Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section
Aside

“Their only celebrities”

14 Dec

“Celebrities, even insignificant ones like me, are created to be abused by the Great Unwashed.” (Poppy Z.¬†Brite)

Hopefully you will have recognised some themes running through these blogs… celebrities, ethics and values.

My previous blog addresses the issue of CSR and received a lot of interest (thanks!!!) surrounding Cause Related Marketing:

“A commercial activity by which a company with an image, product or service to market, builds a relationship with a ’cause’ or a number of ’causes’ for mutual benefit” (BITC, 2005)

For those of you who have not yet had time to read my previous blog ūüėČ it addresses my issues with CSR, and how I feel that it is continually being adopted by firms in order to publicize¬†themselves¬†in a positive light. So I hear you say what‚Äôs the difference¬†between¬†CSR, CRM and philanthropy then? For me there¬†isn’t¬†much of a difference, the only obvious being CSR reflects¬†society‚Äôs¬†expectations which equally lead to mutual benefits.

Celebrity Endorsements 

Take a look at just some of the celebrities who are endorsing the Viva Glam Aids Fund http://www.macaidsfund.org/

Should celebrity endorsement of ‘good causes’ be classed as CSR or CRM? Is the celebrity involved because they are popular faces of whom we aspire to be? Or are they doing it because we expect them to pay an interest in¬†charitable¬†causes? Is it because they actually care?¬†I maybe wrong¬†but I¬†can’t¬†say that I have ever seen Missy Elliot or¬†Fergie¬†talking about aids in the past, therefore does this make them a¬†suitable¬†endorsement¬†or are they simply getting involved for the publicity and are MAC using them as they are recognised by mass audiences? I must admit the shoe fits this lady much better…

¬†As I have previously argued I believe that both CSR and CRM are about ‘results’ meaning a¬†win win¬†situation for both parties involved. Are celebrities using their ‘image’ to simply help the cause or are they doing it for money and¬†in turn¬†good publicity?

Children in need

Every year celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, Alesha Dickson, and Tess Daily accompany Sir Terry Wogan in presenting children in need. As reported by Steve Myall from the Daily Mail,  Sir Terry has been the leading face of the appeal for 26 years, however documents which were released under the freedom of information act  disclose that while his co-presenters give their time for free, Terry receives £1,300 an hour.

I¬†don’t¬†know about you but I have a feeling it maybe a result of him not doing anything else nowadays but surely he’s earned enough money throughout his career that he¬†doesn‚Äôt¬†need to steal from charity? Who am I to judge him, he might really care but to me he’s a prime example of the ‘bad bunch’ who abuse their¬†celebrity¬†image.

“The leader of the pack”

“Some say he’s the god of PR, some say he’d do anything for money, all we know is, he’s Max Clifford”

This guy is never far away from a celebrity crisis. What I still cannot get over is, we melt on his every word!¬†I’ll¬†give it to the kid, he’s great at what he does and a lot of the time¬†he’s¬†successful. But¬†there’s¬†something dodgy about you when you‚Äôre called in to help a murderer… We all heard about the murder trial of Anni¬†Hindocha¬†whose husband¬†Shirien¬†Dewani¬†is the lead suspect of her murder. Now to me nothing really screams guiltier when Max Clifford is suddenly brought onto the scene.¬†Why did¬†Dewani¬†need to¬†convince¬†the media and public he’s not guilty? Maybe he should have just concentrated on convincing the people actually involved in the trail, like the judge!!!

Bringing this back to values and ethics; will Max Clifford have still¬†represented¬†Shirien¬†Dewani¬†if he knew he was guilty? It appears to me that Max see’s no boundaries and at the end of the day he most values money.¬†surprisingly¬†this¬†doesn’t¬†bother me because everyone is different, however if someone could really benefit from his help would he be as inclined if they were a charity for example or would it be just for CSR?

The kids in this clip want ‘fame’ so they can use their image to help those less fortunate, yeah right!… they want to be famous for the freebies, the¬†popularity the lifestyle and money. These kids are still young but when will it get to the point where they will be willing do anything for their 15 minutes? Let‚Äôs take Jade Goody, she constantly had her media ups and downs but when she died she practically received the same reception as Princess Diana. Her death was followed by millions so she could leave enough money for her children, the problem was her ethics? Should her children have to grow up knowing everyone followed the most personal time of their¬†mum‚Äôs¬†life? The argument is, maybe she valued money and stability over self-respect.

