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In the opening chapters, we provided an overview of public relations, including definitions, a brief history of the profession, and a description of the models and subfunctions common in the profession. In these chapters, public relations was defined as a unique management function that uses communication to help manage relationships with key publics.
In this chapter, we will expound on this management function, explaining why companies need public relations and how the public relations function is comprised of specialized roles. Organizations usually have several management functions to help them operate at their maximum capacity: research and development, finance, legal, human resources, marketing, and operations.
Each of these functions is focused on its own contribution to the success of the organization. Communication is key in maintaining a satisfactory, long-term, trusting relationships with publics and stakeholders. As described earlier, public relations provides the greatest value to an organization when it is used strategically.
But what does this really mean? Think of it this way: In an effective organization, all the major functions are linked together by a common set of strategies that tie in to an overall vision of the future and an underlying set of values.
When all the elements are in sync, the company grows in a steady, profitable manner. An important component of this set of strategies is a communication strategy.
For example, it will be critical that all employees in the organization understand that strategy and their role in executing it. Many business failures are ultimately attributable to the confusion caused by poor communication.
How many times have you received poor customer service from an employee in a restaurant or retail outlet? In all likelihood, the organization that employed this worker intended for him or her to deliver good service to you. But somewhere along the line the communication flow broke down. Whatever the cause, the end result is a dissatisfied customer and diminished loyalty to the relationship. In addition to reaching employees, a successful organization must also communicate effectively with its customers, its suppliers, and if it is a public company, its shareholders.
For each key public, a set of messages must be developed as well as a plan to reach the public in the most efficient way. If the company is targeting young people with its message, a high-impact article in the Wall Street Journal is going to completely miss the mark for this strategic public.
If instead the public is high net-worth investors, a clever YouTube video may also not be the right answer. Although public relations has a unique and important function within organizations, it is often practiced differently depending on the role the top communicator plays within the organization, as we discuss next.
In general, public relations professionals can be communication managers who organize and integrate communication activities, or they can be communication technicians who primarily write and construct messages. Research in this area led to the identification of four specific roles: the technician role and three types of communication managers.
Most practitioners begin their careers as communication technicians Entry-level public relations professionals who are not generally involved in defining and solving problems.
They manage communications through writing, placing, and producing communication messages such as news releases, Web site content, speeches, and social media messaging. This role requires executing strategies with the communication tactics of news releases, employee newsletters, position papers, media placements, Web site content, speeches, blogs, and social media messaging. Practitioners in this role are usually not involved in defining problems and developing solutions, but base their tactics on the technical skill of writing.
The expert prescriber A public relations professional expert in a particular industry, problem, or type of public relations. The communication facilitator A public relations professional who listens to and brokers information between an organization and its key publics. The problem-solving facilitator A public relations professional who collaborates with other managers to define and solve problems. This individual helps managers to work through problems from a public relations perspective.
This role requires that the professional is a part of the dominant coalition of the organization and has access to other senior managers. The problem-solving facilitator helps other managers think through organizational problems using a public relations perspective.
Research on these four roles found that the communication technician role was distinct from the other three roles and that the latter three roles were highly correlated.
Dozier and Broom , pp. In other words, an expert prescriber was also likely to fulfill the role of the communication facilitator and the problem-solving facilitator. To resolve the lack of mutual exclusiveness in the latter three roles, they were combined into one role: communication manager A public relations professional whose combined role is that of an expert prescriber, a communication facilitator, and a problem-solving facilitator.
The dichotomy between the communication technician and the communication manager more accurately explained the responsibilities of public relations practitioners within organizations. Research indicates that practitioners in a predominantly technician role spend the majority of their time writing, producing, and placing communication messages.
Broom and Dozier , pp. Typically, those in this role are creative and talented with language and images. Their capacity to create and produce messages with powerful imagery and evocative language is very important to the execution of public relations tactics. However, technicians rarely have a seat at the management table and do not have a voice in the strategy of the organization. Once the strategy is decided, the technician is brought in to execute the deliverables or tactics in the strategy.
