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«13TH INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS RESEARCH CONFERENCE “Ethical Issues for Public Relations Practice in a Multicultural World” Holiday Inn ...»

-- [ Page 102 ] --

On the Internet, separating people according to criteria of origin, function and essentiality, among other forms of segmentation, is not a guarantee that their public actions will be understood. In the network of organizational networks, more important than identifying publics, it is (fundamental) to identify the messages, whether good or bad, creative or destructive of value, that involve organizations.

D. Williams and Tapscott (2077, p.21) describe the strength of these networks in which

companies can be included:

–  –  –

Faced with new models of social and productive organization in which the company becomes a co-participant, there is a need to rethink, in the field of public relations and organizational communication, the concepts that separate people from the construction of relationships and communication of the company and the institution. One of these is the concept of public, in its schematic forms, which, based on the point of view of the organization, separates individuals by geographical markers, essentialities, functions, and informational meanings, among other aspects.

In the network vision, the company does not separate the chain of people who jointly share with it experiences that go far beyond their own limits. In the digital network, the company is part of the system. And faced with other participants, thinkers and media operators, and producers of content, the role of mediator loses strength. All are transformed into mediators, causing a rethinking of the institutional role of public relations and organizational communication. In the digital order, all are public relations experts; all are communicators.

It can be affirmed that companies and institutions – in the digital environment where operators (…) “are deterritorialized, more disconnected from a precise spatial-temporal foundation”, as described by Lévy (2003, p. 21) – have lost their capacity to hinder or regulate those taking part in the process of organizational communication.

Therefore, more important than looking for representations that do not make sense in the network, it is essential, for those participating in the system, to produce contents that continually feed the digital plot. These are the messages, the stories that comprise the networks of relationships, and it is through analysis, interpretation and opinion on these contents that it is possible to understand the network.

Therefore, increasingly, the participants of the network, including companies, should tell their stories and ideas by means of the numerous opportunities of digital divulgation, such as search tools, blogs, podcasting and other online media. The event, the story, the question, the content and the keyword available, which produce and give meaning to the network, become the focus of attention of the fields of public relations and organizational communication.

545

References

BECK, U. “A reivindicação da política: rumo a uma teoria da modernidade reflexiva”. In BECK, U.; GIDDENS, A.; LASH, S. Modernização reflexiva: política, tradição e estética na ordem social moderna. São Paulo: Editora da Unesp, 1997.

BODERNAVE, J. D.; MARTINS DE CARVALHO, H. Comunicação e Planejamento. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1979.

CASTELLS, M. A galáxia da internet; reflexões sobre a internet, os negócios e a sociedade. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Ed., 2003.

CASTELLS, M. “A era da informação: economia, sociedade e cultura”. v. 1. In A sociedade em rede. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1999.

DUPAS, G. Atores e poderes na nova ordem global: assimetrias, instabilidades e imperativos de legitimação. São Paulo: Editora da Unesp, 2005.

FUENTES, C. Este é o meu credo. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2006.

GIDDENS, A. “A reinvenção da política: rumo a uma teoria da modernidade reflexiva”. In BECK, U.; GIDDENS, A.; LASH, S. Modernização reflexiva: política, tradição e estética na ordem social moderna. São Paulo: Editora da Unesp, 1997.

LASH, S. A reivindicação da política: rumo a uma teoria da modernidade reflexiva. In: BECK, U; GIDDENS, A.; LASH, S. Modernização reflexiva: política, tradição e estética na ordem social moderna. São Paulo: Editora da Unesp, 1997.

LÉVY, P. O que é o virtual? São Paulo: Editora 34, 1996.

NASSAR, P. Relações Públicas na construção da responsabilidade histórica e no resgate da memória institucional das organizações. São Caetano do Sul/SP: Difusão Editora, 2007.

NASSAR, P. Índio não quer apito. Tem um mouse. Terra Magazine. Disponível em http://terramagazine.terra.com.br/interna/0,,OI1216206-EI6786,00.html. Acesso em: 02 jan.

2008.

TAPSCOTT, D.; WILLIAMS, A. D. Wikinomics: Como a colaboração em massa pode mudar o seu negócio. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 2007.

TOFFLER, A.; TOFFLER, H. A riqueza revolucionária. São Paulo: Futura, 2007.

546

–  –  –

Somewhere around the latter half of 2008, many of the tried and true traditional measures of communications success began to disappear. Crisis communicators realized that having a “timely” response meant having a cogent statement up on Twitter in minutes rather than hours and that a crisis could come and go in a matter of days. Media relations professionals had to figure out how to communicate an entire positioning statement in 140 characters and then evaluate results in a mix of tweets, blog posts & comments, YouTube videos, social bookmarks and Facebook threads. For Investor Relations (IR) professionals, the change was even more dramatic since they no longer could judge the success of their efforts by stock price. (Whether or not that was ever a valid metric I will leave to others to debate.) In these tumultuous times, a single word from Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke or Barack Obama might influence their stock price far more than any relationships they may have had with individual analyst.





It was in that environment that the communications professionals at a leading semiconductor company (which we’ll call Iris) decided that they needed to know whether their efforts were in any way shaping what analysts thought, or wrote or more importantly recommended that investors do about the company. Standard content analysis wasn’t nearly granular enough to be of any use to Iris’ IR department. It was easy enough to determine whether an analyst was giving a buy, sell or hold recommendation, but what they needed to know was if any of the elements or activities provided by their department were having any impact on those recommendations.

