Technological and social changes will continue to transform aspects of public relations practices for long time. The most dramatic transformation in public relations has been the change from the male dominated field to the female dominated field.

Monday, March 06, 2006

PR in Korea

Recently, there has been growing interest in public relations as a profession and college – level public relations education in Korea. The skill and techniques employed in the United States public relations has grown increasingly sophisticated in the past few decades, but the practice of public relations in Korea is still in the formative stage.
‘Hong Bo’ which is Public Relations in Korean was translated as the Korea Academic Society of Public Relations. Some practitioners insist that the term ‘Hong Bo’ must be changed into public relations. And recently, many practitioners seek accredited public relations professionals like APR (accredited public relations) of PRSA or ABC (accredited business communicator) of IABC; there are 6 PR practitioners owns APR.
In terms of education system, department of public relations was always linked with the advertising, but undergraduate and graduated levels are getting offer course just on public relations.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Gender imbalance in PR

About 70 percent of today’s practitioners are women, and this has created a considerable gender imbalance in many departments and public relations firms. Currently, many managers say that such an imbalance is not a healthy workplace situation. Marsterller chairman Harold Burson argued that when clients sought the services of a PR company they prefer input 'from a group of people balanced by gender' and that even women PROs themselves feel the lack of men in PR is 'unhealthy'.
Consequently, some feel that something like reverse affirmative action is needed to attract more men into the public relations field. For example, some firms may offer men more pay than women for doing the same job. Some believes that a less-qualified man should be hired over a more qualified female applicant.

What do you think? Should a public relations firm offer men more pay and opportunities for advancement in order to achieve some degree of gender equality in the office?

In my opinion, gender balance is very important in all industry to make for better working environments as well as do clients appreciate having a different perspective. In particular, as men and women will come up with very different ideas at the brainstorming sessions, mixed ideas will create better idea.
However, , I don’t agree with the ideas that men should be offered more to bring them into the PR industry, by paying them more, or accepting men with poorer qualifications, just to restore the balance. We should find another way to promote male to work in PR industry, as positive discrimination is not the answer.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Women PR Bloggers

I could find in the auburnmedia women PR blogs’s listings compiled by Robert. Many thanks to Robert, as he shared more names to the list after writing to him. My reason for attaching the list is that although the PR industry is dominated by women, Too few women in PR are blogging, in my opinion.
Currently, they account for approximately 20% of all PR bloggers. Therefore, I would like to introduce myself and PR students with good models

Elizabeth Albrycht - CorporatePR
Lois C. Ambash - Metaforix@
barbarella - PR-Blog-World
Carolynne Bernard - CRA’s CommLog
Bite PR’s ‘bitemarks’ - Aparna Gray and Jill Ratkevic
Renee Blodgett - Down The Avenue
Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing
Burson-Marsteller’s e-fluentialsA global public relations and public affairs firm. Authors are: Leslie Gaines-Ross, Idil Cakim, and Sarah Dietz
Tara Calishain - PR Bop and ResearchBuzz
Elisa Camahort - Online Communication
Candi , Inspiration for library communicators - LibTalk Blog
Capulet - Several women: Julie Szabo, Media Maven; Lindsay Stewart, Marketing Virtuoso; Kathleen Moynahan, Adobe Yogi; Arwen Brenneman, Web Guru; Norlinda Ghazali, Techno-Wordsmith
Paloma Cruz - “stories from a Public Relations life”
ethority - Communication and Marketing Strategies (Germany) - Prof. Dr. Ulrike Röttger at Institute for Communication Science
Buzz Marketing with Blogs - Susannah Gardner
Jane Genova - Executive and Marketing Communications
Barb Heffner - Clark Lane
Catherine Helzerman - Helzerman’s Odd Bits
Amanda Jones - NextGen PRose (Connect PR)
Karen’s Media Relations Blog - Plymouth, Minnesota
Shawn Lea - PRAM Central Station
Alice Marshall - Presto Vivace Blog, TechnoFlak
Jennifer McClure - New Communications Blogzine
B.L. Ochman’s What’s Next weblog
Katie Paine - KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog
Maria Perez: MediaInsider
Suzanne Peterson - CommLog
Barbara Reichert, Madge Miller, and Meghan O’Driscoll - Vitamin T
Jeneane Sessum - Content Factor Weblog
Priya Shah - Blog Brandz
Robin Stavisky - New Venture Marketing
the big blog company (tBBC) - Adriana Cronin-Lukas and Jackie Danicki

All of them concern about PR, they also they introduce their daily professional lives through their Blog.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Female PR success story: Ms Margery Kraus

Today, I am going to introduce a female PR success story. Margery Kraus, President and CEO who, specializes in public affairs, communications and business consulting for major multinationals.

Ms. Kraus founded APCO in 1984 and has transformed it from a company with one small Washington office to a multinational consulting firm. Today, APCO is an independent, multinational consultancy with 24 offices and 400 employees worldwide. The agency boasts an internship programme that is widely recognized as one of the finest developers of future PR leaders. APCO also ranks among the nation's premier public affairs and strategic communications firms, with 2004 revenues of about $55 million.

