. This showed me just how powerful a tool like Twitter can be. I enjoy using Twitter and look forward to using it in the future for networking, as well as for fun.