Public relations Management
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Public relations Management Document Transcript

  • 1. Public relations for any company is essential for maintaining a positive image with consumers and thegeneral public. Part of practicing good public relations means alerting the media to the companysstance in response to public concerns, maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and being anactive member of the local community. Written communication is an essential part of a successfulpublic relations plan. Understanding the importance of written communication in public relationspractice will assist you in making good corporate policies.ContinuityWith properly structured written communication, there is less room for misinterpretation than withverbal communication. A single corporate statement on an issue that deals with public relations canbe circulated among company employees, the press and the general public. It allows the company tobe represented by a single statement and creates a sense of continuity. It is effective public relationspractice to make sure a company sends a single and consistent message.CollaborationWhen working on a single public relations statement, a company needs input from its departments.For example, a public relations statement regarding an incident that occurred in the manufacturingdivision needs to be reviewed by the management of the manufacturing division, the companysexecutive team and the corporate attorneys before being officially released. A written statementcreates a common template that all involved parties can work with to create a coherent pubic relationsstatement.Broad AppealA public relations professional must often address several different types of target audiences at thesame time. For example, a statement regarding a defective home cleaning product would need to bedirected to the companys customers, the distribution network and company employees, to name afew. A written public relations statement can be crafted by several public relations professionals toappeal to several target audiences at the same time and address concerns collectively.ReferencePublic relations policies are important to the image of the company. A good public image means apositive impression on your marketplace and your target audience. Written communication can becirculated and referred to by any member of the organization at any time. A written public relationspolicy or statement can be readily available for any marketing, sales or customer service staffmember who may need it. Oral communication is not as reliable in its accuracy , especially if it isbeing repeated second- or third-hand, and is not as easy to refer to quickly.
  • 2. 1. IntroductionThe shifting of management focus towards stakeholders rather than shareholdershaslead to the change in business communication and public relations. Public relationswhich is defined to be the strategic management function in most cases is nowfocused on building and maintaining an impeccable corporate reputation.Until relatively recently in many countries environmental issues rated little more thanan afterthought as governments looked for ways to compete in the global market andprovide sufficient food and healthcare.Today enlightened governments are anxious that industry does not to repeat the mistakesmade by the most developed countries and are working towards sustainableeconomic growth and environmental management.At the same time both governments and industries are increasingly attentive to theimage problemsthat can arise if a environmental considerations are ignored.Public Relations is completely about communication. The job of a public relations professional isto communicate information about a product or service to the public. There are several toolsused by public relations professionals. Writing press releases and engaging in proactive mediarelations are some of the most imortant things you can do as a PR professional. Public Relationsencompasses all forms of publicity, from new product publicity to product placement, crisismanagement and even the internet.Publicity is instrumental in introducing new products or repositioning existing products. How anorganization handles crisis management is also very important. Product placement is anothertool that involves public relations because where and how you place a product in the market willestablish brand awareness and create favorable or unfavorable attitudes about the product orservice. Consumer education and sponsorships are two other forms of communicating amessage about your product or service. Many public relations professionals use these forms ofcomunication to create a loyal customer that is not only well informed but also has a positiveimage of the organization. The internet is becoming more and more important as well as morepopular. A company website can be used to inroduce new products, get customer feedback, andcommunicate any number of things to the public.
