Public Relations: Building quality from trust

Quality check“Get Kellogg’s cereal only.” My father’s stern voice still echoes in my head as I remember the things he would tell me before I get out the door and leave to the grocery store. This one time, I bought a bottle of soy sauce, but this time it wasn’t the usual brand that my family was fond of. This time, it was a Japanese made brand and not the regular Kikkoman soy sauce.  I could’ve gotten the usual brand, but that would’ve meant driving all the way across town to the one store that sold this brand. I should’ve done that instead to save myself from the dreadful scolding I endured afterward.  I mean, it’s still soy sauce right? The only difference is the name on the label.

As a consumer, the common trend of choosing products according to specific brands is one that resonates with me a lot.  I was taught to choose quality over price or quantity. I’m a very thrifty person and would rather do the opposite, but from that, I’ve learned that nothing good comes cheap, except when it’s on sale.  HZDG’s very own CCO, Karen Zuckerman, explains that “When we look at a product with great packaging–the type, the imagery–it tells us whether what we’re buying is luxurious, healthy, good for the planet…” It’s hard to believe that sometimes a simple label or sticker of a familiar brand can convince us to purchase a product.  If we don’t trust the brand, we won’t invest in it, thus marketers would only invest more time into creating quality in their products which could mean creating annoying ads that fill your screen.

Gideon Amichay, explains that the more marketers tend to advertise their products, “…the more consumers will use more blocking power in return.”  This is very relevant to our world today. I personally don’t want random pop-ups invading my screen while I’m surfing the web.  It’s such a nuisance. Fortunately, we can close these ads and marketers would have to re-direct their advertisements elsewhere or create better ones.

The interaction between effective communication, marketing and consumers are all categorized under public relations.  It focuses more on promoting reputations and attracting consumers. In a 2014 Academic Summit, Richard Edelman explains that the skills to succeeding in the field of public relations are simple.  It involves being open to new ideas, knowing the related principles of public relations and encouraging a diverse range of talents to take part in this field. In the arena of public relations, “communications marketing” is strongly emphasized. It is about building trust with consumers and not being solely focused on making a profit.  It is about creating lasting messages that will further build a good reputation for marketers. Edelman stresses how marketers and annoying advertisements can be improved and trusted.

As I plan to declare a major in Journalism, I am still stuck on what particular track to focus on. I considered selecting Public Relations, but after reading Edelman’s speech and doing a bit research on this field, I’ve come to realize how entirely different it is from what I initially thought. I thought public relations dealt with worldly issues such as writing about drastic issues taking place in the Middle East. I thought it meant reporting on relevant public issues. These were the things I expected from the public relations field. I guess I was wrong.  Public relations is no doubt an interesting field to study, but it’s not quite what I want to focus on.  So, I might just consider the News Track of Journalism.




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