Royal Pains

TheSpanish Royal Family (2013)

TheSpanish Royal Family (2013).

As PR practitioners, we like to think of ourselves as highly evolved, open-minded people who always listen to our audiences and respond to their feedback to make sure that they’re kept happy.  In other words, we think we practice what Grunig calls two-way symmetrical public relations. But in truth, there are still many current examples that prove that the public information model – the one that just tries to push information to the media, not responding to any kind of feedback from the public- is still used on a regular basis.

All you have to do in order to appreciate this is pick up a copy of Hello! Magazine and read up on what’s happening with our European royals, in particular with the Spanish monarchy. In case you haven’t been keeping up with some of their latest news, let me bring you up to speed on how they’re doing. Continue reading

Could social media be the end of the “PR Girl”?

Women's extended use of social media might help to close the PR gender gap.

Women’s extended use of social media might help to close the PR gender gap.

While doing some research for a paper I’m writing (it seems like I do a lot of both lately) I came across an interesting article that brings together the ideas of gender and social media. The authors, Piet Verhoeven and Noelle Aarts, put forth an interesting idea: social media might help solve the issue of the gender gap in PR! Finally, something more or less tangible that we, men and women, can understand and relate to. Whether you’re a he or a she, read on for some insights that could make or break your career. Continue reading

I quit! How two words can prove the need for good PR.

Pope Benedict XVI gives attends an official ceremony while two cadinals whisper behind him.

Pope Benedict XVI gives attends an official ceremony while two cadinals whisper behind him.

Four days ago, Benedict XVI said the words no Pope has said in 700 years: “I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”.  A simple sentence that has had a powerful effect on millions of people all over the world, including the media and the Vatican itself. The general reaction to the Pope’s resignation has been a mixture of shock and disbelief. Even those who are highest up within the Catholic Church admit that they were surprised by the news. Given the consequences that this action could have for the Vatican, we must ask ourselves how all of this plays out from a PR standpoint. Continue reading

PR “a la española”

Mariano Rajoy, President of Spain, "attends" a press conference after the scandal breaks out.

Mariano Rajoy, President of Spain, “attends” a press conference after the scandal breaks out.

Whenever anyone talks about the countries where the function of PR is most evolved, they generally mention the United States and the UK. Sometimes Australia… Germany… but never Spain. Any self-respecting Spaniard would be annoyed at this. We do after all have our pride! However, the events that have occurred there within the past few days should make any Spanish PR practitioner cringe; both politically and “PR-illy”. Continue reading

Ladies of PR: Burn your bras!

Tyra Banks provs that bra burning is actually fun (2008).

Tyra Banks is joined by friends in a good old fashioned bra-burning in (2008).

OK, I don’t mean this literally (anyone who buys them knows that good bras are expensive and hard to find), but keep reading and you’ll get what I mean.
I recently did some research about the gender gap in PR and I was very surprised (shocked, actually) when I read what some academics have to say about the issue. To give you a bit of background information, women represent 70% of the PR workforce, but continue earn just 75 percent of what men earn and still have difficulties reaching management level positions. Considering the proportion of women versus men in the field, I wonder… What is going on? Continue reading

Banks need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future. ASAP.

Mr. Potter, The banker from "It's a wonderful life".

Mr. Potter, the banker from “It’s a wonderful life” (1946).

When I picture the CEO of a bank, I can’t help but come up with an image like the one featured in this post. An arrogant, selfish, ruthless older gentleman who is a mix between the mean old men who tormented Mr. Banks in “Mary Poppins” and Pre-Christmas-Ghosts-Scrooge. I know this idea is pretty far from the truth, but I’m not sure that everybody else does. Continue reading