Wag the Dog

February 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm (Assignments)

1. Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody?

  • I think Conrad embodies the basic value orientation of the “situationalist”. Situationalists believe each decision they make is based on what would cause the most good or least harm. The situationalist believes they can justify it as long as it benefits the greatest amount of people. The whole plot in the movie was making America believe a “made-up” storyline about a fake war in Albania, so that they would keep their minds off the President having an affair with a young girl. The PR practitioner and his group of workers made the decision to do this in order to keep the President in a good light so that he would have a greater chance at getting elected for his second term.

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

  • Conrad is not being ethical because he is not serving the public interest by lying to the country when the fake war in Albania is created. Also, by lying to the country about the war, he is being unethical. Being dishonest is a big issue that goes against the PRSA Code of Ethics.

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

  • A dog wags his tail; the tail does not “wag the dog”. The logic behind this and how it is exemplified in the movie is that the PR practitioner represents the “tail” and America as the public represents the “dog”. The President PR department is telling the country what to think and pretty much how to vote, therefore the PR practitioner is “wagging the dog”.

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

  • Conrad confirmed the popular PR stereotype that PR practitioners & departments are dishonest at all costs as long as the dishonesty benefits the person they are representing, their client. Lying to the public only hurts you as a practitioner and your client in the big scheme of things.
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Evolution of PR

February 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm (Assignments, Reading Notes)

In class on Monday we discussed the very beginning of public relations and how it has grown and changed. The practice of PR can be traced all the way back to the Rosetta Stone which was thought to be basically a publicity release bragging on a pharoah’s accomplisments. It’s kind of strange to think that PR has been around since the Egyptian pharoahs. And that Pope Gregory XV was one of the first people to use propoganda.

I was extremely suprised to see that Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to make the use of news conferences and press releases to achieve the support of the country. One thing that really stood out that I found very interesting was that the Boston Tea Party was thought by PRWeek to be “the greatest and best-known publicity stunt of all time…” Another thing that I found really interesting that I would have never guessed was that Henry Ford was one of the first people to use the idea of positioning and the notion of being availabale to the press. Some people even called him “a better publicist than he was a mechanic.”

I enjoy learning about the history of my major, PR, because I don’t believe most people realize how far back this practice dates and how many people have used it throughout the world. We don’t always realize what famous people that we learn about in school and our history books have become legendary for their practices in public relations.

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My 1st Week Using Twitter

February 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm (Assignments)

When we were first told that we would be required to create a Twitter account for my Intro to Public Relations class and create at least 20 updates within a week I was quite annoyed. At the beginning I couldn’t imagine being able to update my Twitter 20 times in just 7 days or having 20 different things to say that weren’t completely off the wall or dumb. Where would I get all this time to do this? I was also thinking I have all these different communication portals now; Facebook, school e-mail, GeorgiaView, personal e-mail, ebay, and now Twitter!!!! How will I ever keep up!! But after the first couple days I finally got the hang of Twitter.

Twitter introduced me to several PR professionals and I was able to receive links to interesting news & sites that normally I may not have been aware of. I can see how Twitter has it’s benefits, especially to those people trying to get themselves out there and known in the world of PR. It has the ability to connnect you with people and create opportunities without all the distractions that sites such as Facebook have.

I will most likely continue using my Twitter, at least until the Spring semester is over. I like having the ability to connect with my classmates and Dr. Nixon without the hassle of going through e-mail.

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