Статья 'К вопросу определения понятий имиджевого и пиар-текстов в современном медиапространстве ' - журнал 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
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On the issue of defining the concepts of image and PR texts in the modern media space

Mrug Kristina Vladimirovna

Postgraduate student, Department of Theory and History of Journalism, Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117192, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10/2, office 647

mrug_kristina@internet.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.11.68890

EDN:

DMJFON

Received:

03-11-2023


Published:

10-11-2023


Abstract: The subject of this article is the image and business reputation, which are largely determined by a huge corpus of various image and PR texts created daily within the framework of numerous mass media. The purpose of the work is to give definitions of the concepts of image and PR texts in the modern media space, to determine their similarities and differences through content and discourse analysis of materials of scientific periodicals. Socio-political, social and economic media texts in the Russian media space have many distinctive linguistic and non-linguistic features due to the national specifics and social development of our country. Reputation is often formed not only by image media texts, but also by a number of other types of texts represented in mass media with image potential.   The scientific novelty of the study lies in the fact that with the existing problem of typologization of media texts, the hypothesis is introduced that PR texts in their broad sense are nothing more than a subgroup of image media texts present in the media field of the main spheres – journalism, advertising and PR activities. The author comes to the conclusion that the instability and dynamism of the terminological apparatus gives a certain "freedom" of action when selecting research material. The ways in which image specialists work and the genre nature of image media texts themselves have become much more complicated. Image media texts can be considered as journalistic text, advertising text, PR text.


Keywords:

look, image, media text, PR text, media space, public opinion, typology of the text, genres, media consumer, Media

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

When considering an image as a reflection of a real concept or a real object, it can be argued that any media text can be attributed to an image media text in its deep ontological sense, since in its reproduction, it modifies reality, endows this reproduction with specific characteristics set by the purpose and addressee of the media text.

It is important to understand here that the perception of a modern media consumer is predisposed to recognize the most reliable not a specific prototype, but its media representation, which is explained by the speed of information flows, their rapid technological development.

Indeed, there is no confirmation of whether there has been another powerful release of solar energy, as they write in the media – the audience can only be convinced of this from the messages broadcast in the media space.

According to researcher G. G. Pocheptsov, there are four situations when we react not to reality, but to image [1, p.43]:

1. Choosing the best consumer service for ourselves, for example, a bank, airline or travel agency, we rely on a reputation image. As a rule, we cannot evaluate a service provider based on audits or annual reports, so we rely on what we read about him in the media.

2. Political image. Since most voters do not personally know the politicians they choose, they are forced to rely on the image that his image makers create.

3. The commodification image (the image of a certain product). Consumers who have to choose between similar brands and names proceed from a purely symbolic difference between substitutes (for example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola drinks), which was deliberately created by specialists in the field of advertising and media.

4. As part of the intangible assets of the company, the image of the enterprise (company) is purposefully formed. In the case of a sale, the image and / or reputation of the company is transformed into value, the vector of which can be directed both to increase and decrease.

Other images can also be included in this list, such as the image of a social group, nation, state, and even the image of an idea, because the modern media sphere has a huge potential that allows you to regularly expand the range of images.

All of the above in total demonstrates that the phenomenon of image is revealed only in the context of the functionality of consumers of information, ideas, services, goods.

Taking into account the specifics of modern society, individuals involved in information flows under the influence of public opinion, as a rule, prioritize the control of their activities in terms of their media representation over the real result. In the presence of fierce competition for public attention, consisting in the apperception of media texts, this fact cannot be ignored.   

The wide recognition by the audience of a person/fact/ phenomenon, reinforced by ratings, social sociological surveys, massive media replication, turns into public capital with the resulting financial and economic advantage.    

Image is the central concept of imagology, which studies the formation, preservation and change of images. Etymologically, this concept goes back to the Latin word "imago" – "I exist, I am" [2, p.72]. The practice of creating and using images in the eyes of other people arose a long time ago. For example, G. G. Pocheptsov gives an example of how Genghis Khan's troops, before starting to act, spread rumors about their cruelty, which helped them conquer cities.

