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Responding to Activism: An Experimental Analysis of Public Relations Strategy Influence on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621) 3 According to the model, the environment—as a macro-system—provides exogenous input into the three subsystems. Transformation of these inputs into communication goals, objectives, and campaigns occurs in the organizational subsystem. Inputs from the environment interact with the organization, impacting organizational goals, structure, acquisition of resources, and management philosophy. For public relations, organizational goals direct behavior and serve as constraints in the decision process (Hazleton & Long, 1988). According to Hazleton (1992), organizational goals serve as criteria, or reference points, for the analysis of inputs. Transformation of these inputs occurs during the public relations decision process and includes problem identification, research and analysis, assessment of resources, and solution identification. The decision process begins with monitoring environmental and organizational states, while comparing each with organizational goals. Discrepancies lead to the identification of problems. During the solution identification phase of the decision process, appropriate and effective solutions for achieving organizational goals are examined. A solution’s efficacy for contributing to organizational goals is the primary criterion in solution selection (Hazleton & Long, 1988). Goals, therefore, significantly impact the transformation of inputs during the public relations decision process. The selection of communication-related solutions to problems defined during the decision process results in a public relations program that is output from the organizational subsystem. The public relations program consists of public relations goals, characteristics of solutions, audience analysis, public relations strategies and practical modes of action. Public relations goals are a consequence of organizational goals derived from the decision process and provide the impetus for organizational goal achievement through communication (Hazleton, 1993). However, goals must be translated into strategies that define appropriate and effective actions for goal achievement. Public Relations Strategies Generally, a strategy is defined as an observable behavioral sequence enacted to accomplish a specific goal or objective (Austin & Pinkleton, 2001). According to Hazleton (1992), public relations behavior in organizations is enacted through communication strategies designed to achieve organizational goals. Communication strategies are manifested in the form of messages that serve as inputs to target audiences located in the environment. This manifestation occurs in the communication subsystem and is a functional result of the communication process—a process defined by encoding and delivery of messages through the analysis of symbols. Symbols are observable tangible parts of the communication process. However, they must be learned before they can be used. In order for communication to be effective, symbols must be shared or at least understood by both source and receiver in the communication process. Thus, symbols are socially constructed objects that take physical form and have predictable outcomes (Hazleton, 1993).

Authors: Page, Kelly.
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Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
3
According to the model, the environment—as a macro-system—provides exogenous input into the
three subsystems. Transformation of these inputs into communication goals, objectives, and campaigns
occurs in the organizational subsystem. Inputs from the environment interact with the organization,
impacting organizational goals, structure, acquisition of resources, and management philosophy. For
public relations, organizational goals direct behavior and serve as constraints in the decision process
(Hazleton & Long, 1988).
According to Hazleton (1992), organizational goals serve as criteria, or reference points, for the
analysis of inputs. Transformation of these inputs occurs during the public relations decision process and
includes problem identification, research and analysis, assessment of resources, and solution
identification. The decision process begins with monitoring environmental and organizational states,
while comparing each with organizational goals. Discrepancies lead to the identification of problems.
During the solution identification phase of the decision process, appropriate and effective solutions for
achieving organizational goals are examined. A solution’s efficacy for contributing to organizational
goals is the primary criterion in solution selection (Hazleton & Long, 1988). Goals, therefore,
significantly impact the transformation of inputs during the public relations decision process.
The selection of communication-related solutions to problems defined during the decision process
results in a public relations program that is output from the organizational subsystem. The public relations
program consists of public relations goals, characteristics of solutions, audience analysis, public relations
strategies and practical modes of action. Public relations goals are a consequence of organizational goals
derived from the decision process and provide the impetus for organizational goal achievement through
communication (Hazleton, 1993). However, goals must be translated into strategies that define
appropriate and effective actions for goal achievement.
Public Relations Strategies
Generally, a strategy is defined as an observable behavioral sequence enacted to accomplish a specific
goal or objective (Austin & Pinkleton, 2001). According to Hazleton (1992), public relations behavior in
organizations is enacted through communication strategies designed to achieve organizational goals.
Communication strategies are manifested in the form of messages that serve as inputs to target audiences
located in the environment. This manifestation occurs in the communication subsystem and is a functional
result of the communication process—a process defined by encoding and delivery of messages through
the analysis of symbols.
Symbols are observable tangible parts of the communication process. However, they must be learned
before they can be used. In order for communication to be effective, symbols must be shared or at least
understood by both source and receiver in the communication process. Thus, symbols are socially
constructed objects that take physical form and have predictable outcomes (Hazleton, 1993).


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