I know, its been a while since I blogged. I wonder if I was missed, do I have the pretention to think that I have any PR fans out there? Oh well, it’s all in the name of writing and the pleasure of bringing my thoughts to paper…more exactly to the blogosphere…

So back to why I haven’t blogged in a bit…Well what with moving back to Mauritius and doing most of my research for my dissertation “The Professionalization of PR in Mauritius”. And to top it all, I landed myself a job, yes!!! I did it. I am now the Communications Officer at Harel Mallac and Co Ltd www.harelmallac.com, which is one of the most prestigious firms in the private sector of Mauritius situated in the Capital City, Port Louis.

So between all of this, I barely had a minute to myself. However now that I have some time, thought I’d drop in :).  So far so good, the job seems quite promising, I like my duties so far and have some pretty exciting projects lined up…Hopefully, it will all go well…

That’s all for now my PR peeps…Ill be back soon…


I had started this blog as an assignment for my Masters degree in Public Relations at the University of Westminster. My classes are now over and I will be flying back to my country Mauritius on the 23rd of May to start my research for my dissertation which will be about “The professionalization of PR in Mauritius”.

I will keep on blogging, but will now talk and discuss about issues that I find interesting in the PR world or interesting PR facts.

Stay posted..there’s more to come…

Who hasn’t heard of Max Clifford, the PR Guru…Although his client range varies a lot, he is in himself a very controversial figure, who I believe represents the stars but thinks a little bit too much of himself. The consumer PR students of the MA PR class of 09/10 got to see him “live” in action this year at a debate organised by our lecturer Trevor Morris, and he lived up to his reputation and asnwered two phone calls, one supposedly from Simon Cowell…Well i personally think it was all a setup, just to show who was boss. And i wasn’t impressed.

The reason I am talking about Clifford is because in class last week we watched one of Louis Theroux’s “Weird Weekend” documentaries and it was the one where he met Max Clifford.

And when I watched this documentary, the “Iam the boss” side of Mr. Clifford definitely came out first, along with the lies, the spins and the unethical conversations.

Louis Theroux though as wacky as usual was brilliant, funny and did match up to the notorious Mr. Clifford.

But Mr. Clifford, as unethical as he may be, is also brilliant and if I needed to make it big, celebrity wise and of course had the money,[ that Max Clifford always keeps bringing up…yes the minimum is £10,000] I would go to him.

It doesn’t matter matter what you look like, black, white or brown, what language you speak, because when we look on the inside we are the same, we are all HUMAN…

Non-governmental organization (NGO) is a term that has become widely accepted as referring to a legally constituted, non-governmental organization created by natural or legal persons with no participation or representation of any government. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its non-governmental status and excludes government representatives from membership in the organization. Unlike the term intergovernmental organization, “non-governmental organization” is a term in general use but is not a legal definition. In many jurisdictions these types of organization are defined as “civil society organizations” or referred to by other names.

What is there purpose? NGOs vary in their methods. Some act primarily as lobbyists, while others primarily conduct programs and activities. For instance, an NGO such as Oxfam, concerned with poverty alleviation, might provide needy people with the equipment and skills to find food and clean drinking water, whereas an NGO like the FFDA helps through investigation and documentation of human rights violations and provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses. Others, such as Afghanistan Information Management Services, provide specialized technical products and services to support development activities implemented on the ground by other organizations.

What we must note, is that PR is essential in NGOs, from any sector, because Non-governmental organizations need healthy relationships with the public to meet their goals. Foundations and charities use sophisticated public relations campaigns to raise funds and employ standard lobbying techniques with governments. Interest groups may be of political importance because of their ability to influence social and political outcomes. The PR essence is needed and definitely used, but however, NGO workers do not like to associate with PR, in fact they deny everything about PR.

