2.3 Information Tasks of Communication Professionals

A map of the world

News – CC0

Each of the mass communication professions – journalism, advertising, public relations – serve different information objectives for their organizations.

  • Journalistic organizations want to inform and engage the readers / viewers / listeners of their messages through publishing stories about current events, people, ideas, or useful tips. By providing compelling and interesting information they hope to draw an audience to the publications in which their messages appear.
  • Advertising firms create messages for their clients that inform or persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service or adopt an idea or perspective. Ads generally include a “call to action” that identifies the intended outcome of the message.
    Advertising vs. Public Relations

    Advertising vs PR – CC BY-NC 2.0 – Mark Smiciklas

  • Public relations firms help their clients influence legislators, stakeholders (ie: regulators, business partners, media organizations and the general public) to think positively about the company or organization and manage the organization’s information environment.

They serve these key objectives using a variety of message types. Let’s look at the different forms of media messages in news organizations, advertising agencies, and public relations firms and the information tasks of the professionals creating those messages.