Drawing in on a conclusion..

Hopefully my blogs have made you think outside of the box and question¬†people’s¬†motives, ethics and values. At the end of the day PR is about building and¬†maintaining¬†relationships which are mutually¬†beneficial. I therefore hope I have¬†successfully¬†addressed both sides of the argument from the PR professional and organisations point of view to the stakeholder‚Äôs point of view. I still believe that¬†people’s¬†values will continually change throughout their life, however I have come to¬†realise¬†that money is a value which everyone holds closest because we need it to live!

Advertisements
Image

Is it about making a difference?

13 Dec

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” (Tom Brokaw)

What do you expect from those who can make a difference? Would it be morally wrong if large organisations were never to give back?

The topic on¬†today’s¬†agenda is Corporate Social¬†Responsibility (CSR). ¬†No doubt a topic you will have consciously never heard of, however something you will¬†definitely¬†be¬†accustomed¬†too.

CSR?

“The policy and practice of a corporation‚Äôs social involvement over and
beyond its legal obligations for the benefit of the society at large”.¬†(Enderle¬†and Tavis, 1998)

Constantly we see large corporations such as Coca Cola doing their bit! http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/community/ The question is how much do they want to do? And what are the underlying reasons for doing it?

We constantly witness organisations who adopt CSR’s ranting and raving about them in an attempt to generate positive ¬†associations between them and their goodwill; ¬†meaning that these organisations have the ability to increase sales, suppliers, and stakeholders… However,¬†how long does the goodwill remain goodwill and not just a marketing ploy?¬†

Companies like Shell have¬†obvious moral¬†responsibilities¬†which are to ‘clean up’ and work to prevent any further problems, which I feel they undertake. Why are they then constantly attacked by the media?¬†http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14576663¬†Don’t get me wrong, I love wildlife and I do not condone any kind of cruelty (like oil spills); however from what I have seen these oil companies don’t choose to spill oil, sometimes it just happens, maybe an effect of the high demand! ¬†At the end of the day I believe that these companies would always try their best to prevent further disasters, because¬†at the end of the day if for nothing else they are losing money! ¬†Is their¬†‘proactiveness’ though about CSR or money?

Let’s think about Sainsburys

The advert clearly demonstrates¬†Sainsbury’s¬†acts of CSR over the last 140 years, which are now being used as marketing¬†strategies.¬†Generalizing¬†this issue I would say that organisations are continually adopting CSR’s as a way of conveying their ethical issues in an attempt to¬†satisfy¬†the values of their stakeholders.¬†It wasn‚Äôt until the¬†early¬†noughties¬†that they began supporting¬†fair trade, free range hens, and the environment therefore engaging in acts of CSR which reflected increasing¬†societal¬†issues. Do organisations such as¬†Sainsburys¬†really want to go to the trouble of¬†designing¬†reusable¬†bags and supporting¬†fair trade¬†or would they just look¬†ridiculously¬†bad if they¬†didn’t?

What about Philanthropy?

“Philanthropy is a charitable act not necessarily linked to the expectations of society” (Tench and¬†Yeomans, 2009,¬†p.101)

To me I’m not 100% sure¬†whether¬†something can be classed as a charitable act if you‚Äôre going to get something¬†tangible¬†from it. I’m not talking about the general public donating a fiver to Children in Need which in result makes them feel amazing. I’m talking about the huge organisations that are willing to take part in¬†charitable¬†causes only when there is a positive outcome for them.

Organisations are constantly¬†monitored¬†on Return of¬†Investment¬†(ROI) because let‚Äôs face it times are hard, no one has any money and the money ¬†people do have needs to be ploughed into investments which can ¬†deliver¬†a return. It therefore begs the question, to what extent are organisations getting involved in philanthropic acts to just simply do it? For me the answer is simple; they’re not. Take a look at this advert by¬†Sainsburys….

