Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Personal Influence Model of Public Relations

Every country has its own style of practicing public relations.We practice public relations in India using the personal influence model of public relations (Grunig et al., 1995, Huang, 2000, Jo and Kim, 2004, Park, 2002, Rhee, 2002, Sriramesh,1992).

Researchers found that in this model public relations practitioners try to establish personal relationships, friendships, if possible with key individuals in the media, government or political and activist groups.These relationships with key people were known as contacts from whom favours could be taken.There are other countries like ours where this model is also applicable and they are Greece, and Taiwan.

Sriramesh (1991) identified a technique which led to the further development of the personal influence model, it was called hospitality relations.The main idea behind hospitality relations was to build a strong bond with journalists or other individuals which could later help in important decision making situations.Huang (1990) also termed personal influence model of public relations as carrot public relations.

In many countries the practice of this model can be considered unethical.This is essentially an asymmetrical model and its asymmetrical practice can be successful in in meeting the goals of an institution, especially in a society that is bound by rigid cultures and authoritarian political systems.Thus an important point that emerges here is that effect of a country or society's culture influences the way they work.

In media relations, which is a vital function of public relations, practitioners use contacts to get journalists to write stories about the institutions represented by them.According to (Sriramesh, 1991 , p. 191), a public relations practitioner working in India said that 60% of the reason a news release gets published is because it has its roots in personal influence and only 40% has news value.

Media relations practiced according to the personal influence model, resembles the press agentry model as proposed by Grunig. A point to be noted here is that the press agentry model usually uses set of methods such as staged events, puffery, or photo opportunities to grab attention, whereas the personal influence model focuses on personal relationships with journalists.

Read more on this in (Models of Public Relations in an International Setting by James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig, K. Sriramesh,Yi-Hui Huan,Anastasia Lyra)


  1. Like others this is an interesting post. In our daily life also we do a lot of our work based on personal interactions and influence and this is carried in our professional lives as well.

    Its researched therefore, credible. Its because of this inherent nature of ours that as a country its taking time for us to evolve the practises of PR.

  2. I agree completely.I m glad these posts are of good use.

  3. Ma'am, this is a wonderful summary of Personal Influence. I have read the original ingenious work by Mr. K. Sriramesh which he personally forwarded to me! And I must say your post descibes the model very clearly.
    Well ma'am, you don't know me but I have met you in the university and it was pleasure meeting you!

  4. Thanks Sarvangi.It would be nice to meet you again.

  5. I was searching for a matter that could help me to understand the personal influence model. thankyou for the summary. its really easy to understand.