Concept Week 6: Identifying, analyzing and targeting publics/ stakeholders

By Austin Merritt

Public relations have a big influence in news stories all around us. They are in the media all the time, whether we know it or not. Since they have a big influence in the media, they try to capitalize upon that. In doing so they need to identify, analyze and target their audience. These are very important steps to successful results. Public relations has to be a voice to many different publics. You don’t want to advertise beauty supplies to a strong male audience. The reception will probably not be too grand. When public relations target audiences they have to consider what is the dynamics of their target audience. The audience could be employees, stockholders, communities, media, government, an investment community, or customers. Each group has a certain importance to the public relations. For example, the public relations need to maintain a strong, healthy relationship with their employees, stockholders, and investment community. These are the audiences that keep the company functioning and supported. Public relations also want to get on the good side of government. To do so public relations will conduct meetings and send reports to the government to gain their trust in the company. For customers, public relations will cater to their interests because the customers are the oil that keeps the company moving. As the book says, “Consumers pay the bills for companies through their purchase of products or services.” When targeting the right audience, public relations have to identify the audience and analyze their message. They have to make sure their message will fit the audience to portray their message at full efficiency. It does not benefit the company to have poor public relations. In order to be an adaptable public relations, you must identify your audience, analyze your message and target the public/stockholders through the best medium that you can.

My article, here, talks about how Chick-fil-a discusses their charity giving. An official speaks out about to whom they give their donations. They set out to discuss and settle any rumors or misconceptions about donations. He discusses what went on inside the company and the route that they are on. I think this is a good example of public relations because they are targeting the masses on a subject of same-sex and the donations that they make. It shows us how an official may speak for a company and be the voice of the company. He is targeting the masses and analyzing his message by dissecting it.

Concept Week 6: Edward Bernays’s campaigns and use of psychology in PR.


By: Shelby Schroeder

Our textbook states that Edward Bernays was a pioneer for public relations.  He developed the idea that you should assess the public’s feelings towards an organization or company.  This is how he developed the public relations effort. It began two-way communication in public relations.  Or in other terms, public relations talking to people, and listening to what the people thought.  Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, and was employed to do psychological research aimed at understanding the connections of women and cigarettes. He found that women saw cigarettes as a symbol.  it represented freedom from their unfair treatment in a man’s world, seeking to be accepted as equal.  He wanted women to be able to smoke.  For a publicity stunt that is still admired today, Bernays had 10 very socially prominent women walk down Fifth Avenue during a parade in NYC where smoking was banned.  It was front page news everywhere.


Example Explanation: In my example Oprah Winfrey give out new Volkswagen Beetles to her entire audience.  Oddly enough she had done this previously in 2004 when she gave out free Pontiac G6s.  Why might a company pay for this? To look good in the customer’s eye and reawaken this dying brand.  However, Oprah failed to even mention the name Pontiac, and the public relations stunt seemed all for nothing. Sales remained dismal.

Concepts Week 6 Band Wagon Effect

By: Jimmy Lav

Most people are guilty of this temptation. I myself have found that because of a common belief shared by many peers has the power to influence the decision of others. The famous “Hop on the Bandwagon” expression I assume is known by all, the thought process is sometimes “If all of them are doing it, maybe I should too”. This kind of thinking can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. There’s that “don’t do drugs just because everyone else is doing them” teaching that has been drilled into our minds ever since grade school. On a positive side, maybe a group of people can influence you to watch a really good television show or to join a club that you end up loving. A great example I thought of involves the famous band “The Grateful Dead.” For those of you who do not have any knowledge of this band, they basically fueled drug sales in the late 60’s and early 70’s. A band involved in fusion and psychedelia , they soon had a “cult” following: Deadheads. They would follow the band across the country with undying commitment to their music. During that time, it was not uncommon for a rebellious teenager to become disconnected with their academic life filled rules and limitations. So traveling the country with friends and fellow music lovers seemed like a much better quality of life. This example I think is directly linked to the “Bandwagon Theory”.

For more information on Deadheads:

Concepts Week 6: Famous Person Testimonial

By Jimmy Lav

We all are influenced by the celebrities we love. The reason in some cases is maybe because we envy them, we want to be like them or maybe we just respect them. Despite which case, they hold influence on our ideas. The popular cigarette brand “Marlboro” must have received large sales increases when people noticed that the folk legend Bob Dylan smoked them himself. When a famous person does a commercial, or favors a product, they are getting paid to influence the public on what to buy with their money. The question is, do these people have any special knowledge or expertise on what they are claiming to be the best product out there? I think that when they get paid, we should not explicitly take their advice. The insanely popular Will Ferrell did a series of “Old Milwaukee” commercials. He did them completely for free because of one reason- he genuinely loved and supported the beer. I’m more likely to make a decision influenced by another person if it’s based on honesty and integrity. In the article “Will Ferrell Ads for Old Milwaukee Beer a Labor of Love, Marketing Genius, or Both?” Daren Metropolous, co-owner of Pabst Brewing Company, says: “Will Ferrell approached Old Milwaukee about creating ads because he’s a big fan of the brand,” Metropoulus said. “He was interested in developing something unique and we gave him the freedom to pursue his creative vision and produce these spots with a local vibe.” This shows me that Ferrell cares about the beer, and he wants us to care about it too.