Public relations (PR) is a way for companies, organizations or people to enhance their reputations. This task typically is performed by public relations professionals or PR firms on behalf of their clients. PR usually involves communicating with the media and through the media to present the clients in the most favorable way possible. It also often involves cooperative efforts with other people and organizations to create good will within the community and enhance the client’s image.
At its core, public relations revolves around this universal truth: people act based upon their perception of facts. By managing, controlling, or influencing people’s perceptions, public relations professionals hope to initiate a sequence of behaviors that will lead to the achievement of an organization’s objectives. When those in public relations successfully create, change, or reinforce opinion through persuasion, their primary objective is accomplished.
This is why Public relations plays an important part in politics especially to the president. In this article, I will be discussing the public relation of the Arroyo Administration.
The Presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo spans from January 20, 2001 to June 30, 2010. Her term ended on June 30, 2010, pursuant to the provisions of the 1987 constitution.
Despite the obstacles and various charges of impropriety directed at those close to her, Macapagal-Arroyo was elected to a full six-year presidential term in May 2004. She edged out her closest competitor, Filipino actor Fernando Poe Jr., by only one million votes. In her inaugural address, Macapagal-Arroyo vowed to create up to 10 million jobs in the next six years, balance the budget, improve tax collection, provide inexpensive medicine for the poor, and unite the country. “Our nation must embrace a vision of economic opportunity, social cohesion and always an everdemocratic faith,” she stated, as quoted in the July 1, 2004, edition of the International Herald Tribune.
Macapagal-Arroyo made international headlines in July after a Filipino driver was
kidnapped by militant rebels in war-tornIraq. In defiance of theUnited Statesgovernment’s requests, Macapagal-Arroyo honored the rebels’ demands to pull all Filipino troops out of the country. Later that month, she called for an end to political in-fighting in her own nation in order to turn the focus to economic recovery. After former president Estrada declared the Philippines a “nation in distress,” as reported on CNN.com on July 23, 2004, Macapagal-Arroyo stated in a State of the Nation address, “Let us set aside political bickering and politicking for at least one year.” She also used the address to reiterate her pledge to relieve poverty and promote economic growth.
The administration of Arroyo may be considered as something that is not as successful as it is however, she was able to do a lot of things for our country.
In this regard, I would like to share an article which I have read in the internet.
“While awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on whether to allow or not to allow the former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to travel to seek treatment on her rare medical condition, I would like to commend Elena Bautista-Horn for doing a very good job. Bautista-Horn in her interview with Karen Davila exhibited full loyalty towards her boss even though her boss is one of the most-hated human being of this country. I myself don’t like the former president but with the clear and cloudless explanations of Bautista-Horn in the interview, I am now starting to be persuaded that the former president should be allowed to travel.
Bautista-Horn was impressive in defending her boss in the interview. She has kept her eloquence and credibility. Maybe it’s because she’s airing her points based on truth. Former president definitely found a gold mine in the person of Elena Bautista-Horn. Her being soft-spoken and debonair way of justifying their courses of action has made Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to look like anabusada (outrageously abusive).”
Reading this article, I came up with a conclusion that having an effective spokeperson is one of the most important factor of public relations. It’s as if no matter how dirty her image is to other people, her spokesperson was able to clean it up even for just a little while.
During her administration, The Arroyo administration has forged a strong relationship with the United States. Arroyo was one of the first world leaders who expressed support for the US-led coalition against global terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and remains one of its closest allies in the war on terror. Following the US-led invasion of Iraq, in July 2003 the Philippinessent a small humanitarian contingent which included medics and engineers. These troops were recalled in July 2004 in response to the kidnapping of Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz. With the hostage takers demands met, the hostage was released. The force was previously due to leave Iraqthe following month. The early pullout drew international condemnation, with the United Statesprotesting against the action, saying giving in to terrorist demands should not be an option. Arroyo’s foreign policy is anchored on building strong ties with the United States, East Asian and Southeast Asian nations, and countries where overseas Filipino workers work and live. In 2007, the Philippineswas host to the 12th ASEAN Summit in CebuCity.