Don‚Äôt get me wrong, it‚Äôs great that¬†Sainsbury’s¬†are getting involved in comic relief, but the problem for me is are they just getting involved for the overall benefits it will have on them? Maybe I’m¬†cynical¬†and just dying for a debate, but as someone who wants to go into PR I think that it‚Äôs important to consider what people actually think about these acts of CSR and Philanthropy. Do we actually fall for it? Would it be enough for us to just walk into the supermarket and see they are selling “text Santa” hats, or do we need to be told? Yeah I’m also an advertising student and I fully understand why they do it, however my concern is are we told too much? Can‚Äôt they just do it and not¬†brag¬†about it? Or has the world become so¬†ruthless that they need to in order to remain a competitor?…


Aside

PR Stunts or Propaganda?

12 Dec

And the winners are….. Little Mix!¬†

For those of you who have being living on Pluto for the last 24 hours the final instalment of the X-factor finale saw Little Mix grab first place over Marcus Collins with 48.3% of the votes. Marcus received 42.8% with Amelia Lilly receiving just 8.9% of the votes. (XFactor ITV, 2011)

Having voted for the ‘little muffins’ three times and I am over joyed that they won the show. However every year there is always the same controversy with people claiming its a ‘fix’ simply because their favorite act¬†hadn’t¬†made it! ¬†Could it be that the controversy is the shows outstanding PR team?

The shortcomings of “Frankie-Coke-up-the-Nozza”

We have Louis, the x-factors third wheel whose knowledge of boy bands is extensive, Tulisa, a self-made pop star from the hood, Gary, a legend to the UK pop industry, and Kelly, the retired backing singer to Beyonce. These guys would be able to recognise singing talent if they were deaf, right?….Well all my views suddenly changed when Frankie Cocozza joined the X-factor….

Since his very first audition I was like, ‘wow this guy thinks he’s already Kurt Cobain” his ‘rock star’ appeal somehow made the judges and public see far past his singing abilities. Until, controversy broke.

Unfortunately¬†for me it was no surprise when I saw that Frankie had been fired from the X-factor for breaking one of the shows ‘Golden Rules’. However sadly it was still no surprise when I found out it was because of drugs. Since he first appeared on the show he was perceived to be a cheeky chap who had an eye “or bum” for the ladies.

However over the weeks, Frankie was seen to be continually causing mayhem, all of which was snapped by the newspapers. Gary Barlow, Cocozza’s mentor released this statement:

“We’ve all encouraged Frankie to be bad, it’s just gone too far, out of control for us to be able to as a show to still have him on here.” ¬†(Telegraph,2011)

Although I can appreciate he has no singing ¬†abilities¬†what so ever, I cannot condone how he has been let down by the show. To me, It’s the biggest PR stunt of the year.

PR-Stunt?

Have you ever wondered why the X-factor has the ability to take over the UK ever year? Constant media coverage is what keeps us all in the know. Contrary to Rich Leigh from @GoodandBadPR (PRmoment, 2011) I think that the shows PR team have been particularly outstanding this year, however their approach to success has been somewhat disgusting to watch.

It is to my believe that Frankie Cocozza was used as a ploy to engage viewers whilst the show made him behave in ‘appealing’ ways. The constant news interest surrounding him linked him back to the show, in turn promoting the show. As I keep saying, “Is any news, bad news?” In order to eliminate¬†any negative associations with the show, Frankie was pulled, connoting ‘their ‘good nature’. Although I don’t believe voting figures were fixed, I would say that the firing of Frankie was a good way of bringing Amelia Lilly back into the competition. ¬†It’s not just issues surrounding Frankie, think about Misha B.

Surely its Propaganda?

“The deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Jowett and O’Donnell, 1992)

Image

"Who's to blame for the war?"

Adolf Hitler “Saw propaganda as a vehicle of political salesmanship in a mass market, and argued that it was a way of conveying a message to the bulk of the German people, not to intellectuals.” (BBC, David Welch, 2011)

Image

Joseph Gobbels, a Nazi party member became Adolf Hitlers propaganda minister in 1933,

which gave him power over all German radio, press, cinema and theatre.

Gobbels, perfected the ‘Big Lie’ technique of propaganda, which is based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.

