Persuasion or Coercion?

In the Latin language, the word persuasion comes from the verb persuadere, which literally translates as per, meaning strongly, and suadere, which means to urge. On the other hand, the word coercion comes from the Latin verb arcere, which means to shut in and implies physical force to produce or change behavior (Powers 2007).

Persuasion plays a huge role in PR. It is critical in the process of portraying a positive image of organisations to their audiences.

According to Powers (2007), the difference between persuasion and coercion is not precise or self-evident. The definitions differ with regard to time, place, language, participants and culture. However, persuasion is generally considered to be morally justifiable, while coercion, on the other hand, is considered to be unethical and morally justified only in limited types of circumstances (Powers 2007).

Thanks to the implementation of Code of Ethic practices, questionable tactics can be minimised when organisations are under pressure to achieve their objectives. No. 3 of The PRIA Code of Ethics (2016) states, that “Members shall not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information and shall take care to avoid doing so inadvertently”. This PR crisis below, is a good example of how an organisation should act ethically in reaching their objective. The objective being: recovery of the crisis.

Persuasive messages require truth, honesty, and candour (Think 2013), which fall in to the guidelines of the Code of Ethics (PRIA 2016). This Domino’s Pizza message, I believe, has done that. The Domino’s Pizza President has shown his honesty through exposing raw footage of the crisis; he expresses his grave concern of the crisis and the implications which have resulted; he reiterates the company’s values; and most importantly, he apologises on behalf of the organisation.



Persuasion, image, viewed 23 April 2016,

Powers, P 2007, Persuasion and Coercion: A Critical Review of Philosophical and Empirical Approaches, HEC Forum. Jun2007, vol. 19 no. 2, pp. 125-143.

PRIA 2016, Setting goals and objectives makes your PR planning more effective, viewed 23 April 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.



Antipodean Animal Agency

The Key Message of Antipodean Animal Agency is, that Wildlife Conservation is a community-wide responsibility.

Nonprofit organisations make up a broad area of Public Relations work and from a PR point of view, these organisations are often represented as beacons of social responsibility, fostering goodwill (Think 2013). Antipodean Animal Agency is no exception to this definition. It is a nonprofit organisation, which supports the welfare of all wildlife, provides advice in animal rescue emergencies, and offers the community an opportunity to help (Wires 2016).

The Target Public of Antipodean Animal Agency is much more specific than just the general community.

Other than becoming a Rescuer or Volunteer for Antipodean Animal Agency, there is a more indirect opportunity to assist in the conservation of wildlife. That is, to donate. Antipodean Animal Agency have gone above and beyond targeting the general public for donations. Take a look at just some of their specific target publics listed below (Wires 2016):

  • Virtual Carers: are people, who want to help the organisation financially, while being able to be involved as much or as little as they want.
  • Shoppers: are people, who want to contribute to the Antipodean Animal Agency while they shop, by only having to ensure that, they are purchasing from selected retailers, who  contribute a certain percentage of the sale to the wildlife agency.
  • Corporate Businesses: who are looking to enhance their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the welfare of Australian animals.
  • Mourners: are people, who have sadly lost a loved one, and are able to fill their hearts again by saving the life of an animal and paying respect to their deceased loved one with a tribute.

Antipodean Animal Agency illustrates its ability in targeting very specific publics, who are interchangeably latent, active, external, internal, short and long term. With these very specific target publics, the agency will be able to clearly identify its tactics (CQU 2015).


Animal Rescue: What you can do!, image, viewed 11 April 2016,

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11110: The Public Relations Campaign – Implementation Part 1 Module 4: study guide, CQUniversity, CQUniversity e-courses,

Wires 2016, Australian Wildlife Rescue, viewed 11 April 2016,

PR Tweets



AMPR are an Australian Public Relations agency specialising in strategic brand management, event management and results-driven public relations (AMPR 2016). Established in 1991 by Ann Morrison, AMPR have worked with some of Australia’s leading consumer, fashion, health and lifestyle brands. They strive to deliver multi-channel public relations and marketing solutions that target and engage consumers (AMPR 2016). The second most popular social media network is Twitter (Wilcox 2013) and AMPR have employed this platform in its PR practices. Just take a look below at the two tweets which exemplify this.


This tweet is simple, yet effective. On the first glance, it appears, that perhaps a member of AMPR is just having coffee with a friend (@c_labandco). However, once you click the instagram link below, you are taken to a page where you can click @c_labandco, and discover that it is a company that makes a 100% natural coffee scrub! With this interactive media channel, AMPR have managed to turn their latent public on Twitter, into an active public, by causing curiosity and motivation to engage with their client C Lab & Co with a few clicks of the mouse. A very tactful strategy on the behalf of AMPR!


Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 4.08.24 pm

The tweet above is full of #hashtags, which people use before a relevant keyword or phrase in their Tweet, in order to categorize those Tweets and help them show up more easily in a Twitter Search (Twitter 2016). As you can see in the tweet above, hashtags have been applied to #HeraldSun, #BTS and #VAMFF, in order to affiliate these entities to the target public, and furthermore, to increase the chances of these entities being discovered. This tweet also has a significant amount of @symbols, which are used to mention people or businesses associated with the tweet (Twitter 2016). @VAMFF, @DanniiMinogue, @JAtonCouture, and @KimHeraldSun are entities, which AMPR have incorporated into their PR network, just by adding an @symbol!


Image: David Jones AW 2016 Fashion Launch



AMPR 2016, About: Our Story, viewed 02 April 2016,

AMPR 2016, News, image, viewed 02 April 2016,

@AMPR_Group 2016, Twitter, images, viewed 02 April 2016,

Twitter 2016, Twitter Help Centre, viewed 02 April 2016,

Tweet 2013, Business to Community, image, viewed 02 April 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.


PR Planning

Situation – Planning a Public Relations campaign can be quite an intricate task. There are many steps that need to be taken in achieving the goal of a campaign, so it is fair to say that the best place to start is…figuring out what the situation is and researching it! Because without understanding the situation, PR professionals cannot set valid objectives for the program (Wilcox et al. 2013). Take the issue of violence against women for example. Unfortunately there have been a significant amount of women in history, who have been abused, and the issue is still prevalent today. Thankfully, due to a thorough understanding of the situation, campaigns have been created and significant improvement has been made to help the issue.

Objectives – Once the situation is understood, objectives can be implemented. Knowing how to set goals and objectives for a campaign, makes the planning more effective (PRIA 2016). For an example, let us pretend that a campaign for violence against women requires $20,000 to be used to rehabilitate women, who do not have safe home environments. According to Wilcox, Cameron, Reber, and Shin (2013), evaluating the proposed objective can be done by asking three questions.

  1. Does it really address the situation? Yes definitely, because a womens’ shelter can be funded with this money, that will provide a safe and protected environment for them.
  2. Is it realistic and achievable? Yes, acquiring $20,000 can be achieved through donations from the general public or the government.
  3. Can success be measured in meaningful terms? Yes, monetary goals are easily  measured by an accountant or anyone with basic mathematic skills.

Depending on the complexities of each campaign, PR professionals should give themselves months for planning. This blog post is only touching on the basics of what needs to be covered for a basic violence against women campaign. Research, goals, target audience, strategy, budget, deadlines, are all components of a campaign, which need to be thoroughly assessed in order to make it a success.


Pretty Good Done, image, viewed 01 April 2016,

PRIA 2016, Setting goals and objectives makes your PR planning more effective, viewed 01 April 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.

History of Public Relations

Is there a link between Silent Film Actors, the War Effort of WW1 and Public Relations? Yes there is…

Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, were Hollywood actors and directors of the early 20th Century. They had the ability to convince unprecedented crowds of bewildered Americans, that WW1 was a sacred crusade (Hollywood Silent Film 1980). Their appearances and speeches were more influential than any President, Prime Minister or Politician of that time. The stars raised the nation’s morale and millions of dollars for war bonds.

Image: United Artists, The Company Built by the Stars 1919. From left: Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith.

This historical example of Public Relations was so much more than merely advertising an opportunity for Americans to make their country proud. It had a function, a Public Relations function, that was to help the government thrive in a complex and volatile environment, with economic, social, and political factors constantly at risk (Wilcox et al. 2013, p.14).

Fast forward to today and you can see, that Public Relations relies on communication mediums, such as social media, special events, news releases, and feature stories (Wilcox et al. 2013). Today celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Angelina Jolie, or Kim Kardashian would be in the place of people like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. However, it is a little difficult to imagine modern day celebrities standing on podiums, compelling unprecedented crowds, and shouting their speeches through megaphones, like their predecessors had. Instead we have platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and tools, such as Hashtags, which people tend to use in getting their message across.

Image: Pray For Paris


Hollywood Silent Film, Goes To War, 1980, video, viewed 16 March 2016,

Katharine Kelly, Silent Film Actors and The War Effort: COMM11110, video, 16 March 2016, viewed 16 March 2016,

Liberty Bond 1918, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

Pray For Paris, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars 1919, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.