Public Relations Campaign

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Public Relations Campaign

Public Relations Campaign


Problem Statement

Most scholarships on communication campaigns examine media coverage effects on audiences; less is known about campaign effects on the media. This research examines the effects of a public relations campaign on news content and investigates whether priming or framing effects are supported.

Framing is defined as the extent to which news stories are contextualized, including the reasoning, metaphors, or image characterization of actors or issues in the original public relations message. It produces a commonality of semantic associations between the public relations messages and the media messages. The strongest form of framing is commonality across multiple media outlets. In contrast, a primer triggers a spreading activation of diverse associations in the semantic networks of media recipients and results in news coverage that is less often directly related to the campaign content. It less frequently acknowledges the campaign source.

Background of the Study

Prior to the present downturn, in what was a predominantly neo-liberal economic climate, there were few arguing for increasing the role of the state. From an activist perspective, Klein, 2007 N. Klein, The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism, Metropolitan Books, New York (2007).Klein (2007) did seem nostalgic for a return to Keynesian intervention policies and mixed, regulated economies like those that followed the Great Depression and “created the New Deal and transformations like it around the world…. [with] that system of compromises, checks, and balances that [Milton] Friedman's counterrevolution was launched to methodically dismantle in country after country” (p. 20).

In the previous year, from a more academic perspective, a collection of essays on The State After Statism: New State Activities in the Age of Liberalization (Levy, 2006a) countered prevailing orthodoxies that globalization was rolling back almost all state intervention. In one chapter, “The State Also Rises: The Roots of Contemporary State Activism,” the editor Levy (2006b) argued against a seemingly inevitable rise of the market liberation movement across the globe. As his title suggests, that neo-liberal movement's rise had shifted the balance of public and private power in favor of the latter but was not necessarily accompanied by the setting of the sun of state power.

Significance of the Study

The present downturn has enlarged the audience for such dissenting views by forcing governments to intervene directly to support particular sectors (sometimes to the extent of owning shares). Detroit sought bailout funding, and guarantees, for the U.S. auto industry partly to balance the monies put into the banking and finance sectors, and partly on the grounds of maintaining employment. Accepting that radically changing conditions were the new business as usual, BusinessWeek recently coined the term “The Reset Economy…. [to] look at smart strategies for growth and industries undergoing transformation, from autos to entertainment” (The case for optimism, 2009, July).

Given so much concern with intervention and transformation, this article examines the specific historical case of Israel, where the market was highly influenced by political leaders with a strong political ideology that often overrode economic interests. After going through three major transformations, the Israeli ...
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