Although, outdated, Gobbels produced a list of ‘Principles of Propaganda’, ¬†http://www.psywarrior.com/Goebbels.html

Although the Nazi example of propaganda is quite a far right example, it helps in understanding the aspects of propaganda and also shows the effectiveness. Considering how propaganda is used to manipulate public opinion. I believe that rather than a PR stunt, the X-factor uses propaganda to manipulate our feelings towards the¬†contestants¬†in order to¬†subliminally¬† ‘fix’ the results. Lets face it, are Little Mix the first girl group to win the X-factor for a reason?….

Just for a laugh… Good old-fashioned propaganda

Aside

I value “to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”

9 Dec

Have you ever thought of what you value most of all? Ever thought why?

Since birth we have been brought up to distinguish between right and wrong. ¬†The fact of the matter is, what‚Äôs wrong to someone might be right to someone else ¬†no one is the same! and wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were. Our personal values are what make us think, feel and do. If you are a regular reader of my blogs you are probably ¬†more than aware that PR is about building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders and therefore understanding what makes people tick is extremely important.

Allow me to present my top 10 values

Take a few moments to think about what you most value but read this first…

‚ÄúYou are in a stable career which you enjoy, however it has been decided that your company are to outsource labour to India, they will pay employees close to nothing and the working conditions will be horrendous in order to keep out going costs at a minimum‚ÄĚ

Where would your loyalties lie at this particular moment? Would it be with yourself, Your employer, or with the labourers?

I believe that values are constantly interchangeable. Using the above example, at this moment in time I value fairness and I wouldn’t be happy to shop at Primark¬†for example because of the issues surrounding them and these types of ‚ÄėSweatshops.‚Äô http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028449/Exposed-Primarks-sweatshops-pay-children-just-60p-day.html¬†However what‚Äôs to say that in 10 years when I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay that my values might change? If I worked for an organisation who was going to start outsourcing cheap labour maybe I wouldn‚Äôt be so quick to shout my values from the roof tops as lets face it I wouldn‚Äôt be able to risk losing the job.

‚ÄúWhat about Celebrities?‚ÄĚ

She‚Äôs the human version of Marmite, ‚ÄúYou either love her, or you hate her‚ÄĚ. Yes I‚Äôm talking about Katie Price.

She‚Äôs constantly slapped on the front of celebrity magazines, but the question I‚Äôm dying to know is ‚ÄúWhat do you value Katie Price?‚ÄĚ

“Ethics means the formal study and codification of moral principles into systematic frameworks so that decisions can be made about what is right and wrong in a reasoned and structured way‚ÄĚ. (Tench and Yeomans,2009, p.276)

It’s no surprise to hear Alister Campbell saying that ‚Äúthe media allows the public to hate or like celebrities, who want to be in the magazines, some of them do, some don‚Äôt theres no distinctions‚ÄĚ

Celebrity magazines are constantly churning ‚Äėstories‚Äô surrounding celebs like Katie Price, ¬†like Marina Hyde ¬†http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2011/jul/14/celebrity-magazines-inquiry-press-ethics I believe they too should be under ‚Äėethical‚Äô scrutiny. However like Campbell said, some celebrities want to be in the magazines, there is no distinction therefore how do you regulate a media which is supported by those it is offending? because at the end of the day isn‚Äôt any news good news?

 

¬†‚ÄúThe Five pillars of Ethics‚ÄĚ

  • Veracity– Telling the truth
  • Non-Malfeasance– Doing no harm
  • Beneficence– Doing good
  • Confidentiality Respecting Privacy
  • Fairness- Being fair and socially responsible

The five pillar approach to ethics is a great concept as to me it connotes the entrance wall of a building which without it would fall down….

‚ÄúI promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth‚ÄĚ

Although I wouldn’t blame you for thinking otherwise, PR is all about ‚Äėtruth and trust‚Äô. At the end of the day PR is all about building and maintaining¬†relationships through communication, if there was no trust there would be no relationship. Members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) constantly have to adhere to their codes of conduct which are… http://www.cipr.co.uk/sites/default/files/CIPR%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf

In order to ‚Äėtrust‚Äô I feel we must know the whole story! The question is, do the public value stories which are in the public interest such as, the news of the world phone hacking scandal or the war in Iraq. Or do we prefer stories which are of interest, like the story surrounding Imogen Thomas and a certain footballer?

