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Action Assembly Theory and Public Relations

Effective communication is like the key to the practice of public relations while understanding your target audience is like the door. 

Public Relations requires a need for not only indentifying your target audience, but also knowledge and understanding of their thoughts and behaviors.  The action assembly theory, which was developed by John Greene, helps us to understand the link between our audience’s cognitive thoughts and their behaviors.  Bryan Whaley and Wendy Samter explain that the action assembly theory “attempts to explain how people formulate meanings and produce verbal and nonverbal behaviors that bear some relations to those meanings by describing how the mind carries out these activities,” (Whaley, 2007, p.166). Central to this theory is that we know about things and how to do things, (Littlejohn, 2002, p.100).  This helps us to explain, why our thoughts determine our behaviors.

Greene described this theory by using a model airplane kit. Since they usually contain more pieces then what is actually needed to build the plane, (Greene, 2009, p.114).  The way that he explains his theory is that we use our own “procedural records that we have from our long term memory to construct the pieces together” to make the specific airplane we want, (Greene, 2009, p.115).

The action assembly theory opens the idea that you have to know what your target audience is thinking in order to predict/know what they are going to do. 

So, how does this relate to Public Relations?

I found a great explanation from a blog post by prgroup13. They said “Public relations requires a company to determine how an audience will react to its campaigning strategies. In order to do so, the company must figure out who its target audience is, find out what they are thinking and, therefore, discover the behavior tendencies of that specific audience. These behavior tendencies can be seen as a prediction for how audiences will react to the company’s campaigning strategies,”


Whaley, B. and Samter, S. (2007).  Explaing communications: contemporary theories and exemplars (chapter 9, p.166). Rertrieved from

 Greene, J. O., & Griffin, E. (2009). A First Look at Communication Theory (7thth ed.). McGraw-Hill. Retrieved January 25, 2010

Social Media Definition

Adam Vincenzini asked on Twitter and on his blog for people to share their definitions of “social media” with him, in 140 characters or fewer. Read through the list of definitions that were shared with Adam. Pick a few that resonate with you and discuss why these definitions “work” for you. Develop your OWN 140-character definition of social media.

As I approach my graduation date in May the word change is something that not only excites me, but also scares me at the same time. President Obama centered his entire presidential campaign on the same word. Change is something that is a scary thing for a lot of people. That is why I liked the definition that Trevor Young gave about social media. He said that “Social media is a catalyst for change – change in the way we connect with each other, change in the way businesses communicate with the world.” This change has opened many doors for the business world. Long gone are the days when you simply called the company to complain about something or give them praise. Now people are turning to their own social media outlets to do this. Letting not only the companies know, but also the masses.

Patti Schom-Moffatt stated that “Social Media is a tool for engaging with audiences comprised of people you would be unlikely to come across on your own.” I like this response because let’s face it… It’s the truth. Many of the people that read your companies tweet or those follow your blog or that you yourself follow will never have the opportunity to meet face-to-face. That’s the beauty of these outlets. These outlets let you immerse yourself in the thoughts and ideas from people millions of miles away. Through social media outlets, people living across the country have the opportunity to change something while sitting in front of their computer at home.

One other post that I really liked was by Paulat Cirkle, which stated that “Social media is a voice for the masses, a voice of endorsement & a voice of dissent. The power lies simply in listening,” for the sheer fact that it points out that everyone has a voice. I know that the voting system here is America is supposed to be a place where everyone “has a voice”, but this system is taken advantage of.  I feel that through social media outlets I do have a voice. I can write my opinion about something and even if people don’t listen at least I said it and it will forever be “spoken” on the web.  

So, now for my own 140 word definition of social media… It’s a combination of the three above along with another idea that I have about the world of social media.  I believe that…

 “Social Media is a vehicle of change- a change in which people do business, communicate with each other, and connect with the masses. It allows a voice for the masses, a way of communication with people you may have never met in your life time, and a way for you to express your own thoughts and ideas and “listen” to others. A change that will forever affect the way we discover and relate to the world and the way that the world relates personally to us.”- Meghan Beytagh

Social Media & Haiti

Moments after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, people all over the world were trying to figure out just what was going on. With the “normal” means of communication down after the earthquake, much of the information that has been received appeared from the more non-traditional routes of communication: such as social media networks. These networks include,, blogs,, and many more. Social media outlets have played a major role in the awareness aspect of not only the earthquake itself, but also about how to help relief efforts through donations. Many people learned about the earthquake through social media postings.