It’s all a big irony if you ask me because,  the guest speaker this week from Friends of the Earth called himself the brand destroyer, yes his job is to destroy big brands. Because according to him that’s what NGOs do: they destroy or threaten to destroy the reputation of big brands in order to get their way – in other words impose their ideas on the big companies to get what they want, now normally its theirs cause, but they can go to extremes to get people to click on the “donate now” button as well. Is this all transparent or are there vested interests involved? But the question is how do people from NGOs who deny any PR connection know how to defend their causes if the do not have the skills required, and by that I mean, PR skills…worth thinking about I think…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non governmental_organization#Public_relations

As my previous post might suggest the debate this week in class was about politics and PR. The debate in class was very interesting and by far the best one we had during this term. The statement was as follows: “Political PR has undermined public trust in politicians and is the single biggest threat to our democratic health.”

While one side of the team focused on an ethical perspective, for the statement, the other side had a more pluralist view against the statement, with a more idealistic opinion, yes but also a realistic one, in that a statement couldn’t judge any sector and political PR couldn’t be condemned just because its reputation precedes it.

The market is wide, and we have options, they argued, while the other side were adamant, political PR is ruining society.

I disagree; ruthless politicians might ruin society, not PR practitioners. Through my past posts I have maintained my belief in our PR industry and its capacity to be ethical and do the right thing, or be professional. I might not have practiced in the political arena yet, but I believe that PR can help any sector that requires it. As for political PR it is utterly important, and the pluralist view that my friends defended quite effectively in class proves to show that diversity, in any sector is healthy and individuals must make their own choices. Political PR is becoming more transparent and is for the public’s interest.

‘Political public relations’ is the study of the practice of public relations in politics.  In Christina Holtz-Bacha’s book Encyclopedia of Political Communication (Vol. 2) the author provides a formal definition of political public relations that distinguishes the study from other relevant realms of study such as political marketing and political advertising.  Central to Holtz-Bacha’s definition are the ideas of ‘informing’ and ‘persuading’.  Unlike marketing and advertising, which seek to match a product or service with a particular audience desire, public relations is aimed at building relationships with audiences.  A similar concept that is included in this literature review is that of political communication.  This is the concept that communications holds a vital role in mediating messages between the government and the public.

Political communication has grown from its humble beginnings in the 19th Century to its grand role in contemporary politics.  Understanding the foundations of the practice of public relations is key to the history of public relations in politics.  Public relations scholar Scott Cutlip’s book Public Relations History is a detailed history of public relations practice dating back to the formation of the country of the United States of America.  Cutlip provides a working frame of reference regarding the emergence of public relations practice in politics.  Beginning in the late 19th Century. Cutlip identifies the systemic organization of communication tactics in Presidential campaigns.  Aide to President Grover Cleveland George F. Parker is identified as a crucial figure in the early practice of public relations in politics.  In the 1892 Presidential campaign Parker helped Cleveland combat negative newspaper attention by distributing copies of Cleveland speeches in advance to newspapers, a practice that laid the foundation for a long-term campaign for the candidate.

The 1896 Presidential campaign saw the first organization of publicity and campaign management.  Both the Republican and Democratic parties organized their campaign headquarters, national speaking tours and produced written pamphlets meant to ‘educate’ voters.  The McKinley also used the American flag as a symbol for the image of the campaign. This practice by the Republican Party has continued into the present.  The campaign of the Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryant was unable to match the Republicans efforts of publishing campaign literature.  The ensuing Republican victory made clear the importance of the new publicity and campaign management tactics.  Following his victory, President William McKinley, continued to monitor newspapers during his presidency.  Print media dominated political campaigns until the advent of radio (1928) and television (1952).

Former Clinton administration communications official Sidney Blumenthal’s book The Permanent Campaign argues the importance of communication consultants in political campaigns and offers a history of important consultants.  The chapter “The interpretation of American dreams” is a look at the early public relations practitioner Edward Bernays.  Blumenthal states that despite the advent of modern public relations strategy and tactics it was Bernays who provided the original foundation for all public relations practice in politics.  Bernays is credited with formulating the ‘engineering of consent’, a key social doctrine used to determine audience understanding and desire.  In general, Blumenthal credits Bernays with legitimizing the vital role of the public relations consultant in a political campaign.