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Public Relations Theory And Campaign Essay (Critical Writing)


Newlandia education foundation

Newlandia education foundation (NEF) was established in the 1900 as a charitable organization, with support from Newlandia government. Since then, this organization still relies on donation from the public to ensure its survival. It is located in the south region of Newlandia Island where schools are faced with inadequate resources such as lack of enough books, stationery, teaching materials among other needs.

NEF’s mission stands for “education access for all newlandians regardless of race, religion, sex or economic standing” (Pacific PR, 2010, p.5). However, NEF is faced by the challenge of over-reliance on public support in form of money, reading material, and voluntary services; however, the adult population of Newlandian is very ignorant of the organization’s vision and mission.

The Newlandian unemployment rate is at 12-25% due to lack of education. In addition, south newlandians children live far from school, hence making it impossible for them to attend school, (Pacific PR, 2010, p.8).

This campaign aims at convincing the business sector on Newlandian on the importance of supporting childhood education in the future to benefit the children into becoming important people in the society, thus curbing illiteracy and unemployment in the future. In order to ensure effective delivery of information, situational theory, social learning theory, and hierarchy of need theory will be used appropriately.

When proper resources are in place, NEF can make an impact on the lives of many children through providing effective education, thus curbing poverty through providence of employment opportunities. Literacy minimizes poverty while boosting employment and social inclusion.

Television, newspapers, and radios can be used as campaign tools for spreading the plight of Newlandian. The Newlandian situation requires additional schools, stationery, teaching accessories, and desks in order to ensure learning needs are met. Indeed, raising awareness of the child education situation is the first step in this campaign.

Steps towards Public Relation Campaigns

According to Musgrave (2001, p.42), when public relations campaigns are planned carefully and executed effectively, they create a difference between success and failure of a program.

Therefore, the following steps are involved; first, collection of data, which in this case we have all the information needed concerning the Newlandian’s education foundation. The second step involves setting of objectives, the main aim of which is to raise awareness of the Newlandian’s plight and to raise donations that will aim at increasing education for children in this area.

Determining the strategy aims at how the objective will be achieved, therefore publicizing our objectives will attract public’s attention. In addition, setting of communication techniques aims at deciding the number of communication tools to use.

In this case, variety of tools will be used, for instance, television, and newspapers among others. Composing the message is a step that involves constructing an appropriate message that will be forwarded to the media with an aim of creating awareness and supporting NEF.

Selecting the media involves choosing the appropriate channels of conveying the message. In this case, television, newspapers, radio, and the internet will play a vital role in publicizing. This is in addition to preparation of supporting materials, which include brochures and setting a schedule, indicating when the project will begin.

The budget should be used effectively while follow up on the responses regarding the campaign should be made. Finally, programs objectives should be evaluated, for instance, the rate of media exposure on the conveyed message (Musgrave 2001, p.46).

Creating awareness can be done through advertising, and publications. These tools assist in conveying a message to the public, and in return, the public begin to act according to the influence of the communication. Campaign media tactics include advertising in newspapers, television, and internet among others.

Mediated publicity includes personal appearance in talk shows, while directed publicity involves emails, reports, and brochures among others. In this campaign, it is important to note that important messages will be easily understood if they are seen or heard.

The appropriate media is the use of television, radio, and newspapers. For instance, in the newspapers, the advertisement on the education plight of Newlandia can be placed in the Newlandia time magazine in the most effective areas like sports section and the job market section, where most people access. In case of the television, a commercial should be sent that conveys story coverage on the plight of NEF.

In addition, according to Bouman & Brown (2010, P.35), lifestyle campaigns are increasing in relation to the growth of media. Such campaigns induce interpersonal communication while seeking support.

They use the media to draw attention on specific behaviors such as health, HIV & AIDS, and sexual practices among others. Nevertheless, communication in campaigns is essential as it connects an organization with its publics through the exchange of information (Vasquez, 1994, p.268).

Public relations planning models

The ROPE model of public relations signifies four phases – research, objectives, programming, and evaluation – whereby, research involves the institution or client that is faced with a problem that needs to be solved.

The second phase involves setting of objectives to solve the problems, whereby, a strategy should be formed that involves identifying goals and objectives, identifying target publics, and creating a theme for the campaign. Moreover, the third phase consists of the planning and the execution of a program that will accomplish the objectives.

The final phase deals with monitoring and the adjusting of the programs by determining ways that measure whether the campaign has achieved its objectives or not (Swan 2010, p.5).

ROPES programming model consists of four elements, which include reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing. Reciprocity entails that an organization should show gratitude for the donations made by donors, since positive relationships are driven by the give and take situation.

Responsibility on the other hand entails acting in a responsible manner towards the donors. In this case, NEF should use the donations responsibly, and the results should be evident in order for the donor to be motivated in giving more. However, if the trust of donors and supporters is betrayed, the organization suffers.

Therefore, the foundation should keep its supporters updated on the progress made on developments, and it should avoid communicating with its supporters only when it seeks help.

Theories Relevant To the Campaign Proposal

The stewardship theory

According to Wehmeier (2009, p.267), public relations has been criticized for lack of theory building. However, some theories are still of great significance. The main aim of this campaign is to raise awareness on the plight of Newlandian foundation, in order for the foundation to raise more funds that will cater for the wanting issues. Therefore, the campaign targets both business and industry sectors.

Fund raising theory implies that, the more an individual or an organization donates to a foundation in terms of time or money they are more likely to continue giving. Therefore, with the creation of the NEF plight awareness, many groups will be driven to give regularly.

