Author

Tiana Rojas

Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

William Jasso Professor of Practice

Honors Reader

Harriet Brown Associate Professor

Capstone Major

Public Relations

Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Professional

Subject Categories

Advertising and Promotion Management | Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

Media leads gender stereotyping. Consumers of media internalize messages of gender put forth by the media, thus shaping their attitudes and expectations of gender. This paper focuses on gender and how it influences public relations (PR) practices and crisis management strategies, specifically in entertainment PR. This is a subject that has yet to be explored. Utilizing primary, secondary and quantitative research methods, I hope to answer my research question: how does client gender influence PR strategy? To test my research question, I designed an online survey composed of four common PR crises seen in the entertainment industry among celebrities. The four main areas of focus for these crisis scenarios were DUI’s, infidelity, domestic violence and leaked nude pictures.

The problem is that in society, there are pre-existing notions of gender set in place. Men and women are given “scripts” of how they should act based off of characteristics that are deemed appropriate each sex. An example of this would be how men are expected to be tough, in charge and not show emotion, where as women are expected to be emotional and dependent on their partner in a relationship. This becomes the norm and the media continues to reinforce these ideas about gender. Using expert testimony, I argue that these gender stereotypes impacts how PR practitioners strategize because they must keep in mind these societal views of gender when making decisions. To prove this, I created a survey to distribute to PR practitioners testing how gender influences their decision-making.

In public relations, PR practitioners essentially manage the relationship between perception and reality. They help manage the reputation of an individual, organization or company (Martin, 2005). Public relations and media have a symbiotic relationship (Corporatewatch.org). This means that they have a mutually beneficial relationship where the PR industry depends on the media as its central vehicle for much of its messages. The media in turn, has become more dependent on PR practitioners to supply them with content (e.g. news articles for print and online media channels). In conclusion, given how the media perpetuates gender stereotypes, consumers of media internalize these messages and PR practitioners work with the media, I want to know how PR practitioners will deal with entertainment clients in times of a crisis and how gender influences PR practitioners decision making.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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