Public Relations: The Importance for Business

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Introduction

The field of public relations is the art which the company uses to disseminate information to the employees. The information to be disseminated include those the products they offer and the services in which they are engaged in. One of the main original goals of public relations was to make the entire public be aware of the existence of the company and what they offer in the society. They are supposed to show that the company exists in the first place and that the company offers certain services. The methods that are used in this field include releases of news, conferences, speaking to the public, services to the community. Advertising and public relations share a common point of view; public relations is concerned more on making a goodwill for the company while on the other hand advertising is concerned on making higher sales on a product. One of the main objectives of public relations is to reduce the gap between the view that the company sees itself and the view that the public views the company. The company and the public should be having the same view. The company communicates with the audience in two ways : listening to the constituents and understanding them. It is after this that an organization is able to have a very successful and effective campaign.

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Many companies opt to manage their own public relations while others prefer hiring public relations specialists so that they get more professional help in the field. It has been noted that managers from large firms are fond of hiring public relations specialists to handle their public relations in the company. Any option chosen will require the full participation of the manager. This is because even if the company has contracted the public relations to other PR specialists, they are concerned about how these people handle their PR.

Goals of public relations

Public relations are supposed to enable the public to view the company in a better perspective than they have always known. It has been found that consumers will purchase a product or use a service basing on the way they perceive that organization. If the organization has a good public relations, then they are bound to buy from them or use their service. It is due to this fact that the impact of public relations has to be seen and effected by the company and the department that is concerned. Public relations can be an option that can be taken by the company so that they use as a means of marketing. The marketing and the public relations should synergize especially for the companies which are there for profits; these two fields can be used to improve on the sales of the company.

One of the main goals of public relations to the company is to create goodwill to the company. The good will involve things like good employee relations in the company, good stakeholder and investor relations, good and healthy relations with the media, and a very good image to the community. The department of public relations may serve to educate the public on the effectiveness of other things within the organization. There are other issues that should be made aware to the various departments in the company; it will not only make the company good internally, but will also make sure that the company has a good image from the public. The training may include such factors as using a certain product, sensitizing the public about a certain legal rule that has been introduced, talking about the business in general, and even talking about the general misconceptions and the prejudices that exist in the company. There should be strategic marketing strategy in place so that the human resource factor is taken care of in the organization. When the employees are aware of the misconceptions and the strategies tat are to be used in the organization to achieve more, it goes without saying that the use of PR is for the benefit of marketing and good will of the company. Strategic marketing is defined as the process, approach or a set of skills which are used by the management of the organization for analyzing a particular business situation from a marketing perspective. Strategic marketing involves coming up with decisions which are meant to make the business excel. These decisions are very important in any business today because of several reasons; it provides a link between the organization and the environment and therefore clearly indicating that marketing is a responsibility that is integrated within the business but not a specialized phenomenon, it provides solutions to problems that exist in the business in terms of environmental monitoring and deciding what the customers would wish to be served, it provides the customers with a sense of satisfaction in that it links them with the product or service that the company produces and it provides the best techniques which is geared towards acquiring a certain market for the products (Fulled, 2002).

Educating the public on some aspects is also one of PR’s objectives. For non-profit organizations, they may choose to educate the public on some services and a certain point of view that should be adopted by the learners; on the other hand, in commercial organizations, it might be to teach them on particular industries and the products and services that these industries provide. So as to achieve the best decisions however, businesses today need to have a special group of professionals within the organization who have the skills and experiences in analyzing and meeting the needs of the clients. Businesses ought to also be involved in activities that are geared towards having good marketing skills and this involves having in place a plan that will guide the entire process of marketing (Coombs, & Holladay, 2007). Such plans ought to be long term and flexible enough so that it can cover the problems which come time after time within the business. Proper decision making skills are important in the business today because they aid allocation of proper resources in the business which brings in a new product or brings changes into the existing product, launching of new products which will be enhanced through adoption of an efficient marketing information and coming up with an appropriate marketing mix which will benefit the process of marketing of the products in the business.

Areas of public relations

The discipline of public relations has many fields and areas in which it can actively be divided into. They are discussed in the areas that follow:

Product public relations

Public relations will play a key role when introducing a new product in the company. It will be involved in such things as creating awareness in the field, making sure that the public see the product from the company as that which is differentiated from the other products in the field. Public relations can be used also to boost the popularity if the products and services that are already existing. An example is that when the cologne Hero was introduced in America, the public relations department made sure that there were other brands that were to be introduced with this (Gorwins, 1999). This brought the public awareness a notch higher concerning the products that were introduced to the audience. There were media attention that served to promote the products from the company and the local people were also made to be aware of the existence of the other products.