  • 3. Public relations refers to the practice of enhancing an organization’s reputation in the eyes of public, stakeholders, employees, invesand all others associated with it. Public relations experts are specially hired by organizations who work hard towards maintaining braimage of organization.Communication plays an essential role in effective public relations. Two way communication between both the parties is essenand information must flow in its desired form between the organization and public. The receiver must understand what the sender intto communicate for an effective public relation. The receivers (public, target audience, stakeholders, employees, investors) must cleunderstand the sender’s message. (organization in this case).The message/information needs to create an impact in the minds of customers for an effective brand positioning.Communication needs to have a strong influence on the target audience for them to remain loyal towards the organization.In public relations, the receivers play a crucial role than the sender. The sender (organization) must ensure thatthe receivers interpret the information correctly and also give necessary feedbacks and reviews. It is reallyessential for the sender to understand its target audience. Public relations experts must do extensive researchand gather as much information as they can before planning any public relation activity. Public relation activitieswould go unnoticed if receivers to not understand it well. Public relation activities must be designed keeping inmind the benefits of the target audience for a better brand positioning.ExampleIn cases of hospitals, public relation activities would ensure a smooth flow of information between the hospitalauthorities or management and the patients and their immediate family members or relatives. Public relationsexperts from a hospital in a rural area must plan and design their activities in the local language for receivers tointerpret and respond well. If the hospital authorities interact in a language not understood by the patients, no realcommunication takes place and eventually the effect of public relation activities get nullified.Further the needs of the target audience must be understood well. Remember public relation activities aredesigned to position an organization in the best light. This happens only when the target audiences are fullysatisfied with its services/products. Understand what your target audiences expect from you to design publicrelations activities for the maximum and desired impact. Make sure your target audiences understand what youintend to communicate.Let us understand the role of communication in public relations through a simple example.Peter planned for a vacation with his family to an unexplored destination. He made sure he had map of theparticular place which would help him with the directions and roads of the place.What is the map doing in the above example ?It is just guiding Peter about this new place. In other words, the map is communicating in an effective manner sothat Peter does not get lost.What if Peter does not understand the map ?Communication is incompleteWhat if Peter understands the map ?This is a case of two way communication where Peter is able to interpret what the map intends to communicate.A simple example of two way communication.Public relation experts must ensure: Message reaches the receiver (public) in its correct form. Audiences agree to the message They respond accordingly and give necessary feedbacks.
  • 4. The Importance of Public Relations to Businesses ofAll Shapes & SizesHow does a small business do PR? Public relations is not just for largecorporations—even a small business benefits from good public relations. To havegood public relations does not mean you need to hire an expensive PR firm. Todevelop a plan, think about your audience. This includes more than just customers.Additional members of your audience may be local media or employees. Use theseadditional resources to communicate your message.Dont shy away from media, but instead use it as another tool to communicate andreach a larger audience. By hearing positive information from a third party,consumers are more likely to engage in communications with your business. If anemployee enjoys working for a company, that person may tell others about the goodwork of your business. Your internal communications are just as important as yourexternal communications.Also, think about how your audience wants to communicate with your company andreceive information. Your message must be timely and well thought-out to impactyour audience. Be sure to include a crisis communications strategy in your plan. In acrisis, PR can go a long way to show the public that you are open and honest. Howyou handle a crisis will determine how your business or brand is viewed in theaftermath.Join a professional organization. Professional organizations in any field offeropportunities to learn more about current and upcoming trends in your profession.Such organizations are great opportunities for business professionals to gainknowledge on multiple topics through regular organizational meetings. Theseorganizations provide knowledgeable speakers and resource links to assistprofessionals. A professional organization also allows you to network with individualsin your field and find out what other companies are doing to enhance their publicrelations. Research an organization or attend a meeting before joining to find thebest organization that meets your needs
  • 5. The Importance of Public RelationsPublic relations professionals do more than draft press releases and build relationships with keymedia representatives. They must also be familiar with the attitudes and concerns of consumers,employees, public interest groups, and the community in order to establish and maintain cooperativeworking relationships.In addition to fulfilling their traditional role of getting a companys message out to its audience, thosewho have completed their studies in communications and public relations may also be responsible fordeveloping and running programs designed to keep the lines of communication open betweencompany and organization representatives and their various audiences. This might include suchactivities as scheduling speaking engagements for key company staff and speech writing.Why is Public Relations Important?At its core, public relations revolves around this universal truth: people act based upon theirperception of facts. By managing, controlling, or influencing peoples perceptions, public relationsprofessionals hope to initiate a sequence of behaviors that will lead to the achievement of anorganizations objectives. When those in public relations successfully create, change, or reinforceopinion through persuasion, their primary objective is accomplished.How Does Public Relations Work?Public relations professionals follow a set of principles in order to achieve success. Most campaignsbegin with the identification of the problem or challenge, then move on to setting the public relationsgoal. In order to achieve the goal, the public relations specialist crafts persuasive messages andimplements key communication tactics while monitoring progress and fine tuning as necessary.Career Opportunities in Public RelationsThose who have either earned their degree from an accredited communications and public relationseducational program, or obtained a public relations graduate certificate, have a wide variety of careeroptions. Jobs range from being employed by an individual, such as celebrity publicists, to large firms,such as corporate public relations managers and executives.Public Relations for the Stars: PublicistsPublicists can turn a little known actor into a household word. In essence, they are responsible fornurturing and shaping a stars career by creating an image though various public relations activities.Sometimes known as publicity agents, publicists work to get their clients the right kind of presscoverage and help them to restore or "reinvent" their public image if its been damaged. One of thebest known publicists is Lois Smith. Over the course of her career she has worked with stars and filmdirectors including Marilyn Monroe, Meryl Streep, Rosie ODonnell, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins,Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford, and Steven Soderbergh.Working For Companies: Public Relations FirmsWhile some companies keep the function of public relations entirely in house, others opt to outsourceall public relations functions. Others strike a balance in which in-house public relations efforts arecomplemented by the work of an outside agency. A good example of an agency campaign that hasincreased product sales while raising awareness and establishing a company as a concernedcorporate citizen is Yoplaits "Save Lids to Save Lives" campaign.
