Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-2 A WORKING DEFINITION OF PR Public relations is a leadership and management function that helps achieve organizational objectives, define philosophy, and facilitate organizational change. Practitioners communicate with all relevant internal and external publics to develop positive relationships and to create consistency between organizational goals and societal expectations.
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-3 THE PUBLICS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS o A public is a group of individuals or organizations who recognize their connection with a common problem, cause or goal. o While there are many possible publics, six major groupings of publics are: Employees Community Consumers Media Financial Markets Government Agencies
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-4 PR PRACTITIONERS FIND COMMON GROUND o The practitioner must discover common ground between the needs of the organization and the needs of its publics. The needs of both are legitimate and equally important. The discovery requires research, analysis and interaction with the publics.
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-5 o The PR practitioner should be: Knowledgeable in research, planning and evaluation techniques An excellent writer and speaker A specialist in communication technology An expert in graphics and audiovisual communications COMMUNICATION SKILLS REQUIRED FOR PR
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-6 COMMUNICATION TASKS o Public relations practitioners often produce the following communication materials: Press releases Annual reports Employee magazines Electronic newsletters PR campaign “collateral”
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-7 TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION IN PR o What is effective communication? Actively interpret the organization’s values, policies and plans to your publics. Actively interpret the publics’ needs and concerns to the organization. (why did I underline ‘interpret’?)
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-8 PUBLIC RELATIONS AND THE MEDIA Public relations practitioners and (traditional or “new”) media representatives need each other. You need the media’s ability to deliver and support messages. The media need messages about your organizational and public issues to sell their stories, publications and bolster/maintain their reputations and credibility.
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-9 THE NATURE OF PR AS A PRACTICE o Public relations people… Are boundary spanners and problem solvers. You must be connected to both your organization and its publics. Often balance the interests of multiple parties with the organization’s well-being in mind Problem prevention vs. problem solving
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-10 THE ORGANIZATION’S ROLE IN HELPING SOCIETY The PR practitioner works with management to: responsibly represent and serve the public interest. (like government?) monitor community needs and public opinion regarding organizational issues. (like researchers?) predict public reaction to institutional decisions. (like psychics?) suggests ways the organization can adjust its behavior to meet social, political and economic responsibilities. (like consultants?) Corporate Social Responsibility
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-11 CHANGE-MANAGEMENT IS VITAL Four types of environmental change modern organizations must contend with: 1. Technological Developments 2. Increased Governmental Regulation and Control / Turbulent Political Environments 3. International Business Issues 4. Mergers, Acquisitions and other Organizational “Re- alignments” 5. Cultural “Paradigm” Shifts
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-12 THE PR PROCESS AND RESPONSIBILITY Recognize that organizational behavior does affect public opinion. Seek to “influence responsibly” in a proactive manner
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-13 WHAT IS “RESPONSIBLE INFLUENCE”? Influence is best practiced with a: high commitment to ethics sincere social responsibility (how is this different from “high commitment to ethics”?) The practitioner should constantly be asking “What is in the best interest of society?” How can “best interest of society” be determined? Who / what is “society”?
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-14 Click on the picture to hear about Corporate Social Responsibility. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-15 NEW CHALLENGES IN PUBLIC RELATIONS With advances in technology and globalization, the need for effective communications has increased and become more complex. Two “newer” areas for public relations practitioners are: Crisis Communications, and Social Media
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-16 CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS Public Relations preserves and manages a business’ reputation when something unexpected occurs. Can someone name a recent ‘Organizational Crisis’?
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-17 WHAT CAUSES A CRISIS? 1. Acts of God – storms, earthquakes, etc. 2. Mechanical Problems: something breaks 3. Human Errors – when an employee does something wrong (i.e. makes an honest or dishonest mistake, breaks the law, violates ethical boundaries, etc.) 4. Management Decisions/Indecisions
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-18 SOCIAL MEDIA The internet has changed the way organizations and the media operate (how?). Social media has complemented, changed or, in many cases, completely replaced traditional PR practices and techniques Facebook, Twitter and Youtube
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-19 THE CHANGING PR INSTITUTION PR and corporate communications are being increasingly integrated into organizational operations Many Corporate PR functions are now outsourced: Investor and financial reports Employee newsletters Product publicity Public affairs and government relations PR practitioners use knowledge management to provide easy access to information for internal audiences Is there an inconsistency with “integrated” vs. “outsourced”?
Introduction to Public Relations Introduction 1-20 SCOPE OF THE PR INDUSTRY