The communication manager is involved in the strategic thinking of an organization and must be able to conduct research and measurement and share data that informs better decisions for managing relationships with key publics. The communications manager thinks strategically, which means he or she will be focused on the efforts of the organization that contribute to the mutually beneficial relationships that help an organization achieve its bottom-line goals.
A study on excellence in the practice of public relations found that one of the major predictors of excellence was whether the role of the top public relations executive was a manager role or a technician role. Grunig, J. In order for corporate communication to function strategically, the executive in charge of the function must have a place at the decision-making table.
Although publicly traded companies, as well as nonprofit organizations, may be governed ultimately by a board of directors, this board looks to the chief executive and his or her senior team to operate the company on a day-to-day basis. The key functions in an organization include finance, headed by a chief financial officer CFO ; legal, which reports to the General Counsel; human resources, led by a chief personnel officer CPO ; information services, reporting to the chief information officer CIO ; marketing, often led by a chief marketing officer CMO ; and communication, which reports to the chief communications officer CCO.
These functional areas serve the operations of the company, which in some cases report to a president or chief operating officer. Although organizational structures vary from company to company, these basic functional areas are usually present in the senior team. In some cases, the communication function is subordinated under another area, such as marketing, legal, or human resources. When this is the case, it becomes more difficult for the senior communications leader to play a meaningful role in the strategic decision-making process.
The communication function brings to the senior team a different perspective from these other areas. In other words, communication is the only function with eyes on all the publics inside and outside of the organization, and should be included in strategic decision making.
One of the common denominators for officers in the C-suite is the imperative to make good decisions that affect their ability to positively contribute to the goals of the organization. The ability to make good decisions often defines a valuable manager. To make good decisions, managers need good information. By definition, good information helps reduce uncertainty in making a decision. Rarely is a decision made with utter certainty, but managers need enough information to have confidence that their decisions will result in positive consequences.
This information is provided as data regarding these various functions: product testing, market research, legal precedents, and financial statements. This is how strategic public relations earns its seat at the executive table. The communication function looks at all the stakeholders in the organization and uses a variety of tools and tactics to enhance relationships with these publics. At its best, the communication function uses research and monitoring methods to keep a finger on the pulse of internal and external perceptions of the organization.
Some have suggested that the communication function serves or should serve as the corporate conscience. They contend that communication leaders have a uniquely objective perspective that allows them to weigh the sometimes conflicting needs of different publics and to help the organization make more balanced decisions.
Although there is much truth to this perspective, we add that the conscience of the organization, its moral obligation to do the right thing, is one that is shared by all who lead it, including the CEO, the board, and the senior management team. As the top communication professional, the CCO has an important responsibility to ensure that all key stakeholders are given due consideration when critical decisions are made.
In that regard, the CCO acts as the voice for many who are not in the room when choices are made. He or she must keep in mind the minority shareholders, overlooked employee segments, nongovernmental organizations, special interest groups, elected officials, community leaders, and others who may be affected by the decision and who have influential roles in their respective areas. By providing this overarching perspective, the CCO does much more than deliver tactical communication products.
This strategic counsel is what CEOs and other leaders are increasingly seeking in all members of the senior team. By delivering it, the CCO enhances the value of the function and ensures ongoing participation in charting the future course for the company. Public relations as a profession is often thought of as nothing more than a simple set of tactics.
Far too often those in the profession are portrayed in the media and in popular culture as a group of empty-headed party planners or deceptive flacks willing to say anything to get publicity for their clients. The tools of the trade—news releases, press conferences, media events, employee newsletters—are considered as discrete tactics that rarely if ever are driven by an underlying strategy.
This, like other stereotypes, is simply not supported by fact. As practiced by most large organizations and agencies, public relations is an integral part of overall strategy. Communication programs are developed based on extensive research to address specific business objectives with stated outcomes, target audiences, and key messages.