Moral Panic- 

Its been done many a time but are we consciously aware? There are certain stories, past and present where we ask ‚Äúare we getting the whole story here?‚ÄĚ and the answer to that is, probably not! Believe it or not the media can sometimes grab hold of an issue and in effect create a moral panic , where our response is influenced by the media.

Stories which become interesting to the public are often those involving celebrities. Lets think back to the ‚ÄėImogen Thomas and Ryan Giggs affair‚Äô, maybe it was the secrecy of Ryan‚Äôs identity all I know is we were enthralled. The injunction taken out to silence Thomas wasn‚Äôt enough to stop the media, there was so much interest surrounding this story that it took an MP to announce the footballers name in parliament, with his argument being we live in a democracy! Maybe the fact that we live in a democracy and the fact Twitter is now on the scene helps in finding out the whole truth and nothing but the truth….

Welcome Back…

24 Nov

Hello and welcome to my new readers and a very warm welcome back to my dedicated followers!

I think its important for me to begin with a sincere¬†apology for the lack of blogs over the last few months. I am aware there was never any ‘Advertising’ based features, so a big SORRY¬†for¬†all those who were dying to read them ūüė¶ (I know you all were!)

Anyway… I’m glad to be back but this time my blogs will feature heavily around values and ethics and most importantly celebrity culture (just for you Jane) and current issues in the media. As I am now a final year student of PR I will continue to air my views through those of a spin doctor so please feel free to make any comments, I always appreciate a good debate!

Last point, ¬†let me know your feelings on this issue…..
News International…

Speak soon

Micho

The PR Pinnacle

3 May

If you have been following¬† my blog site you will have noticed a slight trend in the topic, of course its public relations. with this in mind this will be the last in the ‘PR series’. As my degree is Advertising and PR, I am going to give the world of advertising a whirl within the next couple of weeks so I hope you all continue to enjoy my posts.

As this is to be the last ‘PR’ blog as such my aim for this post is to draw a conclusion¬†on my other blogs. Tying in my previous posts I want to try to understand where I would fit into the PR world, In-house, Agency or Freelance?..

With my previous¬†posts having addressed the different areas of PR¬†I have been lead to the question, “Where will I fit?”; with graduation near enough around the corner I am beginning to feel rather worried by the idea of working in a job I don’t¬†enjoy as a temporary means; hopefully being able to acknowledge¬†early what draws me in to the PR industry I may just be able to find a perfect¬†job when it comes to graduating.¬† ‘Managing Public Relations’ my second year course module did include a variety of guest lecturers who came in to give us a practical insight into the different areas of PR, lets take a look to see if these helped in my decision process.

In- House, Agency or Freelancer?

Lava PR¬†a Lincolnshire PR agency¬†gladly¬†spared an hour of their time to introduce my group to the agency world. During 2010 Lava PR were awarded with the ‘Outstanding small consultancy’ award by the CIPR¬†(Charterd¬†Institute of Public Relations) at the CIPR¬†PRide Awards. The award reflects how much the speakers value their work and their clients. Ed Willmott¬†and Steph¬†Tod delivered the presentation and they seemed ecstatic when speaking about their jobs.

 

Steph Tod- Senior Account Executive

Ed Willmott- Account Executive

¬†Lava PR have¬†had a variety of clients from all kinds of sectors, however they seemed equally enthusiastic¬†about them all. Steph¬†and Ed both informed us of their job roles which¬†were very broad, I quote from Ed “No day is the same”. The idea of working on new and ever-changing projects is what I think really stole my¬†heart towards an agency career, I¬†love the¬†idea of¬†going into work not knowing what is around the¬†corner; fair enough any job can be like this and¬†especially in PR. However I love the idea of winning clients working with new people¬†constantly, and working hard¬†and watching it pay¬†off.¬†¬†To have a look at who¬†the¬†devil I am¬†talking about, take a look at¬†this¬†¬†http://www.lavapr.co.uk/

With a guest lecture from a In-house professional looming near I couldn’t¬†help but feel like Ed and Steph had already¬†won me over.

