Everyone on campus is part of your marketing department.
Parents and students
Alumni and donors
What is the value of good relationships for public relations and organizations?
Research suggests … that the value of public relations can be determined by measuring the quality of relationships with strategic publics. And, communication programs can be evaluated by measuring their effects and correlating them with the attributes of a good relationship.
When public relations helps the organization build relationships with key constituencies, it saves the organization money by reducing the costs of litigation, regulation, legislation, pressure campaigns, boycotts, or lost revenue that result from bad relationships. Public relations also helps the organization make money by cultivating relationships with donors, consumers, shareholders, and legislators who are needed to support
organizational goals. Good relationships with employees also increase the likelihood that they will be satisfied with the organization and their jobs, which makes them more likely to support and less likely to interfere with the mission of the organization.
Research on interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution suggests several strategies that organizations can use to maintain relationships with strategic constituencies. All of the concepts from research on interpersonal relationships can be applied to maintaining symmetrical public relationships, or those that benefit both the organization and publics:
Access — members of publics or opinion leaders provide access to public relations people.
Positivity — anything the organization or public does to make the relationship more enjoyable for the parties involved.
Openness — An associate vice president of university relations at a public university provided an example: “Much of what public relations in a public university is about is providing disclosure — saying, ‘Here is what we are doing with your money. Here is what’s going on. This is a public institution. Here’s what we do.’”
Assurances — attempts by parties in the relationship to assure the other parties that they and their concerns are legitimate.
Networking — organizations’ building networks or coalitions with the same groups that their publics do, such as environmentalists, unions, or community groups.
Reciprocity — The organization demonstrates its gratitude for supportive beliefs and behaviors.
Responsibility — The organization acts in a socially responsible manner to those who have supported it.
Reporting — The organization meets legal and ethical requirements of accountability.
Relationship nurturing — The organization accepts the importance of supportive publics and keeps them central to the organization’s consciousness. Providing information and involving publics are key to the organization’s work.
What are the outcomes of successful relationships?
Control mutuality — the degree to which parties agree on who has rightful power to influence one another.
Trust — one party’s level of confidence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party.
Satisfaction — the extent to which one party feels favorably toward the other because positive expectations about the relationship are reinforced.
Commitment — the extent to which one party believes and feels that the relationship is worth spending energy to maintain and promote.