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THE ROLE OF MEDIA RELATIONS IN CORPORATE PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRACTICE: A STUDY ON 15 PUBLIC LISTED COMPANIES
IN THE KLANG VALLEY

SHARMINI A/P S. RAMA KRISHNAN

UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
2007

THE ROLE OF MEDIA RELATIONS IN CORPORATE PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRACTICE: A STUDY ON 15 PUBLIC LISTED COMPANIES
IN THE KLANG VALLEY

by

SHARMINI A/P S. RAMA KRISHNAN

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the
requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts

July 2007

i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My humble gratitude to the Almighty Lord for the successful completion of this thesis. I lovingly dedicate this piece of work to:

My role model, my mother
My source of inspiration and strength, Balaji

I would also like to thank my supervisors, Pn. Kamaliah and Dr. Jamilah, for their guidance and constant assistance throughout my period of study. Not forgetting, the 15 participants who provided the rich and invaluable data which has made this study possible.

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

iii

LIST OF TABLES

viii

LIST OF ABBREVIATION

ix

ABSTRAK

x

ABSTRACT

xii

CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION

1.1

Background To The Study

1

1.1.1 The Strategic Role Of Media Relations

1

1.1.2 Corporate Public Relations In Malaysia

7

1.2

Research Problem

8

1.3

Research Questions

15

1.4

Research Objectives

16

1.5

Significance Of Research

17

1.6

Scope Of Research

18

1.7

Conclusion

19

CHAPTER TWO : PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS

2.1

Introduction

20

2.2

Definitions Of Public Relations

20

2.3

Public Relations Terminologies

23

2.4

Public Relations In The Strategic Management Process And

25

The Impact On Media Relations
2.4.1 Corporate Culture And Public Relations Practice

30

2.5

Media Relations

32

2.6

Media Relations Efforts In Organisations

34

2.7

Evaluating Media Relations Programmes

38

2.8

Conclusion

41

iii

CHAPTER THREE : LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

3.1

Introduction

42

3.2

Public Relations Roles

42

3.2.1 Environmental Influence On Public Relations Roles

48

3.2.2 The Impact Of Research On Public Relations Roles

49

Grunig’s Models Of Public Relations

50

3.3.1 Grunig’s Models Of Public Relations And Media

62

3.3

Relations Practices
3.3.2 Grunig’s Models Of Public Relations In Malaysian

64

Practice
3.4

65

3.4.1 Media Relations In Normal Times

65

3.4.2 Media Relations In Crises Situations
3.5

Local Case Studies On Strategic Media Relations Efforts

69

Conclusion

73

CHAPTER FOUR : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

4.1

Introduction

75

4.2

Rationale For Qualitative Methodology

75

4.3

The Standardised Open-Ended Interview

79

4.4

Mechanics Of The Standardised Open-Ended Interview

84

4.4.1 Pilot Study Of The Interview Guide

84

4.4.2 Sample Type And Size

86

4.5

Ethical Considerations

89

4.6

Conceptualisation

90

4.6.1 Media Relations

90

4.6.2 Role Of Media Relations

91

4.6.3 Media Relations Objectives And Functions

91

4.6.4 Corporate Public Relations Practice

91

4.6.5 Public Relations Roles

91

4.6.6 Models Of Public Relations

91

4.6.7 Mixed-Motive Model

92

4.6.8 Personal Influence Model

92

iv

4.6.9 Factors That Distinguish The Media Relations Role

92

4.6.9.1 Media Relations Budget

92

4.6.9.2 Evaluation Of Media Relations Programmes

92

4.6.9.3 How Media Relations Is Viewed

93

4.6.9.4 The Expected Return-On-Investment For

93

Media Relations
4.6.10 Organisational Environment
4.6.11 Organisational Culture

93

Operationalisation

93

4.7.1 Media Relations

94

4.7.2 Role Of Media Relations

94
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