The guest lecture¬†was delivered by¬†a member of the PR team¬†from¬†the In-house PR¬†department¬†at University. I did go into the lecture¬†relatively open-minded however ‘PR in organisational Communciations’ another module from my second year introduced the¬†In-house¬†PR of organisations and I did find this module quite¬†tedious in places and¬†to be honest it did push me away from wanting to pursue a career within this PR sector.

¬†The guest lecture however did change my perception,¬†In-house PR¬†seemed to me¬†to¬†be a¬†more relaxed environment¬†where everyone¬†is aware¬†of¬†their roles within the organisation. It was apparent that working within teams was still obviously¬†crucial¬†however I was left unconvinced¬†due to the fact that¬†this sector wouldn’t¬†have much scope when it comes to working with new and differing clients which¬†in turn¬†bring a¬†variety of¬†PR tasks.¬†¬†With the much debatable¬†question in the back of my mind, “Is PR¬†part of Marketing or¬†is¬†Marketing part of PR”¬†only signifying¬†the many debates¬†and issues within an¬†in-house¬†environment.¬†It still remains that in some organisations a PR professional is not made part of the board,¬†when a marketing professional is; as I said very debatable and the’ fighting for your place scearniro’ really puts me off this¬†sector.

Although there is a chance to work as a freelancer¬†within the PR industry this is the least appealing sector for me,¬†the¬†‘team work’ element of PR is¬†what really¬†pulls¬†me in and the idea of working alone really doesnt appeal to me. Although the pay¬†could generally be¬†better and¬†the work would seem more rewarding I enjoy helping¬†others and working¬†as a team to shared goals too much.¬†¬†

I think the idea of working in PR generally is amazing and defiantly where I want to be, however I really hope I am one of the lucky few to work within an agency as I love the excitement Ed and Steph both radiated.

Conculsion of Blogs

Over the last few weeks I have realised that PR is somewhere I really see myself; I love working with others but at the same time I love having the balance of working alone.

My eyes have been opened to those PR people who tend to ‘play’ on their¬†reputation such as, Max Clifford¬†and of course those who abuse their position¬†such as Andy Coulson. I have realised in order to work well as team you must take the time to realise how you work¬†best alone.¬†The¬†practical experience¬†gained from writing these blogs, working within teams at University¬†and working generally is second to none and it has¬†pushed to aspire¬†to be more than a student.

I hope you have enjoyed my series of PR blogs, see you again soon

Michaela

Working as a team within a PR enviroment

1 May

Hello Everyone and welcome back,

I hope by now everyone has become well acquainted with Public Relations through my previous blogs. My aim for this post is to get across the importance of groups within the PR environment whilst incorporating a recent group scenario I have been involved in. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave any comments!

‘Managing PR’ one of my second year course modules¬†required¬†me and my class mates to form two separate groups¬†in order to incorporate¬†what we had learnt throughout the module into work scenarios. The ‘work scenarios’ began with myself and three others joining a group, we became ‘the client- Lincolnshire council, Sexual Health Organisation‘ we were required to create a brief for the other group who were the winning PR agency. The objective of the campaign was to aid the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases spreading within18-25 year olds. Whist we were planning the brief the other group within my seminar class were a client ‘Bandit merchandise‘ who were creating a¬†brief¬†to deliver to us as their winning PR agency. Bandit merchandise, were an online company who were looking for a new PR¬†campaign in order¬†to create a higher demand of their website in order to sell more festival merchandise.

The Team

If you have had the chance to read my third blog you will have had a brief encounter with the delightful theorist, Dr Meredith Belbin. If not,¬†Dr.Meredith Belbin¬†formulated a¬†team role theory ‘The Belbin¬†test’, original I know!¬† The theory is a personality test which is used for assessing team roles. The theory involves a¬†number of questions which¬†have 8 answers, you are required to place 10 ranking points to the answers which apply to you. At the end a score can be calculated in find out how the Belbin Test rates you.(¬†http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8)

 As stated in my third blog I have been identified as a Co-ordinator (Belbin Theory). Key characteristics include:

  • Calm
  • Self Confident
  • Controlled
Whist it was important to understand our own work style it also appeared crucial for us to acknowledge each others results in order to understand who possessed which attributes in order to work well as a team whilst taking advantage of our best skills. This allowed 
us to create a realism with the working environment. Therefore, lets meet the team;
 

Maddie Walsh

Belbin Results- Shaper & Monitor Evaluator

  • Sober
  • Unemotional
  • Prudent
“Monitor Evaluators are serious-minded, prudent individuals with a built-in immunity from being over-enthusiastic. They are slow deciders who prefer to think things over. Monitor Evaluators are at home when analysing problems and evaluating ideas and suggestions. They are very good at weighing up the pro’s and con’s of options and to outsiders seem dry, boring or even over-critical.”
 

