PR as Education

21 07 2008

In May, I won the Plank Award for Graduate Student Research at the International Communication Association conference in Montreal for a paper I did on PR as education. O.C. Tanner, a global employee recognition firm, focuses its communication efforts on educating organizations about the merits of employee recognition.

That was my first research paper I produced as a doctoral student, and I’ve always been intrigued by other examples of organizations/individuals emphasizing education in public relations efforts. Why? Because teaching is an important interactive experience, where one individual edifies the other. It represents one of the noblest efforts. I think that’s why it is so effective. I can think of no better way to build a relationship than when someone reveals the tricks of the trade, the secrets of success…which is why I like this video, below, of Barenaked Ladies’ front man Ed Roberts teaching viewers how to play one of the band’s popular songs. I think there’s also an evident level of Grunig-ian Two-Way Symmetrical communication here too…

One other thing I like about this is bands seem so loathe to share their music. Anyone who has gone to a music store to purchase a book on playing a song on guitar, piano, etc., knows the frustration I have felt so often…the notes usually reflect what the singer sings, not what he or she plays.

Anyway, good public relations, kudos to BNL.

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