Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5th Week (3 Feb 2010)

Our debate topic was about “ PR agency consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do.” [Opposition Team]

Below is be a short summary of what I put forward during the debate as the second speaker representing the Opposition team that the team stands against the notion that PR agency consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do.

Splitting the two words, Public and Relations, the Oxford dictionary( Homby 1995, p. 936 & 985) states that Public means “ Concerning people in general.” and Relations means “ Links, contacts or deals between people.” Therefore, having so much concerns with the public, PR consultants have to be SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE (emphasize these two words) towards educating the public.

For example, smoking, littering, racism and despising of certain religion. Are these being socially and morally acceptable? In our opinion, if consultants were to go with the clients' idea of promoting any of the above examples, it is indicating to the public that IT IS OKAY TO SOME, IT IS OKAY TO BE RACIST ( emphasize words)

The next example depicts that in the long run, this will happen if we educate the public wrongly about social and morale views. Not only will the public find themselves getting involve in legal issues, the PR agency will have the risk of being sued too.

Eg 1: SINGAPORE: Blogger arrested for racist post. May 22 2008. It stated that “ Singapore law penalizes anyone who “deliberately wounds the religious or racial feelings of another” with up to three years of jail and a fine.

Eg 2: Youtube user, Nigahiga, Peter Chao.

In conclusion, the opposition team stand against the statement that PR consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do. Moreover they are consultants. They provide advice professionally, therefore, they will provide advices that will benefit the society, the PR agency and most importantly maintaining the best possible image of their clients.


Thank you.


Being the first group to kick of the weekly debate, we definitely have a huge amount of stress as we are the ones that set the benchmark. During the rebuttal section, I felt that the Affirmative team drifted a little from the topic and could not understand that the internet has been and is the leading platform for PR consultants to showcase their projects and how many people from the public are able to have access to it, such example will be the Great Schlep. It is a great example of using new media to broadcast to the public about the “how to win over the Jewish voters” campaign for now President of the United States, Mr Obama.

Monday, February 1, 2010

4th Week (27 Jan 2010)

Media Framing and News Value

Chapter 11 in the “An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice” discussed about what news values and framing are about. Remember in the previous trimester of Communication Studies we did an assignment on Media Framing? We discussed about how the media can package the situation into something positive or negative, how this one article the media portray can popularize someone positively or negatively. Just like the Magic Bullet Theory, it injects ideas, attitudes and beliefs into the audience.

For example, the flood on the 19 of November 2009 made headlines and history in Singapore. The newspapers were saying that the government had not anticipated such an event to happen while bloggers thought likewise and questioned the oversight and ability of the government. This was the example I used in my assignment to point out and compare the framing techniques used in a mainstream media source to the framing techniques in an alternative media source.

And about News Value,

Truth: The mainstream media and the alternative media source provides truth but it is how the writer frames the story. Mainstream media wrote the articles in a more politically right manner while the alternative media source wrote it in a more straight forward manner.

Timeliness: At that point (19 November 2009), the mainstream media provided more up to date as they have first hand information and were reporting live.

Those were the two considerations of news values. Others such as Proximity, Conflict, Eminence and prominence, Consequence and impact, Human or animal interest, Unusual or remarkable and finally fit the focus of each medium, also play a part in contributing to news values.