Public Relations: Issue Proposal & Research Sample
Assignment 1 - Public Relations: Issue Proposal & Research Sample
Section A: Issue Proposal
1. Problem/Opportunity Statement
How can the use of strategies in public relations of the Queensland Police help reduce indigenous mortality rates caused by road accidents?
2. Background of the Organization
The Queensland Police Force was formed in 1864, and has four divisions, namely, Metropolitan Police, Water Police, Rural Police, and Native Police. It has been renamed the Queensland Police Service in 1989, and in 2004, it already has 9003 sworn staff and 2994 staff members (1993). The Queensland Police Service is the body responsible for the provision of police services to Queensland, with the best interests of the community. It aims to conduct its services with efficiency, impartiality, and integrity; it aims to obey the spirit and letter of the law with the provision of all relevant statutes, regulations, and instructions; and aims to prioritize the duties in the community over other private interests of officers ( 1993). In addition to such duties, the Queensland Police Service also aims to develop and maintain effective interrelations between the Service and the Aborigines and other members of multicultural communities in the area. They serve to promote cultural understanding among the Australian society, given the diversity, a variety of multicultural backgrounds, and cultural differences among the citizens of the community ( 2005). Given such responsibilities, the duties of the Queensland Police Service also include the protection of the Aborigines and other multicultural members of the community, and this protection encompasses their actions in preventing deaths, accidents, and injuries to the members of the community. As such, the Service comes up with strategies, including policies and programs that aim to protect the total well-being of the citizens.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 80% of fatal road accidents involve indigenous people, with 26 individuals in every 100,000 die in road accidents (2007). With the high mortality rate of indigenous people caused by road accidents, it can be perceived that the role of the police and the service must be crucial in coming up with programs and policies that would serve to alleviate such incidences. In comparison with non-indigenous individuals, there is an increase risk of road deaths and accidents in indigenous people because they are the ones having high frequencies of long-distance travel, higher speeds on unsurfaced roads, and reduced accessibility to emergency health services in rural areas ( 2005). In addition, the differences in lifestyle, education and culture between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples may serve to influence the increase in road accidents and deaths of indigenous individuals. In this regard, because the Queensland Police Service is the primary agency responsible for the protection of the overall well-being of the citizens, most especially of indigenous people, this must be the agency called upon to provide solutions to the alarming increase in the number of road deaths involving indigenous individuals. As such, the Service’s good and powerful public relations must be put in to use in order to contribute effectively and efficient in terms of law and order in the Queensland society. However, it has been reported that safety programs that focus only risks in the physical environment would not be effective, as a number of stressors and factors increase the risks for accidents and deaths, including poverty, individual, family and community conflict, and their impact across generations. In addition, the vulnerability and the greater proportion of children and the younger generation comprising the total population of indigenous people require a particular and culturally appropriate emphasis in terms of strategies (“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Safety Promotion Strategy”, 2005). With this dilemma, the expertise and the services of the Queensland Service would not be sufficient, thus, needing the support of other agencies, such as the Queensland Transport. In this regard, because the Queensland Police Service needs the help and support of other agencies regarding the problem, using the Queensland Police Service as reference for this study would help the researcher generate and obtain relevant information on the different public relations strategies needed. More importantly, the researcher would also be able to analyze and assess the different public relations strategies used by other agencies, which would be useful for recommendations and conclusions for the Queensland Police Service.
4. Research Methodology
For this study, the researcher would determine first the problems involved in causing the deaths and the accidents of many indigenous people in a certain territory in Queensland, including problems in road signs, license, road courtesy, pedestrian crossing, cultural problems, and other road problems and concerns of the indigenous people that may cause road accidents and related deaths. This will be done using a positivistic approach, specifically through a descriptive and analytical survey. The survey for in this study would not be using a written survey, but data collection will be done using a face-to-face interview to ensure that education and literacy would not be a hindrance if a written survey would be used. A random sampling method of the general indigenous public would be used to make sure that all participants are given equal opportunities to participate in the study. In support of the data gathered, analysis would be done with the help of secondary data from printed sources, such as academic and professional journal articles, magazines articles, books, and online researches to have a strong foundation of the whole study. As a coding element, only recent journals, books, and other printed materials would be used as sources of the study, with support from Australian published materials and other international relevant sources. In addition, the basis for relevance of the sources would depend on the age of the printed materials, thus, this study would only consider materials dated not more than 8 years. The gathered data will then be analyzed, using the SPSS or the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, and presented using charts, tables, and graphs for efficient and effective tabulation and analysis. These data, along with the secondary sources used would be utilized in order to make conclusions and recommendations on the last part of the study.
For its timeframe, the study is expected to be finished for approximately two months or eight weeks. The first week is dedicated to the approval of the proposal. The second to third week is dedicated to field research, such as data gathering and survey. The fourth to sixth week is dedicated to the documentation of the research and the writing of the draft. The seventh week is dedicated to the review and modifications of the research, and the last week is for the analysis of the data and presentation of the research.
5. Public Relations Principles
Two related public relations principles can be used in order represent learning from the study, namely, accountability and integrity. Accountability can be defined as the willingness to take responsibility for action and outcome; delivering what one promised to deliver; accepting good and bad outcomes; owning up to mistakes and taking responsibility for one’s actions; and honoring obligations, expectations, and requirements. On the other hand, integrity is doing the right thing regardless of consequences; involves fairness, honesty, openness, transparency, and law obedience (2004). Accountability and integrity are the two chosen public relations principles, for they are the evident values to be exhibited by the members of the Queensland Police Service. With accountability, members of the Queensland Police Service serve responsible for every policies and regulations being implemented, along with protecting and upholding order and justice in a multicultural society. Integrity was also chosen as this value or principle can be used in order to enhance public relations in providing solutions to the problems regarding indigenous deaths and accidents.
Section B: Research Items
Research Item # 1
Item title: The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Drivers Licensing Program Introduction
Item description: program/policy
Item source: press release
Page number: 1-3
Author/s: Queensland Transport and Queensland Police Service
Date of publication: 2006, August
Justification of article selection: The article is relevant because it talks about the proper licensing of Aborigines in Queensland, which must be taken note of in order to further understand the causes of the road accidents and deaths.
- Presents a positive view - support for the actions of the Queensland Police Service
- Stakeholders – Aborigines, for the policies and programs are made for their convenience
- Public relations principle - accountability
Research Item # 2
Item title: Profile of Road Safety among Indigenous Australians
Item description: discussion paper
Item source: forum and working group
Page number: 1-17
Author/s: Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Date of publication: 2004, 27-28 September
Justification of article selection: The report is relevant to the study because it presents the demographic profile of the indigenous people victimized by road accidents and deaths.
- Develops a negative direction - different causes of accidents and risks that cause the deaths of the indigenous people
- Stakeholders - both the indigenous people and the government
- Public relations principle - integrity
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