Researchers studying image also cite as an example the behavior of the Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, acting on the basis of people's reactions to his words and actions, and corrected his further behavior in the direction he needed.

The concept of image has been actively studied since the beginning of the XX century by leading scientists from among sociologists, political scientists, psychologists. Here it is necessary to mention the names of A. Adler, M. Weber, J. Kelly, G. Lebon, J. G. Mead, G. Allport, T. Parsons, Z. Freud, E. Fromm, R. Anthony, K. Jung.

The English word "image" has at least five meanings [3, p.73]: "icon", "idol (statue)", "metaphor", "image", "likeness". However, the most frequent in use is "image" as "image". Domestic researchers use this concept as a direct tracing paper. However, it should be understood that the semantics of the word "image" differs from the semantic content of the word "image".  The concept of "image" is devoid of an applied function, it is broader.  The image, on the contrary, is purposefully formed by a certain group of people to influence other certain groups in order to cause a programmed reaction. Therefore, unlike the image, the image is artificially created, programmed in detail from the position of form and distribution in the media environment.

In fiction, images are also formed synthetically, but they are distinguished from media image by artistic and aesthetic qualities, expressiveness, integrity, independence, emotionality and the indispensable presence of contradictions. The task of the creator of an artistic image is not to "please" the reader-listener-viewer, but to ensure that the formed image evokes a constant emotional response from the audience.

The task of image-forming PR specialists and journalists is to present the true archetype of the image in its positive aspect and get a positive reaction for profitable "marketing" of the image in the media space.

Researcher D. M. Majorov by image means a consciously constructed image of an object – an organization, a professional group, a person, a product, etc. – which consists of structurally related meanings and emotions of various elements. This intentionally created image through emotional and psychological influence should be positively perceived by the audience [4, p.16].

The complex structure of the image includes a number of components or specific definitions that provide answers to questions about the object and cause proper associations. These are the so-called image characteristics, which should be in close connection with the object of the image and carry specific meanings and emotions as structural elements.

Actually, image characteristics become the so-called structural material for image texts, which eventually form the necessary image of the object in the media space [5, p.37].

It should be recognized that the image-forming media text is similar to a PR text in a number of ways, since the PR sphere implies the promotion of a basic subject - a company, an event, a person – through its popularization, positioning and formation of public opinion purely in a positive context. Here, the development, maintenance and maintenance of the image is carried out through selected media channels [6, p.374].

 "By a PR text, we mean a simple or combined text containing PR information initiated by a basic PR subject, functioning in the space of public communications, serving the purposes of forming or incrementing the public capital of this basic PR subject, addressed to a certain segment of the public, having hidden (or much less often direct) authorship, distributed by direct mailing, through personal delivery or mediated through the media" [7, p.52].

Based on the basic subject exposed to PR, we identify three features inherent in most public relations texts. This is initiation from the most basic subject, optimization and selectivity.  

Optimization in this way implies the use of available resources in order to create a positive communication background around the PR subject; selectivity - the search and selection of factors that are most advantageous for subsequent media promotion.      

The main tasks of PR-oriented texts include:

1) informing the audience about the functioning/activity of the basic subject;

2) formation of the most loyal communication background for the activities of the basic PR subject, which gives the greatest effect;   

3) image construction and increment of public capital [8].

Based on this, we believe that the tasks and signs of PR-oriented texts can also be attributed to the image media text.

However , a number of significant differences should be noted:

- image media texts do not always contribute to the creation of a positive communication background around the PR subject;

- as a rule, PR-oriented texts are a commercial agreement between the customer of the text and its author; they are characterized by the integrity of the composition, thematic and stylistic consistency.

- PR texts are not characterized by rhetorical questions, consideration of opposing points of view, expressed author's position, an open ending, and an image media text may well have these characteristics [5, p. 38].

Thus, we believe that PR texts in their broad sense are nothing more than a subgroup of image media texts present in the media field of the main areas - journalism, advertising and PR activities.

