Assignment 1: Developing a Public Relations Plan, Part 1
Due Week 4 and worth 280 points Research a nonprofit organization that has faced a public relations crisis within the past few years.
Imagine that you were employed at this nonprofit at the time of the crisis and were tasked by the Board of Directors to develop a public relations plan to persuade the public that the facts of the matter are not as bad as what has been reported in the media. Write a 4-5 page paper in which you:
State the name of the organization and describe what its mission and purpose.
Explain in detail the facts of the event that generated the negative publicity and why this situation would create negative publicity.
Create the specific goals your campaign will try to achieve, and justify why you chose these goals.
Design and explain the steps you will take to achieve your goals.
Compose an evaluation plan and explain how you will use it to assess the outcome of your campaign.
The Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI) is one of the most frequently used measures of occupational stress. Its intention is to provide practical help to individuals and their organizations (Cooper et al., 1988). It was designed to measure the key components of the stress process and work study in a wide variety of organizations. The original occupational scale contained over 200 items scored on a 6-point Likert-type scale. The Indicator consists of one biographical questionnaire and six questionnaires each measuring different dimensions of stress. For example, source of stress, moderating factor in aspects of dealing with stress and the stressors affects on the individual and situation. The sources of pressure questionnaire have six subscales and are a measure of factors thought to have a role in the aetiology of occupational stress. There are three questionnaires for assessing moderating variables: these are for type A behaviour pattern with three subscales, locus of control with three subscales, and coping strategies with five subscales. A further three questionnaires for mental ill-health, physical ill-health, and job satisfaction (with six subscales), assess strain or `stress effects’. In simple terms, the OSI uses questionnaire statements to assess, a) how you feel about your job b) how you assess your current state of health, c) the way you behave generally, d) how you interpret events around you e) sources of pressure in your job, and f) how you cope with the stress you experience. OSI questionnaires are based on identifying three key elements of the stress process-effects, sources, and individual differences-and the scale places appraisal at the centre of the process. In particular, it is felt that it is not the demand or the source of pressure itself that is the issue; it is the perception of that pressure (Lazarus, 1966). It follows that the perception of individual differences such as coping and support and the perception of stress outcomes such as well-being and job satisfaction should also be measured. Pratt and Barling (1988) stated that it is as important to measure the interpretation that individuals give to an event as it is to measure the event itself. The recognition that appraisal plays a key role in the stress process makes it appropriate to use self-report questionnaires to measure stress at work. The essence behind the OSI was to provide a measurement scale, which would in turn provide a link between theoretical knowledge – in particular Lazarus (1966) Transactional Model – and empirical evidence. Before discussing alternatives, it is important to evaluate the strengths of the instrument – and assess the positive attributes that the indicator has provided for future research. Although self-report mechanisms of discovering data have had criticism for its susceptibility towards experimenter bias – i.e. participants lying for socially desirable reasons, or over-playing/down-playing their answers for personal means, self report instruments are a valuable way of seeking responses from the core source themselves. Thus responses are first hand – and not an interpretation from a second or third party. In regards to work related stress – it has been found that self- reported health is a good indicator of the health status (Farmer & Ferraro, 1997) and there is a positive relationship between self-reported health and self-efficacy (Parkatti, Deeg, Bosscher, & Launer, 1998). Thus, this may imply that self report responses collected from a measurement like the OSI may well yield valid responses in regards to their health and how this in turn may affect how they feel about their working environment and how they perform within it. There has been a considerable body of research that has investigated self-reported health and occupational stress. It is accepted that in work situations stress due to increased psychological demands and reduced job control is related to poor self- reported health (Andries et al., 1996). Therefore, asking employee’s to complete the complex occupational stress indicator questionnaires may indicate where this stress is coming from and how the person perceives they are dealing in the situation. The major advantage of the OSI is that it is a mechanism of which may highlight a potential damaging work-related stress problem – not only high-lighting the problem, but the scale attempts to highlight its source and potential solution as well. The OSI has been used extensively since its publication in 1988. However, up until the late 1990’s, the scale has not been changed or been amended in any way. A number of studies have reviewed the design and use of the questionnaire in attempt to test the psychometric properties of the OSI, and to see if the instrument could be improved. The original OSI suffered from being developed on the basis of a very small (N = 156) sample. Therefore, it was important in any evaluation of the scale to include a vast sample to prepare the analysis from. In attempt to evaluate the scale structure and reliability, Williams (1996) analyzed the data for over 20,000 participants working in over 100 different organizations. The data was collected between 1990 and the end of 1995 from a wide variety of organizations in the public and private sector in the United Kingdom. Accounting for errors, a sample of 4,455 individuals in total adds support to a great body of literature that presents a consistent picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the Occupational Stress Indicator. Through analyse, the scale appears strong at measuring job satisfaction, mental and physical health, and sources of pressure (Cooper & Bramwell, 1992; Rees & Cooper, 1992; Robertson et al., 1990). However, if the aim of the OSI questionnaires are to identify key elements of the stress process- e.g. the effects, sources, and individual differences-the indicator is somewhat flawed. The indicator is not so strong at evaluating the extend to which the individual feels in control of their situation (i.e. locus of control) or what behaviour, coping strategies people are most likely to adopt (Kirkcaldy, Cooper, Eysenck, &Brown, 1994). Thus, the scales seem to lack in the ability to address the fundamental issue of individual differences in the process of stress, and how one perceives and copes with their situation. Therefore, there is strong evidence to suggest that the scale itself needs improvement or redesign to account for this (Williams & Cooper, 1997). To discuss alternatives or improvements for the Occupational Stress Indicator – one needs to highlight how we define stress and how this definition is relevant in the work place. Stress can be regarded as the sum of total of environmental demands that tax our mental resources. For some (e.g. Lazarus, 1975), stress only has impact if we appraise it as threatening or harmful to ourselves. Symptoms of stress are varied but often present itself as some kind of strain in psychological, physiological, behavioural or physical health. Information about the individual and stress is often accumulated through self-report questionnaires. The most common (but not necessarily the strongest method) is through the use of a cross sectional design – such as the OSI. All data collected via this method is self-report and collected from the same people at the same time. There is danger in this approach – as it can often inflate the correlations observed between job-factors and the strain outcome, and this does not accurately indicate the direction of causality. Conclusions derived from such analysis are often in terms of ‘main effects’ (of work related factors) and modifiers (moderate, mediators – variables that serve to enhance or attenuate the effect of job stress). For example, the level of control or autonomy against level of work load put upon the individual. However, this does not clearly tell us whether these two variables are related or independent of each other. It is merely assumed that one causes the other. As mentioned before, the flaws of the OSI seem to be in its ability (or lack of ability) to reliably identify how one perceives their situation and addresses coping strategies to suit. Lazarus (1975) account of occupational stress is useful here. He purposes a transactional cognitive view of stress. Lazarus believes that it is not just the environment that needs to be taken into account when considering sources of stress, but also a look at the person and how they ‘fit’ into the environment. Lazarus (1975) believes that there is a transaction between the environment and the person. This transaction is only stressful if a) the person believes the outcome of behaviour is relevant to personal goals/beliefs and b) if the person recons that the environmental demands exceed the personal resources of the individual. Furthermore, every encounter between the environment and the person involves appraisal and coping strategies. Lazarus (1975) believes that since perception of the stressor is all important, it is pointless to pursue objective indicators of the environment. Rather it is this perception of the situation that indicators how stressed one will feel.>GET ANSWER