Public Relations Misconceptions

Public Relations There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about public relations.  PR practitioners often get categorized as spin doctors, only to be called upon to make those under the fire “look good.” These misconceptions include both the PR professionals and the industry as a whole. The truth is those individuals who specialize in the PR field work tirelessly to help support and build positive relationships among the public.

Many people do not identify with the PR professional, they tend to see public relations as nothing more than a professional human “spin machines,” looking to do nothing more than to cover up or exaggerate some person, product, corporation, or crisis.

We look at the Public relations specialist as the professional partier, throwing cocktail parties to impress the newest client or make some positive impression to the public or the press. According to this survey, PR is the second most stressful job in the U.S., right after a commercial airplane pilot.

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Overcoming Cultural Stereotypes

One of the major societal issues our country faces today is the understanding and acceptation of socio-cultural differences. Understanding these cultural differences will likely be the key to eliminating stereotypes.

Rationally I think we can all agree that there is no such thing as an accurate stereotypes; no one person is exactly like another person and no individual is a replica of another member of a specific group.

When associating with someone from a different culture and background than your own, taking into a count the customs of that society is a vital key when breaking away from common misconceptions.

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Colors in Culture

Color and CulturalColor is a vital part of any design, but if you choose the wrong colors your design could be considered offensive and can portray something completely different from what you had originally intended. In my opinion color is extremely important. It could be used as an influential communication tool used to create persuasive messages. The right balance of color, typeface and graphic are essential for creating an effective design. Color has the power to distinguish a brand from its competition, while sending nonverbal messages to audiences.

How colors are perceived depends greatly on the societal norms and traditions a person is accustomed to. Colors that work in a certain region may not work in another. Color meanings do not always transfer across cultures. The same color in one culture and country might carry different connotations than in another culture and country.

It’s vital for PR professional to thoroughly research a culture before exploring international brands and venturing out to global markets.  It’s important for Public Relations experts to be culturally diverse. It’s the duty of the PR practitioner to effectively communicate and build respectful and professional relationships with a diverse public. Major PR firms such as Fleishman Hillard are launching fellowships and internships to encourage diverse students to pursue an education in communication. For Public Relations practitioners it’s important to understand the meanings that are associated with colors in different cultures.
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A veil of Arabic cultural ignorance

Numerous Arabic women, despite their religion, wear a variety of headscarves. Arabic traditions and customs are not all identical.  Many Arabs follow different faiths, live all over the world and are affiliated with different types of organizations and societies.

However, some cultural customs are widespread across the global Arabic population. Being aware and correctly informed on these practices and complying with the Arabic societal systems shows respect and understanding of the Arabic people and their culture.

Since the Arabic region extends from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, also known as the MENA: Middle East and North America. This region encompasses 22 countries and unlike the common misconception; Iran and Turkey are not included.

Egyptian Camel

A main misconception about Arabic nations is that its citizens live in tents and ride camels. This Arabic way of life dates back over hundreds of years ago based on the use of camels to get around and tents as shelter. That doesn’t mean that this way of life is still relevant today.  All of these Arabic nations have technologies that have allowed them to have access to all of the resources that have improved living conditions. If you were planning to visit an Arabic nation with the hopes of experiencing a desert adventure, I’d reconsider!

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Stereotyping Mexicans

For many years, Mexicans in the United States have been stereotyped. Some of the most common stereotypes that come to mind consist of: laziness, being illegal immigrants, unable to speak the English language, drunks, and gang members. These misconceptions have been passed on not only by one individual to another but also across all media platforms. 

Mexican man

Many Mexicans who come to this nation acquire jobs that many American people simply refuse to do. Should these Mexicans who work extended hours, are poorly paid, and often in unfit working conditions be considered lazy? In my opinion they are far from lazy.

These hard-working Mexicans are grateful and blessed they have a job and are able to put food on the table to feed their families.

There is some truth in the fact that some Mexicans stand on street corners, or in front of stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and to most people they are perceived as careless, lethargic and not willing to find work, but how many of those who stereotype them know the real reasons why they are standing at those specific spots? It is to find any possible job opportunities. They do not care nor do they have the privilege of being picky on what type of jobs they must take. Many of the jobs are anything from cleaning gutters, doing yard work, doing work around the house, or even roofing.  They aren’t worried about what type of work they must do their only concern is being able to support themselves and their families. Continue reading

India is full of poverty and illiteracy

 

Citizens of India

Citizens of India

This is an overwhelming picture that outsiders have of India and, unfortunately, one that hits you as soon as you enter the country. The poverty is understandably overpowering with beggars, tedious slums and garbage ridden areas becoming a common part of India’s culture. People beg because they are suffering and struggling and feel as if they have no other options. They are uneducated because their opportunities to be educated were pulled out from underneath them. However, this is only one side of the ever changing Indian landscape.

According to an article in the New York Times, India has one of the most underprivileged populations on Earth.  Unfortunately many of its antipoverty plans end up nourishing the wealthy more than the poor. A new program that began on Jan. 1 hopes to change that.

India removed its “routine middlemen” by depositing government retirement funds and scholarship payments straight into the personal bank accounts of about 245,000 people in 20 of the nation’s hundreds of districts, in an effort to avoid dishonest state and local representatives from redirecting most of the money to their own bank accounts. In the upcoming months the program will be adding hundreds and thousands of more people, according to Economy Watch.
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Chinese people don’t have siblings

stock-photo-8972700-loving-sisters

China’s One Child Policy was established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to limit China’s growing population. While this policy was originally designed as a temporary measure, it still continues a quarter-century after its institution. The policy limits couples to having only one child. Fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization many be enforced after a second or subsequent pregnancies.

Part of the reason for the government’s decision to have a One Child Policy in certain areas is because the population in China’s urban areas was becoming heavily populated.  There has been a flood of Chinese workers into the cities as industries and technologies have exploded.
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