Importance Of Agenda Setting In Public Relations

922 Words4 Pages
Public relations practitioners are often described as an organization’s voice, positioning messages in the media to ensure the organization is perceived as beneficial, relevant, and credible. According to Zoch and Molleda (2006), this role is defined as “media relations” and is a pivotal aspect of the public relations profession. Two theoretical frameworks, agenda setting and framing are at the core of effective media engagement. Agenda setting is the process determining which social issues dominate public discourse, and framing is the way each issue is presented to the public (Dearing & Rogers, 1996; Hallahan, 1999). First, public relations practitioners use agenda setting to garner media coverage for its organization and its stakeholders…show more content…
Second, framing theory is leveraged to influence the media’s portrayal of each topic(s) and bolster public perception about an organization’s relevance, credibility, and/or benefit (Hallahan, 1999). To further illustrate the inherent value of agenda setting and framing for public relations, this paper will discuss practical applications of these theories in successful media relations efforts. According to Dearing and Rogers (1996) agenda-setting is driven by “issue proponents,” (e.g., public relations practitioners, media representatives) aiming to direct public attention to a social problem (e.g., climate change, gun control) (p. 2). To advance their intended agenda, public relations professionals must consider three key elements impacting issue selection: media influence, organizations/individuals with competing messages, and current events affecting public life (Zoch & Molleda, 2006). When incentivizing media coverage of an organization’s issue(s), research suggests practitioners should offer access to high profile…show more content…
According to Hallahan (1999), practitioners employ seven different framing models — action, issue, attribute, event, news, responsibility, and choice — to influence a targeted public reaction (e.g., complete an action, notice some attributes and ignore others). To frame an issue, Zoch and Molleda (2006) identify five steps public relations practitioners use to predetermine the media’s narrative. More specifically, when pitching an issue to media members, it is packaged to define a problem, establish its root cause, purport judgements about the situation driving the cause, and offer a solution (p. 282). If used effectively, issue framing is a powerful organizational asset that can strengthen consumer loyalty or even propel a tarnished brand to greater heights. For example, Waller and Conaway (2010) attribute Nike’s ability to overcome a high-profile smear campaign in the 1990s, and later outshine its top rivals, to effective framing tactics. More specifically, Nike responded to press linking its factories abroad to sweatshop conditions by introducing an alternative narrative about its international presence. The company crafted several information subsidies (e.g., online statements) resulting in widespread media coverage about its

More about Importance Of Agenda Setting In Public Relations

Open Document