Check your PR skills

Test: Message Formation

Case A (bio goods stores):

Four of your bio goods stores are located in the capital, one – regionally. You plan to expand and open two more stores of which one will be a part of a popular department store in the capital. Your company losses last year were 2500 Ls, turnover – 55 000 Ls. Total number of employees is 38 of which 6 are employees in new stores to be opened shortly. Your competitor, a large bio store chain, has expressed the wish to buy your business. Discussion over this business deal has not been finalized yet.


1) Would you need any publicity at this period?

Yes (5)
No (0)

2) What will be the essence of your press release?

Talks over the sale of your business (0)
Financial data (0)
Launch of new shops (5)
Number of employees (3)

3) What are target groups for your message?

Business media (0)
Complete media list from Internet resources (2)
Business and national media, as well as regional media (5)

4) What do you gain from publicity?

Support for your business activities (3)
Support for your marketing activities (5)
Nothing in particular (0)


Case B (state-financed hospital):

In the state-financed hospital last week, two new life-support systems were bought and installed. Total sum of the purchase was 30 000 Ls (equipment installment included).Last night one of the patients passed away probably due to technical problems with the new equipment. Relatives of deceased person have told the media that the brand new life-support machines most likely are defective and their purchase process shows signs of corruption. At the moment representatives of the equipment manufacturer have arrived to the hospital to become familiar with the situation that caused the patient’s death. Tommorow, in another unit of the hospital, four more life-support systems will be installed.


1) Is the hospital supposed to inform the media about the case of a patient’s death?

Yes (0)
No (5)

2) What is hospital supposed to emphasise when media approach them for more explanation?

Producer of the equipment is to be blamed (0)
Case is under investigation, therefore it is not possible to comment in detail (5)
New life-support machines will be accurately tested and there will be no more problems (2)
Provide media with detailed explanation on the public procurement of the equipment, suppliers, as well as the growing need for this type of equipment for the hospital (3)
No comment (1)

3) Should the hospital inform the media about 4 new life-support machines worth 350 000 Ls installment?

Inform today (0)
Inform tomorrow, after installment (2)
Inform in a week’s time after equipment is tested (5)
No need to inform (0)

4) What should be emphasised in the message about purchase of 4 new life-support machines worth 350 000?

Legal side of equipment purchasing process (4)
Control of equipment instalLment and maintenance (2)
Recent incident and emphasize there will be no more problems of this kind in the future (0)
Growing need and role of life-support machines in patient rehabilitation process (5)


Case C (a restaurant):

This month you celebrate your restaurant’s 20th anniversary (the oldest restaurant in Latvia). Over this period of time you have achieved around 8 – 12% turnover growth annually. This year your turnover is 400 000 Ls. Over the last 3 months, more and more tourists, especially from Great Britain and Ireland, visit your restaurant and make the growth of beverage consumption climb to 80%. Some of your regular foreign customers afterwards have gottrn into trouble with police due to disorderly conduct in Old Riga . Most of them had worn caps with your restaurant logo, given to clients whose bill was more than 50 Ls. Four British tourists have complained about poor quality of alcohol that in their opinion had caused loss of memory and unconsciousness. Often TV channels use your restaurant’s logo in the background when they talk about British tourist misbehaviour.


1) Do you need publicity in relation to your restaurant’s 20th anniversary?

Yes (5)
No (0)

2) Is it necessary to explain the case with the British tourists to media?

You should kindly ask the media to include restaurant’s comment about the situation with British tourists in their TV report or articles (5)
You should ask media not to create bad publicity about local company (2)
Try to turn the whole situation into the joke saying that British males cannot handle the local beer brand „Cēsu alus” (0)
No comment necessary (0)

3) Are you supposed to think about the restaurant’s long term reputation?

Yes, British tourists leave Latvia at some point whereas local customers may choose not to visit your restaurant (5)
Yes, you need to create the perception that you are a concerned and socially responsible company (2)
No, cash flow from tourists is stable and heavy, therefore we have not had to think about any reputation-building activities (0)
No, in the restaurant business, reputation does not mean much – good value for the money is all we need to offer (0)

4) 5) What should be done with regards to the restaurant’s 20th jubilee?

There should be a pleasant event held for partners and the media where you not only entertain everybody but also tell about your business’s history and achievements since it was launched (5)
Media correspondents should receive your restaurant’s gift vouchers so they think and talk about your restaurant positively (1)
Send a press release to a few media with emphasis on restaurant achievements over the last 20 years (2)
It is not worth giving out any information as no one will write about the restaurant anyway (0)


18-20 points (from each case) You possess a good understanding of message formation and role of marketing communication in further development of your company.

15 -18 points (from each case): Although you possess a good understanding of message formation and the role of marketing communication in the further development of your company, we recommend you deepen your knowledge about certain aspects of PR.

10-15 points (from each case): We recommend you learn the basics of message formation as your existing knowledge may not be sufficient to communicate crucial information about your company effectively.

0-10 points (from each case): Public Relations may help you in further development of your company, if you find out exactly how it works.


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