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Avoid the Hustle

public relations

Your individual assignment is based on a recent media article, highlighting the critical importance of maintaining a positive reputation in public relations

First, read the article by Michael Usher posted recently on the ninemsn site. (
From a public relations perspective, the interest lies in the columnists’ comments about the importance of public attitudes towards shark culling in Western Australia.

In addition to reading the article discussed above, it is vital to conduct your own research to support your answers to the questions provided below. Concentrate on credible articles from the websites of respected international news organisations.You will also find an extensive amount of relevant material via the library’s scholarly electronic databases (see

Bear in mind that information is often posted on the Internet by people with a vested interest in the issues involved. Please take a critical approach to the sources you use. Remember to approach the assignment from a public relations/communication perspective, using the concepts and theories introduced in class as a framework. You are strongly encouraged to refer to other relevant real life examples to illustrate your answers.

Your assignment should specifically address the following THREE questions. You are recommended to answer each of these questions in turn, with a short overall introduction and conclusion. You MUST include a list of references cited at the end of your paper.

1. What has caused public opinion to turn against the Western Australian Government and how effective do you consider the Government’s efforts at managing the issue have been? Give reasons for your answer. What are the key lessons of this case for Governments in general?
2. Which of Grunig’s four models of public relations (Grunig and Hunt 1984) would be most appropriate to building public trust in the West Australian Government and its stance on shark culling.
3. What light does the story of shark culling in Western Australia shed on public relations in the new era of social media? How can Governments protect their reputations in the digital age?