Wikipedia, an internet encyclopedia source, defines Public Relations as “the practice of conveying messages to the public through the media on behalf of a client, with the intention of changing the public’s actions by influencing their opinions (Wikipedia.com, 2004).” It can be argued that this definition offers a narrow, one-sided view of the profession, as the Public Relations profession deals with more than just using the media to influence how people think about a subject. According to the Public Relations Society of America website, “Public relations help an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other (PRSA.org, 2004).”
For businesses, the public does not just consist of the community in which the business is located or operates. In the public relations profession, the public could consist of employees, the people in and out of your community, as well as current and prospective customers. The public is really anyone that could have an interest in your organization and how it operates. The goal of public relations is to help to develop the relationships between the organization and all of its publics.
While the goal may be to develop relationships, the function of public relations is to promote the organization’s products or services to the organizations public. In this regards, the correlation between marketing and public relations is demonstrated. Both functions involve promoting the organization in some fashion so that people are aware of the product or service being offered by the organization. Additionally, both seek the same final result, sales for the organization.
The performance of public organizations is important for a variety of stakeholders including politicians, citizens, donor agencies and government officials. For more than two decades the implementation of performance measurement systems has been considered a central tenant of public sector reforms to address the concerns of efficiency. Within the literature on performance measurement this concept ...
Marketing and Public relations differ in that marketing focuses on setting pricing, distribution, and placement strategies that will affect sales and profitability. Public relations efforts focus on developing a positive image and rapport with customers. Public relations set out to tell people about your business so that when marketers begin to promote your products and services, people will already know about your business.
Catherine Hebert, an employee relations assistant with Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, states an organization’s standing in the community depends ” a great deal on the degree to which the desired publics are aware of and supportive of its policies and goals.” Catherine also state that public relations professionals help to communicate to the public the goals and objectives. This is handled through thorough research and evaluation.
One of the functions of public relations professionals is to assist the organization with developing strategic plans and goals. Public relations is useful by providing advice to management on what to do based upon feedback and interaction with the community. The public relations staff can be used to assist with identifying and responding to issues deemed important by the community that may have an impact on the success of the organization.
An additional function of the public relations department of an organization is to assist with implementing and handling public and governmental affairs. For instance, at Aurora Health Care, the public affairs staffs have helped to promote awareness of needs for improved access to care for people. Additionally, Aurora employees, through the government affairs department, are encouraged to participate in legislative discussions surrounding important healthcare topics such as reimbursement issues for providers, or coverage issues for consumers.
Another role, which is possibly the most obvious role of the public relations department, is to handle the media and publicity for the organization. At Aurora, the Public Relations department handles any communication with the media whether it is print or visual. For instance, recently one of the hospitals came under fire after several hundred doses of influenza vaccines was inadvertently destroyed. The organization’s Public Relations department stepped in and delivered a response to the media and other concerned community advocates that detailed what happened and the organization’s response to prevent recurrences.
Public relations is the process used by businesses or organizations to present the most favorable image for them to the public. It is the responsibility for public relations professionals to provide carefully crafted information to the target audience about the individual, its goals and accomplishments, and any thing else that may be of public interest. The public relations professional also helps ...
Another example of how the Public Relations department has been employed by Aurora is with the organization’s quest to build a new medical facility in Waukesha County. Publicity was garnered that supported this endeavor by bringing in patients and employees that were supportive of building a new hospital. Managers and supervisors received ‘talking points’ to share with staff that outlined the importance to the organization of being able to build the new facility. The public relations department sponsored community forums and events in the Waukesha area that allowed the organization an opportunity to publicize its desire while also giving members of the Waukesha community a chance to share their thoughts and opinions on the project.
Public relations are a very critical component of an organization’s communication process in today’s media saturated and technologically advanced society. Much of what is read in newspapers and magazines, as well as what we see on television, begins at the hands of a public relations professional. People are being overwhelmed continuously with images and statements that try to sway our opinions and beliefs. In addition, the internet is one of the leading methods of communication and promotion of any person, product or service. Public relations are quite possibly, the best and most cost efficient piece of the communication process.
In conclusion, Public Relations professionals are vital to the success of any organization. In order to prove successful for the organization, Public relations will need to maintain its focus on delivering messages to the community while taking into account the rapid pace of business today and the multiple avenues available to deliver messages. One of the most important concepts involved in public relations will be to constantly think ahead of current business trends in order to facilitate the organizations strategic planning goals.
Hebert, Catherine. (2004).
Personal Conversation on Friday, November 5, 2004.
Differences Between Police Public Relations Programs and Police-Community Relations Programs Police-Community Relations programs and Police Public Relations programs are similar in many ways, but not are not identical or interchangeable, according to Barker, and Hunter in 2011. Police-Community Relations is a philosophy of police administration, which seeks to involve community and police in ...
“Public Relations.” Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia 2004.Retrieved Sunday,
2004 from the World Wide Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_relations
“Public Relations.” Public Relations Society of America website. Retrieved Monday November 8, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.prsa.org/_About/overview/index.asp?ident=over1