  • 6. Effective Communication and Public Relations3. The Ten Golden Rules of Public Relations3.1 Plan ahead, set out the long-term goals of the organization and determinethe image you wish to convey to others.3.2 Assign responsibility for Public Relations matters with clear objectives andaccountability. Do not assume that in a crisis someone will know what to doand how to do it.3.3 Nominate the spokesperson for all or each of the various likely issues, so thateverybody knows and understands their role.3.4 Be proactive, not reactive. Dont work in a vacuum and behave like a "cuttlefish" only reacting when you are attacked and about to be eaten alive. Todayassume that in our business there is always the potential for criticism. Use"early warning radar" to gather information and seek out likely problems. Atthe same time dont hesitate to broadcast the outstanding achievements ofthe organization, especially in the areas of quality, care and concern.3.5 Instigate outreach programs to the community, the schools, local authoritiesand welfare organizations. Assist these groups with fund raising and expertresourcing to meet special needs.3.6 Dont hesitate to report achievements, for good environmental performance,new product lines and most important involve others so that there is a widerange of activities to broadcast.3.7 Join the Industry Organizations applicable to your business sector. Theseorganizations provide an invaluable legal and advocacy service to theirrespective sectors ensuring that your interests are represented at the highest levels both nationally and internationally.3.8 Have procedures in place to respond to any complaint or crisis in a timelymanner.3.9 To facilitate an effective response to any situation, good or bad, maintain anup to date media database so that the "shakers and movers" can be contacted easily.3.10 Above all in the normal course of business make time to meet with community and government leaders, media professionals and employees. Do thiswithout an agenda and use the time to listen and get to know the people thatare important messengers. The time will come when you need their help andit is important when that time comes that they know you are a person theycan trust.
  • 7. Importance of Corporate Public Relationsin BusinessesA corporate entity, like any other individual, exists in a society. It needs to establish, nourish andmaintain relationships with various members of the society for its existence. For establishing,nourishing and maintaining healthy and sustaining relationships one needs to communicate effectivelyand consistently. Here comes the role of Corporate Public Relations. According to the book Essentialsof Corporate Communication by Cees van Riel and Charles Fombrun the term CorporateCommunication can be defined as “the set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating allinternal and external communications aimed at creating favorable starting points with stakeholders onwhich the company depends.”The role of a Public Relations Officer (PRO) in communicating the right information, in the right way tothe right group of people is very crucial. A PRO must be able to disseminate accurate information on atimely basis to the concerned group of “Public”. By doing so he/she will earn reputation, credibility andauthenticity for the respective corporate entity. A PRO deals with various “Publics”. “Publics” includeemployees, stakeholders, government, channel partners, educational institutes, media, industrybodies and institutes, agencies, customers and general public. A PRO is in short the face of acorporate entity and helps build a Corporate Image that is unique to the company.Corporate Public Relations sometimes act like a firefighter for the company. It emerges as a savior atthe time of crisis. It was just because of a strong PR strategic campaign that the Cadbury wormcontroversy was put out. Similar is the case with Nokia battery blast case. A PR campaign begins withthe identification of the problem or challenge, setting the public relations’ goal and priorities, andexecuting the plan efficiently and accuracy. In the process of executing the PR campaign a PRO mustbe swift in conceptualizing relevant messages and disseminate them through proper channels to theconcerned party.Corporate Communications Department of a company helps to connect with the pulse of its public. Itcan be personified as five senses, as far as a company is concerned. It feels, communicates andsenses, the joy, threats and opportunities lurking in the society, waiting to be explored.