Joanna Keeton

Belbin Results- Shaper & Co-ordinator

  • Highly Strung
  • Outgoing
  • Dynamic
“Shapers are highly motivated people with a lot of nervous energy and a great need for¬†achievement. Often they seem to be aggressive extroverts with a strong drive. Shapers like to challenge, to lead and to push others into action-and to win. Shapers can handle and even thrive on confrontation. They are excellent at sparking life into a team and are probably the most effective members of a team in guaranteeing positive action.”
 

Richard Adams

Belbin Results- Plant

  • Individualistic
  • Serious-minded
  • Unorthodox
“Plants are innovators and inventors and can be highly creative. They provide the seeds and ideas from which major developments spring. Usually they prefer to operate by themselves at some distance from other members of the team, using their imagination and often working in an unorthodox way. Plants are independent, clever and original and may be weak in communicating with other people on a different wave-length.”
 

How does this relate to our group work?

Working as part of this group was enjoyable, simply due to the fact that we all worked well together and contributed equally. The Belbin test helped us to recognise each others attributes so we were able to make best use of them throughout the task.

Before we even¬†had time to think about the task in hand our ‘plant’ Richard had already set up a facebook¬†group as a medium for conversation between the four of us.¬† True to the Belbin¬†theory of plants, Richard¬†provided the¬†facts¬†surrounding the topic in a detailed breakdown¬†including time¬†frame and what our objectives were to be.¬†This became extremely important to the group as it meant we¬†were all on the same¬†wave length within the project. Although there was regular discussion between the group my role as the Co-ordinator¬†meant I was the one to¬†initiate a group meeting, although I couldn’t make the meeting due¬†to the time I was sent the¬†minutes from Joanna who again stayed true to her Belbin Results¬†by pushing others into¬†an action.¬†

¬†The next step was to create a PR brief as the client, Maddie one of our ‘Shapers- Great need for achievement’ saw this through and designed a professional and well thought through brief which included everything discussed within the meeting.¬†I felt throughout the group task that Maddie could have come¬†close to scoring as¬†a Co-ordinator as she was very self motivated but at the same time caused the rest of the group to work to shared goals and would delegate readily. With deadlines drawing near for other work our next meeting did regularly go off track and we found ourselves drifting away from the work. Joanna was the one to bring us back¬†on topic and constantly feed ideas through to the team. Richard was our creative and therefore provided a creative outlook to our general ideas. At the end of the meeting¬†I was the one to delegate tasks and made sure that everyone was clear, I went away and designed a PowerPoint presentation for our pitch to the other group. I did feel out of my comfort zone due to my general worry that I am not a ‘creative’ however we did later go through it as a group which meant we all had our own input.

When it came to delivering the brief, our shaper Joanna with her strong drive lead the presentation and was very happy to answer questions on behalf of the team. It was clear that Joanna feels comfortable when faced with confrontation; she is a very intelligent individual who can handle herself in such environments. Maddie was happy to control the running of the presentation and occasionally answered questions; Maddie is a very driven and well-educated person who always puts 100% into her work making sure she gets the best possible grade. During the presentation Richard was happy to discuss the implementation of our brief; Richard is an intelligent individual who likes to think outside of the box, he constantly strives to be different and unique which inspires me.

So what does this mean?

The objective of this blog was to demonstrate the importance of group work within the PR industry, I hope you can acknowledge that it takes a variety of attributes to ensure that a group task is carried out well and effectively. Working as a group is not only an enjoyable experience but crucial within some work environments. I therefore think employers should consider the Belbin Test for all future employees so they get a good understanding of how they really work within a team environment and where they will fit within their organisation.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post,  please feel free to ask any questions and to leave any comments. 

See you again soon

Michaela

%d bloggers like this: