Probably the most crucial aspect of the media as this is the way companies and organisations communicate with the public and the media.
The issue with PR: Fake news.
As most PR people are journalists, the communication is simply from journalist to journalist. So is it ever possible to really find out truthful information?
There is always a spin on media and all the information that is available to citizens. Spin is considered as one form of propaganda, as information is communicated in a way that will change the way people are likely to perceive it. Spin is intentionally misleading, and lies could even be considered as spin. Spin can be used to emphasise some details, like if you use greenwashing it is better for the environment. (Rouse, 2016)
BABY DOVE: THE PERFECT MUM
Earlier in April, baby dove launched a provocative campaign about the ‘perfect’ Mum. The giant billboard at London Waterloo station created immense backlash as it starred a young, flawless and confident lady holding a baby. One question that this sparked was ‘Is there such a thing as a perfect mum?’ Interestingly, Dove’s new campaign even created debates on social media regarding how the media presents mothers. Despite the reaction that was gained from this, the original brief was to portray the pressure rather, to be ‘perfect’. The research showed that 9 out of 10 believe this is due to how motherhood is represented in the media. (Perkins, 2017) Thus, this demonstrates how powerful PR and spin is, and the way it can be used to make people perceive a message in a particular way.
Although the idea of fake news seems new, it is actually an old concept. With the huge upsurge in the use of social media, fake news can simply be created by posting a made-up story of Twitter or Facebook. For example, last year as a result of mainstream media, a the creepy killer clown craze video went viral last year, and had the public in hysteria. The award-winning production had 450,000 users engaging with it. (Hillgrove, 2017)
TRUMP’S WINNING PR STRATEGY
PR can be used effectively to one’s advantage. If this is the case, then how did President Donald Trump use PR to win the US election?
- The celebrity status
Donald Trump used his TV star and gossip status to his advantage. As he was already well-known, he didn’t have the need to spend millions on advertising himself.
2. ‘Tells it like it is’
In a Forbes article, it has been stated that Trump ‘tells it how it is’ rather than use political language, allowing the public to understand his language.’s
3. Takes on all critics
Interestingly, Trump did not listen to his public relations consultants and felt free to bad mouth anyone criticising his views. (Seitel, 2015)
Conclusively, Trump’s win on the US general election reflects how effective campaigning is and how it can sway the public’s opinion. Thus, it is a very important aspect when it comes to campaigning during any election.
Hillgrove, R, (2017) Fake news? There’s nothing new about it, [online] place of publication: The Drum News. Available: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/02/07/fake-news-there-s-nothing-new-about-it> [accessed on Thursday 27th April 2017].
Perkins, M, (2017) Baby Dove launches with a provocative AI imagine of the Perfect Mum, [online] place of publication: PR examples. Available: http://prexamples.com/2017/04/baby-dove-launches-with-a-provocative-ai-image-of-the-perfect-mum/> [accessed on Thursday 27th April 2017].
Rouse, M, (2016) spin (PR, marketing), [online] place of publication: Whatis.com. Available: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/spin-in-public-relations> [accessed on Thursday 27th April 2017].
Seitel, F, (2015) Trump’s Winning PR Strategy, [online] place of publication: Forbes. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/fraserseitel/2015/09/07/trumps-winning-pr-strategy/#22b06fb436fd> [accessed on Thursday 27th April 2017].