It is however important that stewardship is maintained when it comes to public relations. When donations are made to the non-profit organizations, the donors should be treated with respect, as how they are treated determines future donations.

Therefore, stewardship theory focuses on relationship building between the organization and its supporters, in term of respect and communication. Moreover, stewardship drives donors in giving for a second time.

Measurement by Objective (MBO) Theory

Measurement by objective (MBO) theory is suitable when it comes to the assessing of communication and efforts. All objectives are crucial and should be achieved as an aid to establishing of smart objectives. Member involved in the campaign contribute towards the setting of objectives. Measuring of achievements is determined by time and completion.

Sponsorship theory involves a situation whereby a sponsor provides assistant financially or conducts a fundraiser with an aim of assisting the needy foundation.

A sponsor can also create awareness to the public on the plight of the foundation, thus driving donors to provide aid. A sponsor comes with the advantages of reinforcing, shaping the public’s opinion on the firm, and improving the image of the organization among others.

Agenda Setting Theory

Agenda setting theory is associated with the media in relation to how they convey the message to the public. In this case, issues should be dealt with at first hand before they result to problems, which the media use to portray a firm’s image.

Nevertheless, the agenda setting theory is important in shaping NEF situation by making their plight a public interest. Moreover, the correct message should be sent to the right public via the right media at the right time in order to achieve success.

In addition, the theory states that the public is attracted by those issues that receive media attention regularly compared to the rest. The heightened coverage of an issue increases the public’s perception on the importance of that issue (Dunaway, et al, p.361). Therefore, this theory will work perfectly for the NEF’s situation when the media is used to cover on the plight of schools in Newlandian.

Situational Theory

Situational theory on the other hand assists in classifying publics, based on their involvement, into four groups; active publics on issues of public concern, apathetic publics on all issues, active publics on issues involving everyone, and personalized publics. In addition, this theory tends to categorize people on three factors, the first being constraint recognition, in term of whether they can do anything to adder a problem.

The second is level of involvement, which involves the extent to which they are personally affected by the problem. The third is problem recognition, which implies how the public perceives a certain problem (Hazleton, 2006 p509). Therefore, the situational theory will be important while identifying the issue involvement of the public.

Social Learning Theory

According to Newman & Newman (2008, p.64), social learning theory implies that people try to fit in a particular group by modifying their behaviors and attitudes. For instance, when an individual sees a particular behavior as desirable, he will automatically adopt it.

Therefore, television is viewed as a means of advertising that can act as a persuasive communication method. To make sure that this campaign is successful, we will seek Newlandian successful identities and associate them with NEF situation.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory states that one can only move upward once the basic needs have been fulfilled, therefore, the mode of communication should be aimed at appealing to the public to provide the basic need first.

This campaign will aim at appealing to the rich in the north to assist the poor Newlandians in the south. Self-interest in this case can apply to the rich starting up projects with an aim of making profits, but at the same time provide employment for the poor (Clegg, et al, 2005, p.250).

Communication Theory

Another important theory applicable in the Newlandian’s population is the communication theory that involves a sender and a receiver; therefore, the message should be encoded carefully to provide the receiver with the correct understanding of the intended message.

Moreover, the message conveyed to the media should be accurate so that when it is publicized, it still has the intended meaning (Liu and Horsley, 2007). In conclusion, public relations should be in apposition to direct and support corporate social responsibility (CSR) in a country. In addition, the chief executives officer should play a vital role in enhancing CSR in the society (Pendleton, et al, 2010, p.405).


The Newlandians campaign is aimed at creating awareness to the public on the plight of the area. Education is a top priority for any growing child, which should not be neglected at any cost. Therefore, campaign will foster donations from well-wishers and the privileged.

Using the media as the main source of the campaign, the aim is attracting the target public attention on the NEF plight, which will be given unlimited attention by the media. Corporate social responsibility can also be related to public relations, if organizations focus on improving the situation of the less privileged.

Reference List

Brown, W., 2010. Ethical Approaches to Lifestyle Campaigns. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 25:34–52. Taylor & Francis Group publishers.

Clegg, S. et al. 2005. Managing and organizations: an introduction to theory and practice. London: SAGE Publishers.

Dunaway, J. et al. 2010. Agenda Setting, Public Opinion, and the Issue of Immigration Reform. Social Science Quarterly, Vol. 91, Issue 2. Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Hazleton, V., 2006. Public relations theory II. NY: Routledge Publisher

Liu, B. and Horsley, J. S., 2007. The Government Communication Decision Wheel: Toward a Public Relations Model for the Public Sector. Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 19, Issue 4, pp. 377-393.

Musgrave, P., 2001. Eleven steps for planning and evaluating your public relations campaign. (Attached material).

Newman, B. and Newman. P., 2008. Development through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. Edition10. OH: Cengage Learning Publisher.

Pacific P. R. 2010. . Web.

Pendleton, J. Todd, L. et al. 2010. Public Relations Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 96:403–423. Springer publishers.

Swann, P., 2010. Cases in Public Relations Management. London: Taylor & Francis Publisher.

Vasquez, G., 1994. Testing a Communication Theory-Method-Message-Behavior. Complex for the Investigation of Publics. Journal of Public Relations Research, 6(4), 267-291. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Wehmeier, S., 2009. Out of the Fog and into the Future: Directions of Public Relations, Theory Building, Research, and Practice. Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 34; 265-282. University of Southern Denmark.

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