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Flashcards in Chapter 7 Deck (34):
1

The following are some of the roles of publicity:

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The following are some of the roles of publicity:

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Characteristics of publicity include the following:

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Different forms of Publicity

Newspaper publicity releases.
News stories.
News feature.
Copy preparation for news releases.
Press conferences.
Staged events.
Broadcast publicity.

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Newspaper publicity releases.

The organisation’s publicity department prepares an article or editorial in certain newspapers (relevant to the target market) for publication with the main intention being to inform the public about a certain issue. The organisation will, in most instances, not pay for the editorial. For example, the marketing department of City Power (electricity unit of the City of Johannesburg) which sends an article to be published in the local newspaper informing residents of the forthcoming power interruptions/load-shedding.

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News stories.


A news story tells the reader about a current event that has happened. It must be printed as soon as possible/today and it cannot be postponed to when the time is convenient or when there is space to print.

If it cannot be published now, the story dies.

For example, if the Parliament buildings catch fire in the early hours of the morning, South African citizens should/must be able to read about this when they purchase their favourite newspaper in the morning.

The article will have to explain where the buildings are situated, what time they caught fire, how this happened and, if possible, who is behind the incident. The emphasis here is on providing hard facts, not people’s opinions.

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News feature.

This also aims to inform, expanding on the facts and giving back- ground information. Unlike news stories which need to be published almost immediately, news features could be printed a day or two, or even weeks and months, after the news story.

The time aspect of news features is not as important, and this can serve as an excellent publicity vehicle.

For example, the president of a major opposition party submits an article to a Sunday newspaper (five days after the initial story was published) in which he gives a detailed analysis of how the Parliament buildings burnt down.

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Copy preparation for news releases.

The editor of a newspaper receives a lot of information from various sources about a particular topic.

He/she then rewrites the story in his/her own words, giving the story a professional tweak and ensuring that the content is accurate and easily understood.

9

Press conferences.

Members of the print and electronic media are invited to attend a press conference where they will be addressed by a senior representative of an organisation on a key issue that deserves special attention.

For example, the national coach of Bafana Bafana (South Africa’s national football team) addresses members of the media and reveals the names of the team players who will be playing in the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

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Staged events.

Certain things cannot be revealed in the form of press releases. In this case, members of the media are invited to see a display and demonstration of a particular product.

This could take the form of the following:
press conferences
banquets
breakfast meetings
seminars
workshops

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Broadcast publicity

This could include a live broadcast by a major television station where a particular issue is discussed.

For example, something is discussed on a well-known special programme such as e.tv’s 3rd Degree or SABC’s Special Assignment. What usually happens is that various guests and experts in a particular topic are invited to explore a certain issue and debate it extensively.

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Characteristics of publicity include the following:

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Different forms of Publicity

Newspaper publicity releases.
News stories.
News feature.
Copy preparation for news releases.
Press conferences.
Staged events.
Broadcast publicity.

14

Newspaper publicity releases.

The organisation’s publicity department prepares an article or editorial in certain newspapers (relevant to the target market) for publication with the main intention being to inform the public about a certain issue. The organisation will, in most instances, not pay for the editorial. For example, the marketing department of City Power (electricity unit of the City of Johannesburg) which sends an article to be published in the local newspaper informing residents of the forthcoming power interruptions/load-shedding.

15

News stories.


A news story tells the reader about a current event that has happened. It must be printed as soon as possible/today and it cannot be postponed to when the time is convenient or when there is space to print.

If it cannot be published now, the story dies.

For example, if the Parliament buildings catch fire in the early hours of the morning, South African citizens should/must be able to read about this when they purchase their favourite newspaper in the morning.

The article will have to explain where the buildings are situated, what time they caught fire, how this happened and, if possible, who is behind the incident. The emphasis here is on providing hard facts, not people’s opinions.

16

News feature.

This also aims to inform, expanding on the facts and giving back- ground information. Unlike news stories which need to be published almost immediately, news features could be printed a day or two, or even weeks and months, after the news story.

The time aspect of news features is not as important, and this can serve as an excellent publicity vehicle.

For example, the president of a major opposition party submits an article to a Sunday newspaper (five days after the initial story was published) in which he gives a detailed analysis of how the Parliament buildings burnt down.

17

Copy preparation for news releases.

The editor of a newspaper receives a lot of information from various sources about a particular topic.

He/she then rewrites the story in his/her own words, giving the story a professional tweak and ensuring that the content is accurate and easily understood.

18

Press conferences.

Members of the print and electronic media are invited to attend a press conference where they will be addressed by a senior representative of an organisation on a key issue that deserves special attention.

For example, the national coach of Bafana Bafana (South Africa’s national football team) addresses members of the media and reveals the names of the team players who will be playing in the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

19

Staged events.

Certain things cannot be revealed in the form of press releases. In this case, members of the media are invited to see a display and demonstration of a particular product.