Ms. Kraus’ achievements have been recognized through a number of prestigious awards, including PR Professional of the Year (PR Week, 2005), International PR Professional of the Year (PR Week, 2001).Ms. Kraus was also named one of the 25 “Top Women Business Builders” (Fast Company, 2005) and one of 50 “Women Who Mean Business” (Washington Business Journal, 2004). In addition, APCO was named Public Affairs Agency of the Year (The Holmes Report, 2004) and International Agency of the Year (The Holmes Report, 2003).

"This one move epitomizes what a brilliant businesswoman and communicator Margery is," said one judge. "She gave her senior staffers a stake in the company, which is obviously great for business, but she was also telling them how much she valued them."

Furthermore, Ms. Kraus has authored numerous articles in the field of public affairs management, corporate reputation and has been a guest lecturer throughout the world. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Political Science and Public Law from American University.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A glass ceiling: in PR?

Concerning ‘Status’ in the industry, Even though in the last couple of years women such as Diane Dixon, MaryLee Sachs and Helen Ostrowski have risen to the top of their agencies or departments, women in the upper echelons of management are still unusual in the PR industry. A study by D. Meyerson and J.Fletcher that was published in the Harvard Business review found that women only make up 10 percent of the senior managers in the Fortune 500 companies and less than 4 percent of the upper most ranks of CEOs, presidents and executive vice president.

Even though some women in PR have reached the top it is often seen cynically as compensatory feminism. Companies provide top level status to a select numbers of women as mere “window dressing’ without actually involving any real responsibility.

This is often seen at Board level and Cabinet Level of Government, and in itself is a form of PR. This approach is changing and as such most women in the top positions reject the idea of “Velvet Ghetto” as being out dated. Some have raised concerns that public relations is being viewed as “women’s work” and are calling it the “pink ghetto.”

Aedhmar Hynes, CEO of Text 100, commented:

“I have worked damned hard to get to where I am, but so have all the men who are in senior management positions.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More people, less paying?

Isn’t it ironic that women dominate PR but within the industry men still earn more?

Why is this still happening?

I found several studies which have examined the salary disparities between men and women in PR. The first studies, starting in the 1980s, simply examined the gap without any consideration of the factors that could cause this difference.

However, PRWeek's Salary Survey (Table 1), included factors such as age and experience level, concluded that gender actually only accounts for 1% of the disparity in pay. Also, a current survey in PR Week showed the average age of males in the industry is 37.1 whereas females were 32.4. The male population in PR is older and as such more experienced, with any job experience tends to pay more.

Also men work longer hours than women at 49 compared to 46. This can be explained by the conflicting pressures on a women’s time. It can be demonstrated that family concerns reduce a woman’s earning power; the Independent Women’s Forum found childless young career women’s salaries were 98 % of men’s.

Finally, men earn more in PR because a higher percentage of men work in the higher paying disciplines; men still dominate the top jobs. For example, according to this year's survey the best paying PR sectors were industrial/manufacturing, financial services, and professional services and consulting. Those sectors employed mostly men. Otherwise, the lowest-paying sector, nonprofit and charity, employed women.

Although women now make up the majority of public relations workers, the difference in the average salary of males compared to female employees is statistically significant. That said such gender based salary gaps in public relations is complicated and hard to generalise

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Why women dominate PR profession?

Have women become a super breed in the world of PR, and why has it happened in this particular industry?

Personally, I think that women in PR have found a discipline where they can work and show self-confidence, assertiveness, a risk-taking attitude, and an accountability necessary for business success.

Kim Wilkes surmised that the major appeal of PR to women was because it blended creativity and business. More importantly, it is a field that lends itself to interrupted careers and freelancing for the working mother.
Could this be because women dominate PR, and as such, the industry is more open to the needs of female employees?
According to Greg Smith’s looked at why women are attracted to the PR industry. A total of 78% of professionals interviewed said that they were aware that most of those working in the industry were female. The most common reason put forward for the 'feminisation of PR' is that the industry is simply perceived as being feminine. This feminisation can be explained by the fact the industry is often perceived as being glamorous and a 'soft' career option.

Also PR departments and agencies seem preferred to employ female employees rather than males.

'We need people who can juggle tasks, keep calm and influence people - and women are good at that,' says Jo Marino, who heads up Waterstones' in-house PR team along with two female colleagues. She adds: 'I'd like to employ more men but then I've never come across a situation where I've thought we really needed a man.'

Neil Boom is MD of financial PR agency Gresham, the only man in the company and says he can empathise with this. He'd also like to employ more men, but admits he prefers working with women who, he says, are more cautious, less likely to speak off the cuff and more willing to take advice. 'Young men can be over-confident, with a slightly gung-ho approach,'.

So women are better suited to PR because they naturally have better communication skills. This theory may sound biased and come across as politically incorrect, but is commonly accepted. Gillian Rankin, a business psychologist at ML Consulting points out in PR Week,

'Women are recognised at being better at relationship building, which is crucial for dealing both with clients and the media…Also they have empathy with people and are more interested in interactive dialogue - listening as well as speaking.'
As public relations needs high levels of communication, women seem to adjust better than men. With the increasing feminisation of PR many young women are eager to work in the PR industry, so the gender shift in the industry shows no signs of slowing.