Influencing public opinion and public policy

November 21, 2011

Hi guys,

Thanks for the active participation in our discussion last Saturday. I had fun hearing your own thoughts on how public relations is perceived and defined by many, including your examples of brands (from local celebrities to global consumer products) that project a certain image but earned the opposite reputation. This goes to show that expensive advertising and promotions campaigns don’t necessarily work to the brand’s or organization’s advantage; in some cases, it can even highlight the disparity between the claimed image and the earned reputation.

I hope this discussion has made many of you realize that while image is important, it’s really reputation that can help make or break the brand. And we don’t have to go through lengthy discussions on what a negative reputation can do or not do to the brand.

Influencing public opinion

And who can forget Edward Bernays and his contribution to PR practice? I failed to share in class the video segment (no thanks to Smartbro),  taken from the documentary The Century of the Self, that shows how Bernays used his understanding of social behavior to “engineer public consent,” most notable of which is probably his work on ‘helping’ women get the right to smoke in public. Here’s the video:

Influencing public policy

Not all organizations today have a PR genius like Edward Bernays to help them influence public policy and legislation, but there’s lobbying to help them achieve the same objective. Good thing is, the UP Manila chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of the Philippines (PRSSP) is organizing a free seminar on lobbying, which I believe is a great opportunity for us to learn the practice from the professionals.

Please attend this seminar in lieu of our class this Saturday (attendance will be checked), and I’d like you to make a brief post in the comment section below about your biggest learning or realization on lobbying from the speakers. If you wish to expound more, you can write your comment in your own blog and post the link in the comment section below. Your answer forms part of your class participation for Orcom 105. To get you started on lobbying, check this site for some information.

See you guys on Dec. 3 and looking forward to your answers here and your submissions for the first group project. 🙂


Welcome to OrCom 105

November 11, 2011

Photo credit:

Hi guys,

I know this is quite strange to meet for the first time through a blog. My schedule is quite messed up for now so I won’t be able to see you face-to-face in class tomorrow. But I also don’t want to waste our first meeting and not give you a preview of the kind of hell…I mean, class..that you enrolled yourself in. Haha!

Anyway, so the class is Orcom 105 – Dynamics of Public Relations and you can get the copy of the syllabus here. The syllabus details the course description, objectives, course content, class requirements (my favorite! haha!), and class policies. We’ll discuss the syllabus next week for your questions and clarifications, but feel free to email me now if you would like to add to the list of requirements. 😀

For our class next week, please submit:

  • A 3×5 index card with these following details: full name, student number, year level and course, mobile number, and email address. Please also put your nickname on the top left of the index card and on the top right, please staple your recent 1×1 or 2×2 color pic.
  • A sheet of paper listing your group of 7 members for the first requirement, detailed below.

Face-to-face Interview with a Pinoy PR Pro

This is the first group requirement in class, which aims to expose you to the real world of Filipino PR professionals—how they work, where they work, what drives them. The interviewee may come from any organization or agency and must have at least two years of work experience as a PR professional.

Here is a guide scope for the interview. Feel free to expand as you deem necessary. The idea is for you to get a clear, concrete picture of the life and career of a Pinoy PR Pro.

  • Personal: definition, beliefs, principles on PR; motivations for pursuing a PR career; aspirations for a PR career
  • Functional: job description or typical day; challenges on the job and how these were overcome; measures of effectiveness; lowest or proudest moment on the job as a PR pro
  • Organizational: where PR is in his/her organization (e.g. own department or placed under Marketing?); PR team’s role in the overall business (e.g. Strategic driver? Effective implementor?)

Use your interview as input to a mini-magazine on your interviewee that your group needs to submit in class. I leave this part to your creativity as Orcom majors (number of pages, size, layout, photos, etc.), but I’m expecting nothing less than a publication that we can all be proud to share with others and say, “This is UP Orcom work!”

Deadline for submission of the mini-magazine is on Dec. 3, which means you have no excuse not to give it your best shot. And just so you know, I’m not impressed with fancy design to make up for lack of substance, so don’t even try, okay? 🙂

For the meantime, I want to know what you guys think of Public Relations—what word or image come to your mind when your hear it, how you understand it based on your experiences and exposure, and what you want to know more about it in class. So please fill in your answers to these phrases in the comments section below with your name:

  • The first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘PR’ is _____.
  • PR to me is _____.
  • In Orcom 105, I want to learn _____.

Looking forward to reading your answers, guys! 🙂