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Public Relations: Media Influence

Jan Kleinnijenhuis


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Earning public understanding and acceptance through reports in the press is one of the oldest means–ends schemes in public relations (PR). Firms, governments, NGOs, and interest groups alike use the media to convey their message to their publics. Hence, media influence is a two-step process. Whether PR efforts lead to news items in the media depends on the relations of the company with the media and on the newsworthiness of the publicity efforts (→ Media Relations ; News Factors ; News Values ). Once the media have published the news, PR media influence can be understood through theories about → media effects (→ Exposure to Communication Content ; Information Processing ). PR media influence is a special field of media effects because of the involvement of stakeholders. Every actor who may affect the company or may be affected by the company is a stakeholder. Typical stakeholders are competitors, investors, financial analysts, interest groups, employees, and consumers. Stakeholders are not simply external publics outside the organization, but active players in the publicity arena themselves, who also invest in media relations. Stakeholders may serve as alternative sources for journalists who want to verify their facts or to present both sides of the argument ( Figure 1 , feedback loop 1). Stakeholders may also be located within the organization itself (feedback loop 2). Employees ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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