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Four Basic Communication Strategies, Beyond the Borders of Traditional Public Relations Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  16 A traffic manager is the type of communication manager who sees to it that messages are distributed efficiently and effectively. He is responsible for the physical transportation of information carriers to selected target groups, much like the logistic manager in the automotive industry. The traffic manager looks after the means of communication, the targeting, timing and reach. Unlike the town crier and the steward, the traffic manager’s main concern is the planning and control of the distribution process to target groups and it’s evaluation. However, the traffic manager’s gospel is “reach equals effect”. In other words, control over the transportation of information is his core business. The traffic manager’s claim to fame is based on success in bringing the right information to the right people at the right time. His business is making the organization’s positive presence felt within selected target groups. The traffic manager emerged in the professional literature in the eighties, especially in literature that was written by marketing-oriented professionals. The literature includes many books in which communication is seen as a logistically-oriented flow model for transporting data from source to destination. This view is usually based on the model developed by Shannon (Shannon & Weaver, 1949) to describe undisturbed information transport. He warned that all of this has no meaning whatsoever in terms of the content of the message and its effects, instead it is restricted to the transmission of data itself. Unfortunately, this warning has been neglected by most of those who have used this model. For them the transmission of information and its subsequent feedback covers the communication process sufficiently well (see, for example, Eunen, 1980). The traffic manager measures the effect of the message by researching the reach of his items of information. The measurement instruments that he uses for this purpose are clippings and recall. Back in 1993, the collection of clippings was still a very common way of measuring the effect of public relations, together with “the eye-and-ear” method (KS PR, 1993), and it still is. The conductor: public relations is harmonic performance The view of communication as a controlled, one-way process, in combination with a focus on the connotative side of meaning characterizes the “conductor” type. Conductors employ a jargon typified by catchwords such as helming attitudes, creating support, influence, gaining goodwill, image

Authors: Van Ruler, A. A. Betteke.
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A traffic manager is the type of communication manager who sees to it that messages are distributed
efficiently and effectively. He is responsible for the physical transportation of information carriers to
selected target groups, much like the logistic manager in the automotive industry. The traffic manager
looks after the means of communication, the targeting, timing and reach. Unlike the town crier and the
steward, the traffic manager’s main concern is the planning and control of the distribution process to
target groups and it’s evaluation. However, the traffic manager’s gospel is “reach equals effect”. In
other words, control over the transportation of information is his core business. The traffic manager’s
claim to fame is based on success in bringing the right information to the right people at the right time.
His business is making the organization’s positive presence felt within selected target groups.
The traffic manager emerged in the professional literature in the eighties, especially in literature that
was written by marketing-oriented professionals. The literature includes many books in which
communication is seen as a logistically-oriented flow model for transporting data from source to
destination. This view is usually based on the model developed by Shannon (Shannon & Weaver,
1949) to describe undisturbed information transport. He warned that all of this has no meaning
whatsoever in terms of the content of the message and its effects, instead it is restricted to the
transmission of data itself. Unfortunately, this warning has been neglected by most of those who have
used this model. For them the transmission of information and its subsequent feedback covers the
communication process sufficiently well (see, for example, Eunen, 1980). The traffic manager
measures the effect of the message by researching the reach of his items of information. The
measurement instruments that he uses for this purpose are clippings and recall. Back in 1993, the
collection of clippings was still a very common way of measuring the effect of public relations,
together with “the eye-and-ear” method (KS PR, 1993), and it still is.
The conductor: public relations is harmonic performance
The view of communication as a controlled, one-way process, in combination with a focus on the
connotative side of meaning characterizes the “conductor” type. Conductors employ a jargon typified
by catchwords such as helming attitudes, creating support, influence, gaining goodwill, image


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