So which is it? Audiences, publics, stakeholders… or tribes?

We're no longer talking to passive audiences.

We’re no longer talking to passive audiences.

Whether you are studying PR or work in the field you know that we talk about audiences, publics and stakeholders depending on whether we’re dealing with corporate or consumer PR, on what our companies calls them or on what we think sounds better at any given time. However, even though we tend to use these words interchangeably, this isn’t a “you say potato I say potato” situation. In truth, each one of these words means something slightly different and has different connotations. What’s the one thing they have in common? To some extent, they all focus on organizations and not just on the people they refer to which is why to complicate things even more, some experts are beginning to talk about tribes. Confusing, isn’t it? Not really. Each term is actually quite easy to define: Continue reading

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

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