Archive for October, 2008

Article Review: Admiring the Organization

This past summer, Denise Bortree and Richard Waters studied the relationship between volunteers and nonprofit organizations using the four relational quality outcomes originally proposed by Linda Hon and James E. Grunig a decade ago. The relational dimensions are trust, commitment, satisfaction, control mutuality. According to Hon and Grunig, trust is a critical factor in the volunteer’s decision to help an organization advance its mission. Commitment ultimately results in the volunteer’s relation to the organization’s mission. Satisfaction was proven to be a powerful variable used to predict an individual’s willingness to invest time and resources in the organization. Lastly, control mutuality seeks to evaluate which side has more power in the relationship.

 

After studying these four concepts and conducting their own research, Bortree and Waters tested a fifth dimension of the volunteer-organization relationship not found in the work of Hon and Grunig. The concept of admiration, meaning the degree to which one likes or approves of the behavior of the partner, would provide a way for organizations to assess how key publics view an organization. This addition to the four outcomes contributes to the quality of the relationship. “The presence of admiration in the volunteer-nonprofit organization relationship would likely improve the volunteer’s perception of the relationship. Volunteers seek out organizations that they admire and expect that their donation of time and their work be valued by the organization” (4).

 

As a public relations major, I am very interested in learning about the different aspects of the field. Public Relations involves the management of relationships between an organization and its significant publics (4) just as the nonprofit-volunteer relationship was studied in this journal. These relational quality outcomes could most definitely be applied to a PR professional’s practices. Although it should have come as no surprise, I was amazed how the relationship between nonprofit organizations and volunteers was so important.

 

There have been several instances that I volunteered, but my efforts varied among the different organizations. The American Heart Walk is a perfect example of how far a nonprofit organization has come over the years. I am always willing to solicit donations and serve within a community for The American Heart Walk Association because they make volunteering so easy, and they make your personal time and efforts feel much appreciated. However, other nonprofit organizations are less organized and no as appreciative of your service. This article helped me see why it is so important to gain strong relationships with your public and maintain them.

 

Now that I am more aware of nonprofit organizations and their role in being effective communicators with volunteers, I would like to learn how other organizations seek to maintain strong relationships. The concepts in this article are certainly useful guidelines for public relations, but I am interested to see how large corporations seek the admiration, commitment, and satisfaction of their key public. I will be following Kraft Foods Corporation as well as the Humane Society of Statesboro, GA in two upcoming projects, so I will be looking for the relationship attitudes of both organizations to see if their relationships to their public and volunteers are strong and effective.

 

Bortree, D., Waters, R. (2008). Admiring the organization: a study of the relational quality outcomes of the nonprofit organization-volunteer relationship. Public Relations Journal, 2, 1-17   

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October 23, 2008 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

PR Publications

As communicators, PR practitioners must listen to their publics in order to gain or maintain their support. Effective communication is essential. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition, it states that although employment is projected to grow faster than average, keen competition is expected for entry-level jobs. In this post, I would like to discuss how the practices in my PR Publications class have aided in preparing me to enter the PR workforce by becoming an active communicator in social media and using resources such as In Design, just for starters.

 

Getting involved with social media on the web is Huge for PR these days. It is a fairly new concept to express your ideas, chat with friends and co-workers, and upload your resume, all online. Almost everyone knows about Myspace and Facebook, but a few weeks ago my professor introduced me to Twitter. Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent updates or answers to questions. Twitter might be pointless and a waste of time to some, and it could be. But I relate Twitter to my Facebook use in that it can be very multi-functional, not simply entertainment. In the few weeks that I have been on Twitter, I have made some very important connections with people than genuinely care about helping me begin my business career in public relations.

 

Although communicating on Twitter and other social media has made a big impact on

preparing for my future, using programs like In Design can also enhance your career possibilities. The programs in Microsoft Office are very valuable tools, whatever your profession may be. But In Design is an extremely creative program with a thousand and one options. In my PR Publications class, our most recent assignment was creating a business card and letterhead for ourselves. As with other newer programs, navigating through In Design was tedious at first, but after catching on, the program offers so many possibilities. It makes designing a flyer or business card so much easier and gives the designer more opportunities to be creative.

October 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm 1 comment

The Blame Game; McCain v. Obama, with your host, Tom Brokaw

    

The Presidential debate last night was in no way influential toward my voting decision. Perhaps being at college has made me a bit more open minded about voting for a candidate as an individual rather than simply choosing a candidate based on the party that they represent. But I’m stumped. Both candidates have strong platforms, or so it seems, and I am partial to certain issues. But the debate last night did not help clear up any questions at all. While John McCain was too concerned about pointing his finger at “that one”, both candidates make the important issues more confusing by blaming one another and giving misleading facts and numbers. I am absolutely sick of hearing the phrases, “just check my record,” and “my record shows that…”

I would like to know how many American voters really check the candidates’ records. Instead, it’s debates like this one that confuse and manipulate in order to sway voters opinions. This really concerns me. If Americans vote according to their party’s candidate, or if they only rely on debates or television news rather than really checking in to the background of each candidate, then their opinion becomes biased at one point or another. The media, each candidate, or a particular party already have biased news and will do anything for votes. Anything. But if there is only a constant mudslinging between parties and candidates, then no one hears what’s really important to each candidate, no one hears a true plan of action, and no one hears sincerity in the messages. The title of this debate might as well been ‘The Blame Game’ hosted by Tom Brokaw.

October 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm 1 comment

Directions to Real World: Just Around the Corner

I’ve been struck by a bolt of ‘real world’ lightning. It hit me the other day that I am just a few months away from graduating, just a few months away from beginning an internship, and only a few months away from starting my career in public relations. I’m very excited about experiencing all those nervous, anxious, and determined feelings that getting a job entails. But I’m even more excited about not only how my work in PR will be very fulfilling, but how beneficial it will be for the public. I strongly desire a career in public relations that will be respected and respectful of others.

October 3, 2008 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Ready, Set, Tweet!

So, i’m learning about other social networks in my PR Corporate and Publications classes, and I recently joined Twitter. I, along with other students who are venturing into this networking site, initially thought that Twitter was just a constant update of ‘followers’. But I have discovered over the past week that Twitter can be much more valuable than just checking out your friends’ profiles, like on facebook. Sure, much of it simply lets your ‘followers’ know what’s new with you or how your day is going, but Twitter is already serving as a great networking tool for me. I’m still learning, even the basics, but this site gives you opportunities to make important contacts that could impact your career. I am already following a few big names in the business world, and I am hoping that networking on Twiiter will be an advantage for my future in public relations.

October 1, 2008 at 1:01 am Leave a comment


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