Global blogger love shows power of personal relationships

The Institute for Public Relations presented a special award at the Euprera 2008 congress to Dr Tiffany Derville Gallicano of the University of Oregon in respect of her paper:

I find it very interesting to look at how the concept of personal relationships is being researched increasingly in the context of public relations – although I wonder if these should be considered “private relations” as they act on the interpersonal level, albeit in respect of achieving organisational objectives?

This work also links into other conversations I had in Milan relating to the influence of the individual practitioner in the institutionalization of PR.  Many of the presentations seemed to indicate that whether or not PR is recognised at the highest level and is genuinely used to help achieve organisational goals is a consequence of the person holding the top PR role.

This makes me wonder why we are not teaching PR practitioners more of the social and interpersonal skills they require to become effective at this strategic level.  Indeed, one could argue that in its desire to be seen as a “profession”, the real outcome of the traditional gin and tonic tactic has been lost.

Having said this, we don’t necessarily need to form personal relationships in that way.  I was delighted at Milan when Tiffany rushed over to meet me as she knew my name from this blog.

Tiffany is the author of The PR Post and consequently, we both move in the same virtual circles.  Despite the fact that as bloggers, we operate on an individual level and are able to “broadcast” our thoughts on a global basis, we are also forming personal relationships, one post and one comment at a time.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

One thought on “Global blogger love shows power of personal relationships”

  1. Heather,

    It was exciting getting to finally meet you in person at EUPRERA! I agree that teaching students how to cultivate strong personal relationships is a good idea. Why is it not done widely now? In the United States, it doesn’t seem to be an obvious fit with the common PR classes that are taught. A possible fit would be the PR theory class; however, most classes seem to follow the textbooks, and until a textbook has a chapter on it, I don’t think teaching about it will be widespread.

    When I think about cultivating strong personal relationships with my students, I find that Hon and Grunig’s (1999) insights are helpful, particularly
    — Make promises and keep them (which I’ve found to require substantial effort)
    — Ensure that your publics are satisfied with the amount of control they have over what you do that affects them
    — Meet or surpass publics’ expectations
    — Do things that demonstrate your long-term commitment to your relationship with them

    I can’t always implement these strategies perfectly, but considering the spirit of these four items guides me.

    Tiffany

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