However, a number of researchers specializing in journalistic, advertising and PR texts consider image media texts as a genre definition, on the contrary, as a subgroup of PR texts. In the work of N. A. Kuzmina, this point of view is used in the classification of PR texts [6, p. 378]. In turn, image texts are also referred to the subgroup of PR texts by researcher S. S. Shlyakhova, arguing this by the nature of the presentation of information [9, p. 7].

The problem of typologization is relevant today not only for media texts, it continues to remain open to the whole of linguistics. Well-established terms are difficult to find even in areas that differ in their conservatism and stability [5, p. 38]. The meaning of the concepts used is influenced by many factors – progress, conjuncture, time, etc. Moreover, practice and theory do not always coincide: while scientists propose and subsequently fix certain strict definitions, in professional activity communication is conducted in their own language, different from the normative one [10, p. 23].

The instability and dynamism of the terminological apparatus give us some freedom of action when selecting research material. Image media texts can be viewed in a narrow and broad interpretation: as a journalistic text, as an advertising text and a PR text, which contain the image attributes of an event, phenomenon, action. Proceeding from this, we agree with D. M. Mazhorov, who distinguishes image texts and non-image texts [11, p. 305].

The first group includes texts of image and social advertising, as well as PR texts, i.e. texts aimed at forming and correcting the image of the described person, event, event. The second group includes texts of a journalistic and advertising nature, potentially able to influence a particular image.

Defining image media texts, researchers often emphasize the difficulty of creating a positive public opinion about the displayed person/object/phenomenon, as well as the fact that image media texts do not relate to problematic and/or crisis situations [12, p. 582].

The image created and formed in the media space does not exist without anyone's efforts. It is interesting to note here that with the actions of a large number of image makers, directly opposite results are often achieved. The most famous example is the presidential elections in the United States in recent years, when the winner was not the favorite of the presidential race. Similar situations began to arise in elections in other countries, as if according to a single PR scenario. Often repeated positive information about something or someone in the media raises doubts among the audience about its reliability. This can be explained by the information saturation of the audience, the monotony of the PR tools used and, more importantly, the loss of trust in the media as a whole.   

In these conditions, the ways of image specialists' work and the genre nature of image media texts have become much more complicated.

 

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Peer Review

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The article presented for consideration "On the issue of defining the concepts of image and PR texts in the modern media space", proposed for publication in the journal "Litera", is undoubtedly relevant, due to the importance of considering the features of media texts. As you know, in the context of the development of the information society, the possibilities of mass media are significantly increasing – it is not only a channel of information, but also a tool for influencing a mass audience. Note the presence of a relatively small number of studies on this topic in domestic journalism. The article is innovative, one of the first in Russian linguistics devoted to the study of such issues. The article presents a research methodology, the choice of which is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the work. The author turns, among other things, to various methods to confirm the hypothesis put forward. The main methods were content analysis, logical-semantic analysis, hermeneutical and comparative methods. The practical material of the study is unclear, namely, what is the basis of the study, what is the language corpus selected for the work? This work was done professionally, in compliance with the basic canons of scientific research. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing a statement of the problem, the main part, traditionally starting with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and a final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. It should be noted that the introductory part does not contain information from the history of the study of the issue, the author does not cite the main concepts and scientific directions, which does not allow us to highlight the increment of scientific knowledge made by the author. The conclusions of the article do not fully reflect the conducted research and require clarification. The bibliography of the article contains 12 sources exclusively in Russian. We believe that the work of foreign scientists would enrich the present work. There are undoubtedly more references to fundamental works, such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. The article violates the generally accepted alphabetical order of sources according to GOST. Typos, grammatical and stylistic errors have not been identified. The comments made are not significant and do not detract from the overall positive impression of the reviewed work. The work is innovative, representing the author's vision of solving the issue under consideration and may have a logical continuation in further research. The practical significance of the research lies in the possibility of using its results in the process of teaching university courses in linguistics, media discourse, as well as in the practical training of future journalists. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The article "On the issue of defining the concepts of image and PR texts in the modern media space" can be recommended for publication in a scientific journal.
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