Events Organization in the Public Relations Field

Introduction

Public relations involve making a clear understanding of the company to the members of the public and also the media about the company and what it does. The major role of public relations companies is to offer advisory services on the publicity of companies. They offer resources that are hard for firms to provide for themselves. These are services that require extra time or personnel that is not available for the company1. Public relations companies obtain details on public needs concerning their clients, offer advice in case the company is faced with a crisis, and ensure a proper public image of the company. They organize public awareness events such as concerts, symposiums, and sports events. Other functions of public relations companies are to design an advertisement for their clients. Public relations companies include the mass media and the internet that offer wide publicity to the company2.

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Concepts of event management

Event management is the process where a public relations company organizes events for its clients aimed at publicizing the company and changing its image to the members of the public. It targets a particular audience relevant to the company. Such events include fashion shows for those clients who are designers, music concerts for those who are musicians, exhibitions, press conferences, and exhibitions for the clients’ products. All these are arranged for the purpose of creating a positive image of the company.

My company is a small public relations company with only fifteen employees. Five of them are managers in sections such as finance section, marketing and customer relations, events management, human resource section, and information technology section. The other ten is support staff where each section has got two employees and one of them being the secretary. Due to the small size of the company, we have clients totalling to thirty only. The clients range from minor celebrities, musicians, to film stars, models, and even high-profile businessmen and politicians from around the world. Being the manager in charge of the events management section, my responsibilities include organizing functions, devising guest lists, sourcing locations for functions, catering supplies, decorations, and press releases. To achieve and to offer the best for our clients, I always liaise with restaurants, entertainers, charities and community services, and the press. Event management is the most outdoing form of advertising and marketing for a firm. It offers an opportunity for the firm to exhibit its potential in creativity to a very high extent3.

Event management however requires teamwork. Team players include the employees of a company, the media, suppliers, and other competing companies. It is the role of the company event management to ensure the proper organization of an event to offer the best for the client. The company must also work towards overcoming all the external forces which are a threat to its functioning. These are forces such as competition, political, social, economical and technological forces. The clients often give the responsibility of event management to the event manager with their budgets set and the expected outcomes. It is therefore the role of the event manager to ensure that he/she plans in accordance with the client’s budget to bring out the required outcomes. The event managers also have the role of ensuring that security will be in order during the event. It is therefore their responsibility to contact the relevant security officials to avoid frustrating the clients. The event manager has also to ensure that the event does not exceed the stipulated time. This is important to avoid incurring extra expenses of money and time.

As an event manager, am working to maximize my clients’ positive exposure by improving their charitable and social standing within the community. I liaise with the restaurants when organizing events for my clients since they offer the most publicity due to the large number of customers they receive. Restaurants are also good places to hold an event especially when one wants to take advantage of those visiting the restaurants. Entertainers are another very useful group. This is for the purposes of creating awareness of the existence of the company, services offered by the company, and the outstanding advantages that the company can offer. Entertainment joints are often visited by a lot of people and are a nice strategy for marketing a company. Charities also offer to fund for the company’s events and also for marketing. My also company organizes charity events as a way of making a positive image for the firms. My company organizes community services for the firms also as a way of creating publicity and a good image. Community services offer an appreciation of the firm from the community members. The press is the most outstanding in the promotion of a company. It offers publicity in all corners, therefore, making a company to be known in all corners.

As an events manager, I have several roles that are informational, interpersonal and decisional roles. Informational roles in event management include coordinating all the logistics involved in performing the event. This includes the expenses in form of time and money that will be required. Informing the media of the event is also another informational role of an event manager. The media needs to be involved since they make the public aware of the event taking place4. The venue and the time of events is also another information role in event management. Other informational roles include achieving the financial goals of the firm through the event, ensuring security during the event, arranging the program of activities during the event and whom to involve in the event. Interpersonal roles in event management are those that involve other people. These include organizing for those people to be invited for the event, the workers to perfume various duties in the event, and the special guests in the event. An event manager has also the role of contacting the relevant authorities who are charged with allowing for the event to take place. Looking for the suppliers of various items needed in the event such as the furniture and catering services if necessary. The owners of the venue from where the event will take place also need to be contacted which is also another interpersonal role of an event manager. It is also the role of the event manager to assign various duties to be performed in the course of the event and also to ensure that everything is going in order.

