Public relations refer to the strategic process of communication that is usually aimed at building relationships that are mutually helpful to both an organization and the general public. Public relations usually targets maintaining a lucrative public image of an organization or a public figure. It basically revolves around the idea of maintaining a good relationship between the public and the given organization. The individual or the company involved in public relations usually looks for a way of reaching out to their targeted clients without necessarily using their funds for advertisement purposes (Choi, 2007). It usually targets ensuring that the clients are very satisfied with the services that the company offers to the extent that they just go back and spread the information to the other members. In this way, the company is more likely to gain more clients within a very short span of time.
Any organization that is already successful will conduct public relations activities to ensure that they maintain their image that is already good. It will be to ensure that they are able to convince their client that they are still the best placed to provide satisfactory service and that they should not look for any other options. The key concern of public relations is usually to ensure that the complaint of each and every client is well taken care of. The public relations specialist in the organization usually communicates either directly or indirectly to the clients of the organization with an intention of maintaining the strong public image that the organization already has. For an organization that has recently faced image damage, the public relations officer must find a way of ensuring that the companys public image is restored.
With the current rise in cut-throat competition in almost every business field, every organization is keen on maintaining its clients and staying ahead of the competition. As a result of this, most organization have been on the run to ensure that their public relations departments are fully equipped with qualified personnel and proper public relations tools. The public relations tools that are usually used by PR specialists include news releases, newsletters, public conferences and social media networks. The target audience can usually gauge a clear insight of the products and the quality of the products that the said organization offers. This in the long run ends up increasing the sales of the organization and the publicity stand.
The key roles of public relations include communication management, crisis management, issues management, relationship management, reputation or image management, resource management, risk management and strategic management. Communication management involves developing a communication strategy that is consistent with the organizations mission and vision. The public relations department will organize for a communication strategy that ensures that every member of the organization is adequately informed of what is expected of them while at the organization and that they are fully aware of both short term and long term goals of the involved organization. It also involves ensuring that the communication of the clients complaints is properly done on time.
Crisis management is another role that is usually done by the public relations department of an organization. This relates to the modalities that the organization use to attend to emergencies and crisis situations. These in most cases revolve around the matters that the organization deem most urgent. They may include the complaints from clients that need urgent attention as well like the urgent market gaps that the organization should consider filling. Issues management involves pointing out the problems in the organization and the issues relevant to the organization. A program or plan is then devised to handle the issues of concern. The issues are usually handled one at a time or concurrently as per the respective departments. Relationship management involves the identification of publics and building workable strategies to ensure that beneficial relations are built with the public (Kitchen, 1999). This role also encompasses the specialists duty to ensure that organizations clients are fully satisfied with the organizations services.
Reputation management is another important role of the public relations department of an organization. It involves all the protocols that the organization observes in ensuring that the public reputation and image to both the clients and the general public is well protected. It is purely undoubtable that the image of a company is what usually makes it sell and reach out to more clients. It is therefore the role of the public relations specialist to ensure that the company maintains a public image that is as reputable as possible. It may even organize for hiring of marketers to advertise for its products. Resource management is also done by the public relations specialists in an organization. These could be human resources, financial resources and other company resources that are available (Stoldt, Dittmore, Branvold, 2012). They PR specialist usually advises whether or not it is important to hire additional employees to handle specialized responsibilities.
Risk management and strategic management are the other roles that are usually done by companys public relations department. They evaluate the risks that the company may face and recommend a timely remedy to the situation. Strategic management involves developing the policies that are of the companys best interest. All the above discussed roles indicate how important the public relations department is to any organization.
Choi, J. (2007). Elaborating the concept of public relations roles and a test of its utility. Kitchen, P. J. (1999). Public relations: Principles and practice. London [u.a.: International Thomson Business Press.
Stoldt, G. C., Dittmore, S. W., & Branvold, S. E. (2012). Sport public relations: Managing stakeholder communication. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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