The Arroyo state visit to theUnited Statesis a public relations triumph for both guest and host, as both had most likely hoped and anticipated. The public relations bonanza it is reaping for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and George W. Bush indeed suggests that as state visits go, this one was not so much meant to firm up relations between their two countries but to serve each other’s domestic agendas.
However, Arroyo’s administration also faced a couple of PR issues. According to an article that I have read: “The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) spent P7.2 billion for public relations and advertising under the Arroyo regime, including P150 million which was converted into “intelligence funds” shortly before the 2010 elections, according to a lawmaker.”
“By bloating the PR fund beyond the 15 percent operation fund, the PCSO essentially diverted the funds intended for charity. We have to investigate deeper if these contracts were (consummated) because we have been given information that the PCSO board did not even bother to have concrete media plans, did not bother to monitor the implementation of these ads, and cannot present any report on whether the spots it bought were aired as contracted,” said Colmenares.
In another article, the former president also had an issue with her PR. A Commission on Audit (COA) report showed that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo paid a Hong Kong-based public relations firm more than P48.7 million for “consultancy services” in 2009.
The report said that Malacañang spent over P66.3 million for consultancy services last year, which means that 74 percent of the funds went to Burson-Marsteller. Burson-Marsteller, according to the company’s website (http://www.burson-marsteller.com), “is a leading global public relations and communications firm.”
The firm claims that clients often engage its services “when the stakes are high: during a crisis, a brand launch or any period of fundamental change or transition.”http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/10/10/arroyo-paid-hong-kong-pr-firm-p487-m-2009
In terms of the former president’s net satisfaction rating, here are some of the things that you ought to know:
The Social Weather Stations public opinion group has conducted quarterly surveys tracking the net satisfaction rating (“satisfied” rating minus “dissatisfied” rating”) of President Arroyo. She began her presidency in the first quarter of 2001 with a net satisfaction rating of +24. Her rating first dipped into the negative in the first quarter of 2003, making Arroyo the only president to achieve a negative net satisfaction rating in SWS opinion polling. Her rating rebounded well into the positive in 2004, in time for the presidential election where she won election to a new six-year term. However, net satisfaction sunk back into negative territory in the fourth quarter of 2004, and has remained negative since, dipping as low as −38 in the second quarter of 2008. Her net satisfaction rating in the first quarter of 2009 was −32.
The Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey finds 37% Satisfied and 48% Dissatisfied with the performance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for an unfavorable Net Satisfaction Rating of –11.
This is slightly up from the Second Quarter, which had 34% Satisfied and likewise 48% Dissatisfied, or Net –13, correctly rounded.
President Macapagal-Arroyo’s national net rating has been unfavorable for nine consecutive survey rounds, ever since the Third Quarter of 2004.
Positive only in the Visayas PGMA’s Net Satisfaction score is favorable only in the Visayas, where it grew to +6 in September from +2 last June.
It became slightly less negative in Metro Manila, at -41 now compared to –47 last June, and in the Balance of Luzon, at -10 now compared to –13 in June. InMindanaoit dipped insignificantly to –8 now, from –7 in June.
The President made a significant gain in rural areas, where those Satisfied grew from 34% in June to 42% in September, while those Dissatisfied fell from 46% to 43%, bringing her rural net score to –1 now compared to –12 previously, or a change to a neutral score from a previously unfavorable one. The balance from 100% are fence-sitters, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
In urban areas, on the other hand, those Satisfied were unchanged at 35%, while those Dissatisfied barely moved, from 50% to 51%, making her urban net score a clearly unfavorable –17 (correctly rounded), compared to –15 in June.
Thus the unfavorable national sentiment about the President is presently accounted for by strongly negative feelings in urban areas outbalancing neutral feelings in rural areas.