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2010 MECS 212: Public Relations Management
Test 1 Memorandum
Total Marks: 35
How do these theoretical approaches to organizational communication contribute
to an understanding of the practice of public relations: the systems approach; and the
intercultural transformation theory?
1. Systems approach
 to maintain homeostasis
 Information input and output
 feedback – positive and negative.
No company is an island! This approach accepts the
interrelatedness of various ‘players’ within
‘subsystems’ in the overall macro system – the earth.
It takes into consideration the fact that all
subsystems need each other for the whole system to
operate effectively eg if the financial system is in
crisis, the whole system is affected.
2. Intercultural transformation theory
 adapting, accommodating its communication to diff.
cultural behaviours showing a needs or values
driven approach to corp. comm. With
(2 x 2 + 1 for expression = 5 marks)
To which aspect of public relations practice have the following people contributed?
P T Barnum
(b) Ivy Lee
(c) Edward Bernays
(a) P T Barnum: press agent, image-maker, promotions,
creating buzz
(b) Ivy Lee: corporate communication & Declaration of
(c) Bernays: public communication for persuasion and
influence; propaganda; Engineering consent.
What is the difference between line and staff functions within an organization? Say
where you would place Public Relations, and how it functions in an organization in
relation to other functions.
Line functions have to do with the primary functions of
the business eg production, marketing of a product and
profit-making and sets ground rules.
Staff functions are support functions that enhance the
way the company operates thru advice – legal, finance,
PR is a staff function that helps and facilitates the
effective completion of line functions and works within
the ground rules eg staff relations
See also: Reading 1, p.17-19;
(2 + ½ + 1 ½ = 4 marks)
4. According to Rensburg and Cant (2003), the public relations process is made up of
4 distinct phases. Name them and say what each involves and why they are important.
Students need to understand the ‘strategizing’ that is
involved, and also the vital role of each phase.
Marks for naming & explaining 2 X 4 = 8 plus 2 for
expression = 10 marks
5. Name SIX (3 internal and 3 external) target publics for Outsurance Insurance
Students need to APPLY the diagram list below to the
(6 x ½ = 3 marks)
6. Name THREE FUNCTIONS of PR (Skinner et al.) and say what types of tasks or
duties the PRP for Outsurance would perform to carry them out.
Students need to show that they UNDERSTAND Slides 13 – 15
of the lectures and apply to the company with examples –
see below. Read Skinner and other readings.
7. If you were employing a public relations practitioner for Outsurance, name THREE
attributes you would look for in the candidate and say why.
Organisational ability: planner, rational thinker
Communication proficiency: writing and speaking skills
Professional: moral integrity
Enquiring mind: creative, lateral thinker
Tenacity and adaptability: problem solver
½ for each attribute + ½ for reason + 1 for expression.