The results of these efforts can be measured, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Think of it this way: When an organization develops a strategic plan, it usually does so with a relatively small number of key executives. They may decide, for example, to be the low-cost provider in their industry segment. Or they may decide to take advantage of their expertise in new product development, or to exploit their superior distribution network.
At some point, the strategy must be executed by a much larger, geographically dispersed network of employees. This is where the communication strategy becomes crucial. If a company has a long track record of fighting with its employees over issues like pay, benefits, union representation, child care programs, or workplace safety, it will be much more difficult to call upon them to launch a new initiative aimed at improving customer service.
In large measure, an important role of the communication function team is to help balance the needs of all publics—employees, investors, customers, communities—as the organization makes key decisions. For example, assume that a company is facing financial difficulties due to declining market share in one part of the United States.
They are faced with the decision of closing a regional plant since that level of manufacturing capacity is no longer needed. Try to put a good face on it. Balancing the needs of publics is just one facet of the impact public relations can have on achieving organizational goals.
It obviously depends on the organization, but in almost every case, effective communication programs help drive strategy from conception to delivery. Successful internal communication programs can improve the ability of supervisors to motivate employees and build pride in the organization. Creative external communication programs can improve customer relationships, build brand recognition, encourage investor interest in a publicly traded company, and increase the effectiveness of traditional advertising and marketing efforts.
Community outreach programs can help local residents appreciate the impact of a company on the surrounding area in which it operates. The impact of well-conceived strategic communication programs can be profound, and many companies have already benefited by recognizing this importance and building upon the strengths public relations brings to the table.
Center Ebook Free Download. Center For Free. Center 1. Visit Our Website 2. Choose Download Or Read Online 3. Center 4. Written by two of the most respected individuals in the field, "Public Relations Practices" presents timeless case studies to help future practitioners develop agility in the principles and applications of effective two-way communications likely to confront them and their employer.
On this website we discuss views and news on current cases as well as potential cases for later editions. Really interesting case studies. I reccommend having students write about important principles exercised in teach case study. Great book! Public Relations Practices, 8th Edition.
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To effectively communicate with the public and foster opportunities for their involvement in the public health assessment process, it is important to understand 1 the basic terminology describing the process, 2 the overall goals and objectives of community involvement, and 3 the roles of the various agency programs in the. Conclusion about the importance of communication in organizational change is demonstrated and agreed on Lewis, Communication is a two-way street.
As two-way communicators, public relations practitioners interact directly with key publics, relaying the resulting information with recommendations to other members of the management team. This includes policies and procedures for the distribution of information to employees, media, government and other key publics. Issues Management — This involves identifying problems, issues and trends relevant to an organization and then developing and executing a program to deal with them.
In the opening chapters, we provided an overview of public relations, including definitions, a brief history of the profession, and a description of the models and subfunctions common in the profession. In these chapters, public relations was defined as a unique management function that uses communication to help manage relationships with key publics. In this chapter, we will expound on this management function, explaining why companies need public relations and how the public relations function is comprised of specialized roles.
Public relations PR is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization and the public in order to affect the public perception. Public relations PR and publicity differ in that PR is controlled internally, whereas publicity is not controlled and contributed by external parties. Public relations aims to create or obtain coverage for clients for free, also known as 'earned media', rather than paying for marketing or advertising. But in the early 21st century, advertising is also a part of broader PR activities. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article.
On this website we discuss views and news on current cases as well as potential cases for later editions. Really interesting case studies. I reccommend having students write about important principles exercised in teach case study.
Download free ebook Public Relations Practices: Managerial Case Studies and Problems By Allen. H. Center PDF - ePub - Mobi. Simple Way to Read Online or.Rode B. 20.05.2021 at 05:47
Jan 8, - Public Relations Practices: Managerial Case Studies and Problems().pdf: A casebook for undergraduate/ graduate-level courses.