Decisional roles in event management involve deciding on the date of the event, the type of the event, and where the event will take place. It also involves deciding on the type of event to be organized for and what to be done during the event. Events can be informed of parties or charity events for supporting a certain group of people.

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In my case, the most relevant information role is alerting the media. This is for the purpose of coverage and broadcasting of the event. This will make the public aware of the event and more so aware of the company. Those who will not take part in the event will also get a feeling of it by viewing it in the media tools. The other most relevant interpersonal role is assigning duties and responsibilities. This is to ensure that everything will move in order during the day of the event5.

Event management skills include technical, conceptual, and human skills. Technical skills are those that will require one to apply some form of technology. These include the equipment to be used during the event. Equipment such as public address systems, entertainment systems, and catering equipment if needed. All events will always require a clear public address system for effective communication of ideas during the course of the event. Skills to operate the equipment are also very important to ensure its efficiency in the course of the event. Expertises in various equipment that will be used are required to avoid any inconveniences. However, simpler forms of systems that are not much technical are the best. Conceptual skills are the ability of the manager to know how all the elements are interrelated regarding the total event. In public relations, there is a need to view the organization as a whole and view how all the elements relate to each other. In event management, all the elements including the guests, the venue, the date, and the type of event should be in order with each other. All participants should be comfortable with the venue and the date. For example, at a party where the guests will be ranging from children to adults, the venue and the type of services should be favourable for all. The type of event should also be in line with the type of the client’s organization.

Human skills are the ability to relate well with other people either personally or as a group. In public relations, every member of the company should have a good interpersonal relationship. This will ensure that every person attending the event will feel at peace and welcomed. An event manager who is able to deal properly with all kinds of people will always attract more clients to the company.

One of the major aspects of the external environment affecting the public relations business is competition from other public relations companies. The field of public relations is with time gaining a lot of popularity and therefore many public relations firms are being set up. Competition is however a contributor to the development of the business since the management of our company will put more effort into its performance in order to withstand the stiff competition. There are many public relations companies in London which include August One Communications, Big, Chelgate Limited, Firefly Communications and Indigo Public Relations among others. However, my company is working hard to perfect its services, especially in event management so as to outweigh the competitors. Another issue that is affecting the working of the company is the issue of suppliers. In event management, suppliers need to be identified as those who can supply proper and efficient tools and equipment needed in the event. In some cases, the supplies bring in substandard goods which might affect the working in the event. Suppliers also may hike the prices of their goods and services to some levels that will put in a financial strain during event management. Customers’ demands are also another challenge to the working of my public relations company. Some of our customers have got such great demands that our small size of the company would not be able to meet. The challenge however lies in the fact that the company must struggle to maintain the customers which can only be through meeting their demands perfectly. All these challenges are significant to the working of the company since they lead to the expansion of the company in a struggle to satisfy the needs of the customers6.

There are other political, economic, social, and technological factors affecting my company7. Political factors include government taxes, trade, and safety regulations and political instability. Political instability is a situation where there is political misalignment among the people leading to rivalry among individuals and groups. Political instability sometimes brings unrest in the country which affects all forms of business. This also leads to political divisions in people, therefore, contributing to bias in the provision of work tenders. A public relations company depends majorly on its relation with other firms and therefore political misalignment can bring it down. Economic forces such as the economic level of people in a country can affect their purchasing power for goods and services. Economic instability in a country brings business down especially the service offering companies such as public relations companies.