This could take the form of the following:
press conferences
banquets
breakfast meetings
seminars
workshops

20

Broadcast publicity

This could include a live broadcast by a major television station where a particular issue is discussed.

For example, something is discussed on a well-known special programme such as e.tv’s 3rd Degree or SABC’s Special Assignment. What usually happens is that various guests and experts in a particular topic are invited to explore a certain issue and debate it extensively.

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3. Negative Publicity

Negative publicity can be defined as the unpleasant publicity an organisation may incur and may lead to potential disastrous consequences if not well managed.

It is almost impossible to recover fully from bad publicity, although negative publicity can in some cases be positive.

It is very easy and more pleasant to produce productive publicity, than it is to turn an image from poor to better; however the latter task is still a function of publicity.

Public relations managers and practitioners have a difficult task in minimising the “poor image” and maximising the “good image”.

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You must be able to identify negative publicity, and discuss the different aspects:


7.3.1 Causes and effects of negative publicity

7.3.2 Positive effects of negative publicity

7.3.3 How can negative publicity be countered?

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7.3.1 Causes and effects of negative publicity


Like a tiny spark that can start a bush fire, negative publicity can be caused by misinterpretation of interview excerpts, spreading of unsubstantiated rumours, disillusioned (ex) employees, angry customers and unethical competitors.

Negative publicity can work against management’s intentions in the following ways: it may lead to a decrease in sales; it may tarnish the reputation of the organisation; it may lead to a drop in the company’s share price; and in certain instances it may even lead to organisations recalling all their products, with this having an adverse effect on product and brand evaluation.

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7.3.2 Positive effects of negative publicity

Bad things are not always “bad” or perhaps they are just not “bad enough”.

There can be some positive spin-offs. For example, not many people would ordinarily read an article on the world’s best golfer, Tiger Woods, especially if they are not interested in golf or sports in general. However, after his recent scandal (cheating on his wife), the number of people visiting the website to access the story increased at an alarming rate. His live television apology to his fans, sponsors, youth and family was watched by a greater number of people – many who did not know who Tiger Woods was before.

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- The following are some of the ways in which negative publicity can have positive effects:

it can increase brand awareness;
it can result in higher sales;
it may lead to brand trial/ accessibility;
and it may serve as a platform to create positive publicity.

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7.3.3 How can negative publicity be countered?

The fact that negative publicity can have good consequences does not negate its negative effects on an organisation. It should therefore be avoided as much as possible.

How do we counter negative publicity in a world like ours where negative publicity is often used by the media to boost sales?

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- The public relations department should consider doing the following:

Identifying the source of the problem. Get experts to verify any claims or rumours before making any public statement.

Working out a plan of counterattack. This is mainly done by consulting with experts from within and outside the organisation.

Presenting concrete proof where possible. The best weapon to destroy unfounded facts is to present valid proof.

Keeping on with follow-up. Do not forget that the media will keep on attacking you on the same issue.

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7.4 THE PRE-EVALUATION AND POST-EVALUATION OF A PUBLICITY EFFORT

Publicity campaigns should accomplish certain objectives, and these may be to raise awareness, reinforce or change existing beliefs on a certain topic, or simply inform the target market about an issue.

Long before the campaign starts, the following pre-evaluation factors should be considered, which you, as a student, should be able to identify and briefly discuss:

Problem identification.
The campaign organisers have to know and understand the problem prior to making an attempt to solve it. Half of the problem is already solved if we know what it is. If it is a local municipality running a drug abuse campaign, who does it target? What is the age group? Is there any available data on the problem? What is perceived to be the cause?


Campaign planning.
After the successful identification, exploration and understanding of the problem, careful planning must take place.

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The following must be considered when planning:

Target audience.
Audience motivation.
Media selection.
Timing.
Effectiveness.

Finally, lessons learnt from the campaign (good or bad) will have to be used as an important foundation for future campaigns.

Publicity campaigns should be followed up from time to time to ensure that the target audience is aware of the good things that they company can offer.

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Target audience.

Special emphasis must not only be placed on current abusers of drugs, but also on those who are most likely to be affected. This should include significant others (parents, partners or peers).

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Audience motivation.

Why do the target audience abuse drugs? What would it cost to change their current behaviour?
Message content. It is important that the message be specific, clear, relevant and unambiguous.

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Media selection.

The media should be chosen with the target market in mind.

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Timing.

The campaign must be run at an appropriate time and should not be too long and lose its impact. A local municipality cannot run a drug abuse campaign when the national and provincial departments are running an HIV/AIDS department.

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Effectiveness.

Once the campaign has been run, it is also important to evaluate its effectiveness.

In the context of a drug abuse campaign, among others the following will have to be considered:
Did the campaign reach its intended objectives? Was there any change in behaviour after the running of the campaign? What do experts say about the success of the campaign? Have attitudes changed in the direction of campaign objectives? Can the target audience recall the message? Was the message effective? How many people did the campaign reach?