The paper "The Four Models of Public Relations" is a perfect example of business coursework. The focus of this essay mainly revolves around Jim Grunig’ s and Todd Hunt’ s public relations models. It is one of the most popular theories in the public relations discipline. This essay will give an overview and outline the key elements of each of the four models then give their significance to the public relations discipline (Chia, & Synnott, 2009). These models include the public information, two-way asymmetrical, the press agentry, and the two-way symmetrical models. The four models show how the public relations discipline has evolved over time.
The two-way symmetrical model is at the top of this evolutionary pyramid (Chia, & Synnott, 2009). Traditional media, social media, and stakeholder engagement are fields that are involved in the discussion of this essay. It is therefore important that their meanings in this context are well understood first. Traditional media, or traditional mass media, means the old ways people used to pass information and it exists in the form of sales promotion, advertising, direct marketing, and public relations. Social media refers to the various platforms where people get to interact and share different views and opinions.
Finally, Stakeholder engagement refers to the idea where organizations put into consideration the welfare of the public and involve them in its decision-making process. It does not necessarily limit it to the public but any other party that might have a stake in the organization (Hazlett, 2013). Model #1: The Press Agentry Model It is also called the P. T Barnum model or publicity model. This model dates back to the 19th century and is based solely on behavior manipulation.
Press agents or flacks would create news by giving half-truths and weaving fantasy in order to influence public opinion. The information given is usually not based on research because what matters is to get their clients to make the headlines and the truth is not a priority (Chia, & Synnott, 2009). The press agentry model has two main characteristics or elements. It is one-way communication and it uses manipulation and persuasion to influence the public to behave as the organization wants it to. It has a one-way communication structure because there is no feedback from the recipient of the information, the public.
This model plays a significant role in public relations in that by having the ability to modify the public’ s way of thinking, the organization can create for itself the image it wants (Chia, & Synnott, 2009). Traditional media best applies to this model. Many organizations use advertisements and direct marketing in order to create a particular image for the public. The organization can make itself appear efficient and its products more superior to those of its competitors. By playing this card, organizations are able to maintain a competitive edge as they scramble to control a larger market share. A relevant example of this model is seen in the clothing brand, American Apparel.
It uses controversial images that can be termed as seductive in order to lure their clientele. The organization operates on the premise that “ sex sells” . Half-naked models appear in their advertisements and billboards. The main focus is not to understand whether the attention shifts from the clothes they are aiming to sell to the bodies of their models but to get the attention of their audience and create a name for themselves in media (Chia, & Synnott, 2009).
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