However, when a country is growing well economically, the purchasing power of people is high, and more will be requiring public relations services. When the economic status of people is good, event management also becomes easy since it gets cheaper to obtain the equipment required. More people will also be opting for events since it is a convenient way of creating awareness of a firm. The number of clients for a company will also increase since more of them will be seeking the services which will also be cheaper. Social forces affecting the working of my company include some community lifestyles and living conditions. In public relations, the community is a very important aspect that must be considered in all issues. When organizing events, the target group should be well studied in terms of their cultural values to determine whether the event will be of relevance to them. Social characteristics of the community can sometimes affect the success of an event due to a clash of ideas. The activities in the event should be socially acceptable to each one who is involved. This is very important since the events are mostly aimed at creating a positive image of the company. Technological forces include new inventions and the use of modern technology. With the increase in technology, many things are always changing and therefore a company needs to always keep updating the trends according to these changes. Every service offered needs to be in line with the modern way of doing things. This is a challenge to our company since we have to keep doing research on the current customer tastes to avoid giving outdated services. The company has to keep updating its systems so as not to run out of competition and also to satisfy the customer demands to the latest.

Motivation

Leadership roles include motivation, communication, and encouraging teamwork in the organization. It is the role of a leader in the organization to ensure that all things are done by the employees in the best way possible. Motivation in any given company is very important since it greatly influences an employee’s performance. Every employee needs some form of motivation to help move his/her work from one level to another. Motivation can be achieved by designing a reward system for the employees. This can be informed of salary increase, promotions, break off from work, and also tokens of appreciation. Every success of a company is due to the efforts of all members. Therefore it is important to share the fruits of the efforts with all the parties involved as a form of encouragement. In our public relations company, we always give a pay rise to our employees when the profitability of the company rises. We also give tokens of appreciation to our employees when there is excellent performance. Sometimes in event management, some firms give the company some tokens when the event has turned out to be excellent. These tokens are not only kept to the managers but we also extend them to our other employees who were involved in the event organization. These tokens motivate the employees and they will always be willing to offer their best in other events.

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Leadership theories

Several theories explain the role of motivation to employees. There is the ‘traditional theory’ by Sigmund Freud. According to Sigmund, people do not like doing work and they hate it, they would do anything to avoid it. They must therefore be forced or coerced to do work. The managers should therefore do all they can to make such employees work. That is the need for motivation according to the traditional theory of Sigmund Freud. The other theory is by Douglas McGregor which states that people like learning through work which is challenging and that which instills self-development. The managers should therefore assign work that will lead to employees’ self-development and also for maximum performance of the company8. The other theory is by Abraham Maslow which states that the behaviour of man is influenced by the satisfaction of his needs which he says are physiological, safety needs, love, self-esteem and self-actualization. Physiological needs being the lowest and self-actualization being the highest in a hierarchy. Maslow states that the way man behaves is influenced by the extent to which his needs are met since the satisfaction of one need leads to another. According to him, this also influences his work. A man will work best when he attains self-actualization which is characterized by integrity and naturalness9.

Conclusion

All these theories we apply them in our company where possible. The Sigmund’s helps us in motivating our employees and knowing when they are down for work. The theory by McGregor also helps us in setting the working environment for our workers. In our public relations company, we like changing the working environment for our workers sometimes to be more challenging so as to improve on their self-development. When working towards self-development, they will consequently work towards the development of the company. In regard to Maslow’s law, our company works towards making policies will consider the needs of our employee and try to meet their satisfaction. The employees will also work towards the satisfaction of their own needs and consequently to satisfaction of the company’s needs.

Footnotes

  1. William A. & Raymond W., (2007). Public relations.Califonia: Ronald Press Co.
  2. Emerson R., (1946). Public Relations: A Program for Colleges and Universities. New York: Harper and Brothers.
  3. Garry, W. &, Tod, P., (1977). Public relations. New York: Museum of Modern Art.
  4. Lynn V., & Brenda R.,(2005). Event management: for tourism, cultural, business, and sporting events.U.S: Prentice Hall.
  5. Guy M., (2004). Strategic event management: an international approach. New York: Heinemann.
  6. Dimitri T., (2005). Event Management: A Professional and Developmental Approach. Australia: Juta and Company Limited.
  7. Dwight, W., Catherwood, R., & Van K., (1992). The Complete guide to special event management: business insights, financial advice, and successful strategies. New York: Wiley and Sons.
  8. Murray, H., & Bruce K., (2001). The encyclopedia of leadership: a practical guide to popular leadership theories and techniques. New York: McGraw Hill Professionals.
  9. Yukl, G., (2001). Leadership in Organizations.U.S.A: Pearson Publishers.
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