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A Longitudinal Time Series Analysis of the Foreign Affairs Issue: Agendas of the President, the Media, the Public
Unformatted Document Text:  Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy 23 although the public relations-to-opinion relationship occurs with a shorter time lag, the overall picture suggests a somewhat stronger long term impact regarding the public- opinion-to-public relations relationship. The final hypothesis states the media agenda will have a one-way relationship with the public relations agenda. There is no statistical evidence indicating that this one- way relationship exists. This finding is partially consistent with earlier research reported by Berkowitz (1992), Gonzenbach (1992), and Behr and Iyengar (1985). Research Questions This study addresses three basic questions about the foreign affairs issue. The first deals with media structure of interpretations and presentations of issues and event information over time. The second deals with the presidents structure of public relations interpretations and presentations of issue and event information over time. And the final question involves the relationship of the agendas of Bush and Clinton, the two administrations included in the study. Each question is analyzed in turn. The Role of Events and Issues Presidents public relations activities. The findings show, first of all, that presidents public relations activities relating to the foreign policy issue are primarily a function of routine, there is a consistent level of foreign policy activity that, as with the media coverage, may keep the noise floor for foreign policy issues higher than that of other regularly covered topics. Unlike with the media, the cycle of activities relating to foreign policy tends not to be dominated by major, quickly developing events, it has a continual presence, with particular events updating an issue category. As events move to the top of the presidential agenda, public relations activities become one of the presidents main links to the event and its related issues. An example of this is the impact of Iraq invading Kuwait, it was during this time frame that the war issue moved into the top five of the presidents public relations issues.

Authors: Mitrook, Michael.
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Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy
23
although the public relations-to-opinion relationship occurs with a shorter time lag, the
overall picture suggests a somewhat stronger long term impact regarding the public-
opinion-to-public relations relationship.
The final hypothesis states the media agenda will have a one-way relationship
with the public relations agenda. There is no statistical evidence indicating that this one-
way relationship exists. This finding is partially consistent with earlier research reported
by Berkowitz (1992), Gonzenbach (1992), and Behr and Iyengar (1985).
Research Questions
This study addresses three basic questions about the foreign affairs issue. The
first deals with media structure of interpretations and presentations of issues and event
information over time. The second deals with the presidents structure of public relations
interpretations and presentations of issue and event information over time. And the final
question involves the relationship of the agendas of Bush and Clinton, the two
administrations included in the study. Each question is analyzed in turn.
The Role of Events and Issues
Presidents public relations activities. The findings show, first of all, that
presidents public relations activities relating to the foreign policy issue are primarily a
function of routine, there is a consistent level of foreign policy activity that, as with the
media coverage, may keep the noise floor for foreign policy issues higher than that of
other regularly covered topics. Unlike with the media, the cycle of activities relating to
foreign policy tends not to be dominated by major, quickly developing events, it has a
continual presence, with particular events updating an issue category. As events move to
the top of the presidential agenda, public relations activities become one of the presidents
main links to the event and its related issues. An example of this is the impact of Iraq
invading Kuwait, it was during this time frame that the war issue moved into the top five
of the presidents public relations issues.


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