PR Around the World

Chelsey Bonvechio


When researching anything, it is always wise to begin studying the best in that field.  If a report on airplanes is due, it would be smart to analyze Boeing. If you’re building an amusement park, Disney is who everyone would look to for insight. It helps to learn from the best. Even in the public relations field there are companies at the top to admire.

  • In America the top public relations company is Sitrick and Company. Sitrick specializes in crisis management. Sitrick has proved time and time again that it works best under pressure. Sitrick and Company thrives most when it knows everything is on the line and it must perform to the best of its abilities. Whether a business flourishes or fails after a catastrophe, the responsibility is in the firm’s hands. Sitrick’s most useful tool is the media. They exploit tv, radio, and print everyday as if it is Super Bowl Sunday, the flashiest media day of the year. They have found unique and innovative ways to bend communication in their client's’ favor. To add to its uniqueness, Sitrick does not only hire public relations or marketing majors, it recruits from across the professional spectrum. Employees at Sitrick communications include former senior executives from fortune 500 companies, a Chinese news anchor, CBS news correspondents, a three star army general, and an attorney. People with backgrounds as diverse as these are a wonderful virtue to have, because everyone brings something different to the table.

  • Canada’s top public relations company is the Res Publica Group. Res Publica’s approach to public relations is more grounded in strategic planning. Before implementing any campaign, extensive research is performed. Before launching any project, the group will first layout the many directions the media could shape or view their project. It is important to them to have a full understanding of where the media may take their project. Once its campaign has been launched, Res Publica provides its clients access to the mass of valuable connections it has developed through its many years of operation. Even after its introductory work,Res Publica remains with its clients assisting in messaging, reputation, and crisis aversion.

  • City Press is London’s most notable public relations company. City Press largely works behind the scenes once a company has already been established. It aids in crafting and executing plans. Its staff will do the research for companies, build a public relations system for the company, while overseeing content and implementation. Some of the firm’s biggest clients include Coca Cola, Aldi, and Brother. The company is divided into different departments, allowing them to specialize in particular fields, rather than  produce uniform campaigns. Examples of the specialized sectors City Press serves include utilities, lifestyle, technology, and tourism.

  • Blue Focus is China’s most successful public relations company. Blue Focus works to help companies as they grow, especially if they are looking to expand their clientele internationally. Blue Focus understands that globalization is the way of the future. As  tech industries grow, the world becomes smaller and more interdependent. The most interesting part of Blue Focus’ international marketing strategies is its focus on advertising through airports. Airports act as huge platforms to reach millions of people who might not be reached any other way. Not everyone coming to China has to read the Chinese newspaper or view Chinese television shows, but they do have to connect to Chinese wifi or watch pre-designated ads on the inflight television broadcasts.


If a company or public entity is being torn apart in the media, executives will spring into crisis mode. If a negative image of them is being portrayed, they are going to lose profit or public confidence. Profit is the main concern for a corporation, so when this happens they hire a public relations company to attempt to salvage their image.

Flint, Michigan is currently in this situation. A decision, apparently made out of a concern for thrift, is causing the government of Flint, Michigan a huge headache. Not only Flint residents, but people all over the country are furious. President Obama has even had to step in to lend a hand for the sake of Flint residents. Celebrities are donating millions of dollars to the cause, this clearly is a big issue.

The entire debacle began when, in order to save money, Flint changed its source of water. Once it switched and residents began to turn on their faucets, they were horrified. Their water ranged from opaque to orange, with textures resembling tapioca pudding and hair gel. It has even been revealed that the water is responsible for irreversible damage to the bodies of thousands of Flint children.  This huge controversy has pushed Governor Rick Snyder to hire two public relations companies, desperate to fix the public opinion of the city that he had appointed an emergency manager to govern.

Large tasks awaiting the companies responsible for the problem include:

  1. Addressing perceptions: This may be their toughest challenge. People all over have extremely negative perceptions of the Flint government. They do not understand how city leaders could choose saving money over the lives of 100,000 people. Children are permanently handicapped due to this decision. Also, this issue has been going on for a while now, with no changes! Government spokespersons can say what they want, but people still have terrible drinking water. This problem should have been at the top of their priority list since water is so important for human beings. We are 70% water and can only survive a maximum of three days without it.

  2. Listen to the people who are complaining: It’s hard to anger an entire town and country, but the Flint government has managed. They have a lot of people to listen to, all of whom are saying the same thing. “Give us healthy drinking water”! This is not a hard message to decipher.

  3. Tune in emotionally: The more sincere the government apologizing sounds, the more likely the people of Flint, Michigan will respond kinder. As a government, it is their job to care for and protect their citizens. The government needs to wholeheartedly apologize for the mistakes they have made and announce their detailed and promising plans to fix the problem.

  4. Reason from the point of view of your client: Even if you do not agree with your clients, they are who is paying you so they are who you need to listen to. Public relations companies need to keep in mind that they are responsible for bettering the image of their client, good or bad. It is their obligation to convince whoever is angry that whoever made them angry did it with the best intentions. They did not set out to upset everyone, but somewhere along the way something went wrong. Whether that be true or not. It is very likely that they just did not believe they would be caught.  Either way, they need a public relations company to justify their decision making.

  5. Be accountable for your actions: Sweeping something under the rug or ignoring a problem will not improve a relationship between two sides. Apologizing is always the first step to being accountable for your actions.

These are only a few of the possible directions a public relations company could take when devising a plan to fix a town’s public image, specifically focusing on the water crisis currently in Flint, Michigan.

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Public Relations practitioners are considered to be experts on client representation and media exposure. They know where, when and how to manage and maintain a strong public image for the organization.

A solid public reputation is secured through a multi-dimensional and ongoing process. Whether or not an organization decides to hire a PR firm, it is important for them to be familiar with the tools necessary and available for use in public relations.

Here are five of the more common tools used in Public Relations:

1. Special Events – To speak in-person and engage exclusively with those who are associated with the organization

2. Press Releases – Communicate information to media outlets such as television, radio and newspapers to create a more dependable and significant impact than by using paid advertisements

3. Newsletters – Provide relevant information about the organization and its products/services to develop relationships with the intended audience

4. Blogging – Used to reach an online audience by publishing digital versions of press releases and newsletters and to open the lines of two-way communication

5. Social media marketing – To establish direct communication with the public, stakeholders and other target groups

These basic PR tools are necessities when building and maintaining relationships with an intended audience. PR Practitioners use these tools to stay updated on the latest trends and to represent their client positively in society.

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This is the individual who manages and maintains a strong public image for the organization. A Public Relations Practitioner works directly in the PR field and does everything to represent an organization positively in the media.

According to Destiny Reporter, author of Digital Multitasker: The new role of the PR practitioner, the essence of Public Relations has developed with the arrival of digital media and communications. Here are the five changes that impact the PR professional.

1. Catering for information amnesia

        To provide content and convince consumers that the information is valuable and original

2. Dealing with dissent

        Respond instantly to both consumers’ complaints and compliments in maintaining an organization’s online reputation

3. The background is overloaded

        Monitor an organization’s content with online services such Hootsuite to stay updated and relevant

4. Social media as a catalyst for good and bad PR

        Allow consumers to voice their opinions and engage in conversation, which can either benefit or hurt the organization’s reputation

5. The passage of time

        Respond in real-time and on-time, because a day later is a day too late

You never know what will happen within the next hour or two. Preparation and immediacy are essential qualities needed for PR Practitioners, because every day is something different.

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