Chapter one of our book, Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach, is centered around giving the reader an overview of the study of public relations while focusing on some key models and terms. It is mainly mentioned that public relations is a unique and highly diverse study. To derive a definition of public relations is often times very hard and also depends upon the ideals of the person doing the defining. I feel that the key words that jumped out at me to help me better understand this term are relationship and management. Hence, the very first key definition of this study is that it is a management function. In addition, the book goes on to state how it is a planned activity which I find impressive because much creativity and thought must go into this process. Thirdly, this study is a research-based science and is socially responsible.
In chapter one there are also varying models that lend a more concrete dynamic to the study of public relations. The first model mentioned is the Hunt-Grunig Model. This is a model that deals primarily with the people who work in public relations and the specific way in which they interact with their publics. The four primary areas are:
- Press agentry/publicity model- deals with media, the truth is not essential, most widely practiced
- Public information model- accurate information, “news reporters”, second most practiced
- Two-way asymmetrical model- influence publics, “selfish”, least practiced
- Two-way symmetrical model- preferred my Hunt and Grunig, conflict resolution, third most practiced
Next, the Traditional four-step model is outlined. This model doesn’t focus so much on the people who practice public relations, but on the process itself. The four key terms that form in a linear sequence for this model are:
- Research- discovery phase
- Planning- strategy phase
- Communication- execution phase
- Evaluation- measurement of how effective
While this model is simplistic, for this very reason it is not as reflective of the real world. The dynamic model still uses the four key terms of the traditional four-step model but they are all connected (p. 15).
Lastly there is the values-driven approach to public relations. While it is easy to say that this study deals with relationship and the management of them, one must also keep in mind what their public and the one in which they are working with value. Whether it be a dedication to organization within the company or the knowledge that the public highly respond to creativity, these simplistic but important values must be taken into consideration. The figure on page eighteen shows the same figure of the dynamic model and advised one to focus on the core values interlocking this figure.