Rock Products

AUG 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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122 • ROCK products • August 2019 Thomas J. Roach, Ph.D., has 30 years experience in communication as a journalist, media coordinator, communication director and consultant. He has taught at Purdue University Calumet since 1987, and is the author of "An Interviewing Rhetoric." He can be reached at T he first public relations practitioners were rhetoricians in ancient Greece and Rome. Public relations became a profession with the advent of mass media in the early 20 th century and changed dramatically after the creation of the World Wide Web. Following are 100 observations from the first 100 years of the profession that quarry operations can consider and utilize in community relations efforts. An Overview of Public Relations 1. Communication is dangerous, constructive and salvific. Knowing how to interpret and use communication is as much a requirement for success in our careers as it is for happiness in our homes. 2. While every professional needs to be an expert communi- cator, those of us in public relations fields need to be more expert. We have to divorce ourselves from our cathartic impulses and choose words and arguments that produce the most desired result. The study of communication begins with classical rhetoric and its focus on effect. 3. In addition to knowing how to use language, business com- municators also need to understand the processes that govern communication media. Print journalists, broad- casters, bloggers, social media providers, everyone who controls a channel of communication has a process that must be navigated to gain access. Professional communi- cators need to be as familiar with the processes of access as they are with the rhetorical arts they use to develop their messages. 4. If an issue is in public debate, it is because it is debatable. Since there are no absolute proofs for debatable topics, the reputation, mainly the trustworthiness, of the speaker is more important than the argument. 5. A reputation for trustworthiness is established over time and it can be lost in a minute. 6. Marketing, advertising and employee communication are subcategories under what we usually call public relations. 7. Public relations staffs may be smaller and may have less of a budget than other communication operations, but public relations maintains reputation and that requires oversight of communication to all publics. 8. Organizations need to manage their reputation with four categories of publics: employees, customers, the A Century of Meditations on Public Relations Following Are 100 Observations That Quarry Operations Can Consider and Utilize. By Thomas J. Roach community in which they do business and shareholders or donors. Legal and Social Constraints 9. Public relations has a paradoxical relationship with law. Professional communication is bounded by legal parame- ters, but law is established through communication. When laws restrict free speech, public relations necessarily oper- ates outside the law. 10. The freedom to make issues public, publicity, is a prereq- uisite of democracy. If the public is not aware of issues, their right to deliberate and decide is worthless. 11. Political correctness is a bad term for a good cause. Words can do harm; anyone in a leadership position should understand that and communicate with care. 12. There are no secrets in the digital age. Secrets won't remain under a hat, they don't stay in Vegas and they go to the grave with no one. In the digital world, nothing can be kept behind closed doors because there are no doors. Professional communicators need to understand that every utterance is potentially a public utterance. Professionalism and Public Relations Practice 13. Professional communicators have three areas of exper- tise: public opinion research, rhetoric and communication technology. 14. Public relations practitioners, like doctors and lawyers, have unique skills and a need for ethical standards, but the right of free speech prohibits them from policing their ranks. Professional communicators cannot estab- lish group standards for skills and ethics and bar those who are not qualified. Community Relations Aggregates Industry Almanac

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