Given that assignment, KDPaine & Partners designed an analytical methodology that broke down each report into four discrete elements;

1. Analyst Metadata – information about the research analyst(s) who produced the report.

2. Report Metadata – information about the analyst report in question.

3. Concept Metadata – information about specific concepts rated in this study. For example, the relevance of Iris’ themes to the overall investment thesis.

4. Product Metadata – information about what specific lines of business or products are mentioned in the report.

We further categorized each element as to its relevancy to the final thesis or recommendation.

Individual company messages were also tracked for their prominence (i.e. where and how they appeared in the report) and further categorized as to their integrity. Each message was rated as full, partial, incorrect or inverse. We also looked for references to specific Iris lines of business, initiatives and competitive battles, and rated each for its influence on the analysts recommendations, specifically if it was perceived as a Benefit, Benefit and Risk, neither Benefit nor Risk or pure Risk.

–  –  –

As always in any measurement program, the program started with a clear definition of what Iris’ IR department was trying to achieve. Specifically, they wanted to decrease sell-recommendations and increase buy-recommendations. Within that framework, they wanted to determine what specific programs, initiatives and messages were impacting financial analysts recommendations.

Step 2: Define the desired outputs, outtakes and outcomes

For IR professionals, the outputs are typically Analysts Days, briefings, and other outreach efforts to the Financial Analyst community. The outtake was that the investor audience perceived Iris as a good investment for these times and preferable to the competition. The desired outcomes are that Financial Analysts recommend investors buy the stock. Therefore, while the exact wording of the recommendation may change from analyst to analyst, the fundamental thesis of the analyst reports can act as an outcome metric for IR.

What the IR team at Iris wanted to know was:

–  –  –

These and other questions can be answered via a detailed content analysis of Financial Analysts reports. By analyzing the individual components of a financial analyst's reports, IR professionals can determine how effective they have been in getting key messages and concepts across to the analyst community. More importantly, they can look at prior results to determine what strategies and tactics might be more effective in the future, continuously improving their programs.

Step 2: Content Analysis of Financial Analyst Reports

We first divided he information in the report into four categories:

–  –  –

We treated the analyst firm very much as we would a major media outlet, recording the name of the firm, the specific analyst authoring the report, and any other relevant information about the firm that was making the recommendations.

The report itself was analyzed for tone, the relative importance and salience of a subject or theme to the conclusion the analyst draws, and where in the report (chart, graph, table or summary) the subject or theme is mentioned.

At the concept level, we conducted a detailed search for key message content, looking not just at whether the message exists in the report, but whether the message is fully communicated, partially communicated or erroneously communicated. We then looked again to see the degree to which the message is salient and/or important to the thesis and how prominently it was mentioned.

At the product level, we analyzed each report to see which specific products or lines of business were mentioned. Then we examined whether the analyst considered the product line, theme or battle a risk or a benefit to the company, further examining the extent to which that product, theme or battle was impacting the overall conclusion of the report.

We prepared detailed coding instructions and tested them on several coders to ensure we met our internal intercoder reliability standard of 90%.

Specifically, coders were instructed to record the following:

–  –  –

We were provided with a list of strategic messages that Iris desired to communicate to its stakeholders via analyst reports. There could be more than one per report. We also coded for the degree to which messages were communicated.

Each key message was rated for the segment within the report in which it was communicated.

For numerical calculations we used the numbers represented in parentheses. A message could be

in more than one part of the report. The segments were:

–  –  –

Each key message was rated for the integrity of the message after communication within the analyst report. This will be rated for the report, overall, rather than for each instance of the message.

–  –  –

We recorded each line of business that was mentioned in the report, even if briefly. We further coded for the prominence that each topic received in the report.

–  –  –

Each Iris Topic was rated for the net evaluation of the topic by the analyst(s). For numerical calculations we used the numbers represented in parentheses.

–  –  –

Competitors mentioned in regard to Iris within a specific technological, market or other industry

battle were also recorded. Specifically the coder recorded whether the competitive battle was:

–  –  –

The analysis then determined which product lines, lines of business, initiatives and messages were most likely to result in a Buy, Hold or Sell recommendation.

Conclusions

Perhaps the biggest learning of the research was how little the competition impacted the recommendations, despite concerns from the client. Since Iris was the market leader, the competition was seldom mentioned in the report, and when it was, the competitive mention had little impact on the overall recommendation.

Key messages and analyst topics had the greatest impact on the resulting recommendations, with Iris-specific topics having little visibility or impact. The visuals in the reports had the least bearing on the results, and in fact after several months they were no longer coded.

This led to a significant redirection in effort away from graphics and visuals, and towards a greater emphasis on ensuring that key messages were being communicated by Iris’s thought leader experts.

554 Contingency Theory of Strategic Conflict Management: Unearthing factors that influence ethical elocution in crisis communication

–  –  –

Abstract Despite the advances made offering a viable perspective in strategic conflict management, the contingency theory has not addressed a prevailing question: How can the theory inform organizations to communicate ethically with its publics, especially during crisis?



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