One of the most impressive companies utilizing such social mediums during this time has appeared to be the American Red Cross. Only a day after the earthquake hit, the American Red Cross implemented a donation service in which text messages were used to collect $10 contributions. In order to promote this service, the organization tweeted about it. In addition they are also streaming video and posting photos to their website daily to keep people updated about not only their ongoing recovery efforts, but also informing people about where exactly their donations are going. By streaming video on their website that shows relief aid being distributed to the Haitian people. They were also recipients from the “Hope for Haiti” television special that aired last night. The more than 100 volunteers that the American Red Cross has sent over to Haiti also have the means to twitter and upload things to the internet bring first hand information to the masses. Information about the effectiveness of these efforts won’t be published for a while. But as we can see, social mediums have forever changed the way information about disasters is not only received, but also the way in which we contribute help to the people affected.

Kell on Earth and Pop Culture’s View of Public Relations

Many people determine their attitudes about the public relations field by what they see being portrayed by pop culture through both television and movies. In the past, many television shows have showcased the “world of the public relations practitioner.” A few shows or movies that pop into my head are Sex in the City, Criminal Minds, Wag the Dog, Hitch, Thank You for Not Smoking and so many more.

The newest television series based on the PR field is Bravo’s new reality show Kell on Earth, which follows the fabulous Kelly Cutrone, who is the founder and co-owner of People’s Revolution and her staff. Airing on Bravo on Monday nights, the series takes a glimpse into the world that is known as Fashion PR. Only one episode has been released so far. With the round the clock schedule, high pace life, and the fact they are performing a different task for each of their clients its easily recognized from this episode that the public relations field is a crazy one. One in which the practitioner must take on many roles. Attracting not only the fans of the public relations industry, but all fashionista’s as well I think that this particular show will get more viewers than shows from the past.

As a PR student the two things that I took away from the first episode of the show is the importance of timing and organization when it comes to events and your company. Making sure that once tasks are divided up among your employees you should then have a board or task sheet where it is written on. I also recognized just how important timing is to planning events. Sometimes, like in this particular episode some, things beyond our control mess up at the last second. If they would have completed the task, in this case the seating chart, the day before the event then they would have been able to fix the problem without the client knowing.

Will this be good for the PR Industry?

            I think only time will tell. I was once told that around the same time that a popular TV series, portraying the public relations industry, receives a lot of fame…colleges who offer a degree in public relations usually sees a rise in the amount of people majoring in public relations.  However, I do think that this series will give a more in depth look at just one of the hats that public relations practitioners wear and show the world that what we do is worth hiring for.

Work Samples

Some of my work samples can be found below. Included in this list is a news release that I wrote for a non-profit health clinic that was on the verge of opening in Statesboro, Georgia, a flyer that I created for an event that I was involved with, a flyer that I created for a support group, and a business card that I created for myself.

  1. A Heartbeat Away from Opening
  2. Event Flyer
  3. Good Grief
  4. Business Card

Viral Video

For my social media class, one of my assignments was to create a viral video for a chosen client and then post it to Two of my class mates, Micaela Carter & Kati Ann Wright, and I completed the video for the Communication Arts Department at Georgia Southern University.


For one of my class assignments, my friend and fellow student Kati Ann Wright and I made a podcast about the social network/game Foursquare. Check on the link below to take a listen!

Watching the world change one social network at a time                           

 Presented by: Kati Ann Wright and Meghan Beytagh

Intro Song- R.E.M. 0-28 seconds

­What is Foursquare? 29-1:09 (Kati Ann) 

  • Facts

­Purpose: 1:10 – 2:14 (Meghan) 

  • Letting members share their locations with each other
  • Game-like, point sharing
  • Badges
  • Rankings

 ­   Customer Points/ Rewards/ Incentives of using Foursquare 2:15-2:44 (Kati Ann)

 ­   Business Opportunities through Foursquare 2:45-3:26 (Kati Ann/Meghan)

 ­   Caution with Foursquare 3:27-4:00 (Meghan/Kati Ann) 

 ­   Tips about Foursquare 4:01- 5:25 (Meghan)

 ­   Future Topics: 5:26- 6:21

  • The future of foursquare
  • How to move up in foursquare
  • Taking cautious measures when using foursquare
  • Interview with a local Statesboro Mayor on foursquare

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies Book Review

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us Book Review


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