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The other products, apart from the new ones that are being marketed, can be boosted in their sales with the use of public relations. One of the ways that other products are advertised and promoted by this is stimulating secondary demand; this could include developing new uses of the product that is in question. The public relations department can organize so that the media can be used to market the products of the company. When there are changes in the products that already existed, the public relations get an opportunity to stage awareness so that these changes can be effected and made public.

Employee relations

Developing human resources refers to the tasks that a manager performs in a strategic and coherent way to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s employees. Employee is the working force of any organization. They form one of the most important parts of the company (Zimmermann, 2004). In order to develop human resources, there is need to develop a good framework for the whole development system. The needs of employees should be prioritized in addressing them and in a consistent manner. For example if an employee has a health problem, he or she needs to be given a special attention by either providing the necessary medication or giving him/her some time of leave so as to get some medical attention elsewhere. In managing human resources, it implies that a special committee should be chosen to handle the issues that are directly related to the welfare of the employees (Bruning, & Ledingham, 2001). This human resource development committee will be responsible for providing counseling services, assisting the employees during the time of emergency and providing short loans to employees. This committee will also ensure that the economic, social and cultural issues for the employees are met and therefore this contributes to the improvement and performance of the employees hence achievement of the objectives of the company and the management becomes so easy since the employees are given their rights.

Corporate social responsibility and PR

One of the strategic functions of management is public relations. The field of public relations contains different tasks and modules that have been seen to enable the company to have a good reputation with the public. It has been used to effectively build a good image with the stakeholders. The trust that the company has with the company has been attributed to the field of public relations. Due to this fact therefore, public relations can be divided into various functions which are in two broad categories; these categories are organizational and societal roles. The key note to be taken into consideration here is that both of these functions have been found to be interconnected such that there is a vague line that is dividing the two. This is because the functions and the tasks that are to be found in the societal are the same tasks that are to be found in the organization.

The public relation that affects the organization is to be strictly found in the organization alone and thus affects the organization alone. In contrast, societal public relations affect the entire society, which in most cases is a superset of the organizational public relations. It is probably due to this that many practitioners consider that organizational public relations are more important than organizational public relations. These practitioners argue that the people that we find in the society are the same people we find working in the organization (Lee, & Hodges, 2001). The public relations that is applied to them is the same. This fallacy is not always true given the fact that there are some functions from the society are as a result of the functions in the organization. These instances are common especially when the people working in the organist ion are the same people we find in the society; this is applicable in situations where the organization gets her human resource from the local community or when the employees have relocated to the place of work. When either of them is true it means that the functions of public relations that are applied in the workplace will be taken to the home and thus affecting the way public relations at home works.

The two functions that are found in the organizational public relations are the employee relations and the investor relations. Both of these make the pillar of the organization. Without the employees, there is less to be done in the organization and without the investors; there is less to expect thus nothing to run the organization. The employees are considered to be assets to any organization because their inputs directly influence the outcome of the organization. Their public relations will influence the way they relate and the way they take their work in the organization. For this case, the relation with the employees is of paramount importance to the management; a good relationship with the employees and a good communication system will allow the employees to work effectively within the organization. It is therefore right to have good public relations with the employees to come up with high production in the company. The employees are to be motivated and inspired so that they work effectively to produce the best for the company. They can be motivated so that they work effectively for the company. Corporate PR is the name that has been coined for this function. One of the tools that have been used for building employee stimuli and morale is team building. Team building inspires the employees to work for the organization and also brings a good working environment for the organization (Stacks, 2002). It also helps to boost motivation among the employees in the organization.

Another very important public relation function is the investor relations. These are the people which make the company to succeed in the sense that they contribute to financial success of the company. They will either make the company fail financially or make it triumph financially. One of the tools that public relations use to enhance a good rapport with the investors is giving corporate financial reports that are detailed enough to capture all the detail of the financial issues of the organization.

Conclusion

The societal function of public relations is more concerned with a wider scope where it entails the whole organization. Its effects are not realized immediately. It normally takes time. This function is very important for companies which are aspiring to maintain a good image with the society. For this case, corporate social responsibility is required.

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References

Bruning, S., & Ledingham, J. (2001). Public relations as a relationship management. Minnesota: Routledge.

Coombs, W., & Holladay, S. (2007). It’s not just PR: public relations in society. CA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Fulled, B. (2002). Public relations management: Theory and practice. New York: Harper and Row Plc.

Gorwins, H. (1999). Public relations. Oxford: Thomson/South-

Lee, E., & Hodges, C. (2001). Public relations, society, and culture. CA: Taylor & Francis.

Stacks, D. (2002). Primer of public relations research. Arkansas: Guilford Press. Western Press.

Zimmermann, J. (2004). Public relations: promotion and publicity. NY: American Bible Society.

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