The Role of Public Relations in an Organization

Everyone knows that several factors are responsible for the success story of an organization. These factors include reputation and image of an organization and communication with public. Public relations are concerned with reputation, image and communication of public and organization. The enhancement of reputation of an organization is a main goal of Public Relation Department. The employees of Public Relations are known as PR. They represent the company in outside world at its best.

In the highly competitive world of modern business, every organization needs a stand in the crowd and to uniquely identify in front of public and media. PR basically engage with development of suitable relations of any organization with public via different communication media and tools. These Relations are those necessary activities which assess and determine belief, approach, and thinking of public towards organization. Public and media play an integral role in the development of business. Public is the ultimate buyer of our products and media is responsible for selling of these products. PR helps any organization to attain its full prospective. They provide feedback of public to company.

The role of PR in an organization is immense and wider scope, which includes:

  1. Prepare feedback from public and decide the areas of improvement in organization.
  2. Create rapport and goodwill of organization in the key market and public.
  3. Image and reputation of company in different magazines and articles in media and its publications.
  4. Evaluate and monitor media tools for public views and comments regarding company and its reputation.
  5. PR is also a part of marketing communication, which involves in advertising, direct sales and promotions.

Several functions are associated with PR in an organization. The main functions are community relationship, crisis communication, financial relations, employee’s relations, and government and political relations.

Community relations refer to those activities which bridge the gap between company and community. The main goal is to improve image and reputation of organization in any community. Crisis communications give the right and accurate information about organization in the time of any mishappening and accident. Wrong information leads to negative image of organization. PR plays an important part to update public in the time of emergencies and natural calamities. Financial relations provide information to the investors and stakeholders. It communicates with all types of groups and individuals for accurate operation of business. These activities enhance goodwill and image of organization.

Employee relations are the way to interact with customers in several ways. The employee’s reputation is the key player in company’s reputation. Political and government relations define influence for policymaking and different legislation for the betterment of organization.

We can say that PR is the basic of firm relationship between public and organization. The strong bonding of the companies and customers is the key goal of Public Relations.

Find Out How Public Relations Specialists Can Make a Difference For Your Business

A study recently proved that the top-earning company positions are usually the ones that didn’t even exist decades ago. Such positions include Public Relations Specialists, Public Relations Officer, Brand Manager, etc. Most of these positions are in the field of marketing, and today marketing is a very powerful and influential force.

One of the most powerful wings of marketing is Public Relations. According to a reputable online dictionary, Public Relations as it relates to business is referred to as the “practice of managing the communication between an organization and the public”. Public relations gains an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.

Simple logic tells you that every company needs the public AND its favorable perception to keep the sales going.

Remember that one of the most important things in selling is image. We like buying products and services from a company which appears good, fair, and even altruistic to us. This is why we like buying from programs which aim to donate a portion of their profit to charity or are programs which use advocacy posters to promote their products. Conversely, a company which the public views as having a bad image (like a scam, tax evasion, poor employee treatment, etc.) will most likely incur a loss because people won’t buy their products/services anymore. People don’t want to be associated with such a bad image.

All of this hullabaloo may be summarized with this powerful thought: no matter what you do, people will always judge the book by its cover.

So if you own a business, invest a lot in creating a very good image for your business. You’ll want your name to resound with a sense of goodness all over the market. You’ll want people to feel proud when they are affiliated with your company. You’ll want the press to say good things about you even when you don’t pay them for advertising. The best public relations specialists always bring out the best in your company.

Don’t fret, because there are a lot of avenues for landing with the best PR specialists. You can find them through word of mouth, by approaching contacts from big and successful companies, through asking people in the advertising/ pubic relations industry, and even by using interactive forums via the Internet. Whichever name resounds the most, that person is probably one of the best in his line.

Public Relations is Not a Vending Machine For News Coverage, Despite What Some Prospects Imagine

A Wisconsin entrepreneur’s online offer might be amusing if it didn’t reflect a distorted view of marketing communicators. At a professional discussion area, a personal care products firm owner currently proposes this “challenge for public relations firms”:

If you can get my product written up in the following newspapers, we will pay you an agreed-upon fixed price.

A publicity vending machine, in other words, except that the client will deposit money after his selections are dispensed. Sounds like a business model inspired by J. Wellington Wimpy of Popeye comics fame, who famously said: “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

What flips this proposed Agreement From the World of Bizarro from comical to cautionary is the belief – not confined to one Milwaukee-area business owner – that public relations = buying media coverage. In newspapers, of all places.

Look at how the question posted March 24, 2010 on LinkedIn begins:

PR firms always suggest they can get your company/product published in major newspapers around the USA.

Really? In what alt.universe?

As any reputable PR firm or adviser would say at the first discussion, media relations is just one tactic — an increasingly less important one — of strategic marketing communications.

Editorial placements in newspapers generally are far from the main objective in an era when consumer and B2B buying decisions are influenced more heavily by online reviews, searches, blogs and social media. SEO, blogger relations and social media engagement are more important than getting one reporter at a time to mention a company or product.

“This is a very superficial approach to building and sustaining your corporate image,” comments Jed Nitzberg, owner of Flashlight Marketing Communications of Marietta, Ga., in response to the posting. “No serious professional would do this type of ‘pay for play” model. And anyone who ‘guarantees’ coverage is blowing smoke up your you-know-what.”

Moreover, before an agency could attempt to earn meaningful coverage for the Wisconsin prospect’s home-haircutting appliance or “spinal care system,” its team would develop points of distinction and newsworthy pitches based on:

  • Market research
  • Competitive analysis
  • Industry best practices
  • Identity branding or rebranding
  • Message development
  • Other campaign prep

“In the vast majority of cases, PR pros deliver proven results for companies that actually have a story to tell,” notes a reply from Cyrus Afzali, owner of Astoria Communications in Sloatsburg, NY. “The reason a lot of companies don’t get ink is quite simply because what they have isn’t interesting enough to a broad audience.”

But the offer is to pay only for placements, so campaign development hours would be on spec – hardly attractive bait.

But wait, there’s more:

This arrangement would be very easy to track and we would pay the fee the day after the article appears in print.

Really? Very easy to track? Let’s return to the real world:

  • Does one paragraph in a products roundup count?
  • Does a quote from the owner in a news feature qualify if he comments on salon vs. DIY haircuts or back pain?
  • How about a product photo with just a caption?

Or, as independent PR practitioner Amanda Cooper of Victoria, British Columbia, suggests in a LinkedIn reply:

Some people think that any publicity is good publicity. I say “be careful what you wish for.” I am curious as to what would happen if a P.R. professional took you up on your offer and an uncomplimentary write-up happened. Does the P.R. pro still get paid?

And hold on again: Even if a hungry bottom feeder bites and even if positive coverage is earned, what is gained?

Here’s how account executive Mary A. Burns at Group 55 Marketing in Detroit puts it in her forum response:

You will need more coverage than a simple article and… you will surely want to control how your brand is handled. What value will your company/product gain? How else can this goal be accomplished?… Clearly defining your goals up front will allow for the development of a strategic — and effective — media/marketing plan.

Bottom line: I can’t imagine who’d nibble at this pay-per article Automat offer.

Takeaway: This invitation for a piecework proposal is a reminder of our profession’s need to demonstrate the value proposition of strategic public relations. There’s no publicity-dispensing lever or button.