1. WHAT IS THE ROLE AND IMPACT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ?
Public relations has often been treated as a minor element in the promotion mix, but the wise
company takes concrete steps to manage successful relations with its key publics. Most companies
have a public-relations department that monitors the attitudes of the organization’s publics and
distributes information and communications to build of the goodwill. The best PR departments
spend time counseling top management to adopt positive programs and to eliminate questionable
practice so that negative publicity does not arise in the first place.
Public relations is used to promote products, people, places, ideas, activities,
organizations, and even nations. Public relations can have a strong impact on public
awareness at a much lower cost than advertising can. The company does not pay for the
space or time in the media. Rather, it pays for a staff to develop and circulate information
and to manage events. If the company develops an interesting story, it could be picked
up by several different media, having the same effect as advertising that would cost
millions of dollars. And it would have more credibility than advertising.
Public Relations perform the following five functions:
1 . Press relations: Presenting news and information about the
organization in the most positive light.
2 . Product publicity: Sponsoring efforts to publicize specific products.
3 . Corporate communication: Promoting understanding of the
organiza- tion through internal and external communications.
4. Lobbying: Dealing with legislators and government officials
to pro- mote or defeat legislation and regulation.
5 . Counseling: Advertising management about public issues and
com- pany positions and image during good times and crises.
KNOWING MAJOR PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOLS
Organizations use a variety of public relations tools to convey messages
and to create images.Public relations professionals use several tools. One of the major tools
is news. PR professionals find or create favorable news about the company and its products
or people. Some- times news stories occur naturally, and sometimes the PR person can
suggest events or activities that would create news. Speeches can also create product and
company publicity. Increasingly, company executives must field questions from the media
or give talks at trade associations or sales meetings, and these events can either build or
hurt the company’s image
Another common PR tool is special events, ranging from news conferences, press
tours, grand openings, and fireworks displays to laser shows, hot air balloon releases,
multimedia presentations and star-studded spectaculars, and educational programs
designed to reach and interest target pub- lics. Recently, mobile marketing—traveling
promotional tours that bring the brand to consumers— has emerged as an effective way to
build one-to-one relationships with targeted consumers.
Public relations people also prepare written materials to reach and influence their target
markets. These materials include annual reports, brochures, articles, and company
newsletters and maga- zines. Audiovisual materials, such as films, slide-and-sound
programs, and video- and audiocas- settes, are being used increasingly as communication
tools. Corporate identity materials can also help create a corporate identity that the public
immediately recognizes. Logos, stationery, brochures, signs, business forms, business cards,
buildings, uniforms, and company cars and trucks—all become marketing tools when they are
2. attractive, distinctive, and memorable. Finally, companies can improve public goodwill by
contributing money and time to public service activities.
In brief one can summarize the tools as follows :-
„ Public relations professionals prepare written materials such as brochures,
newsletters, com- pany magazines, annual reports, and news releases.
„ Corporate identity material such as logos, business cards, signs, and stationery are
also public relations tools.
„ Event sponsorship is a public relations tool in which a company pays for all or part of a
special event such as a concert, sports competition, festival, or play.
“. Sponsoring special events is an effective way for an organization to increase brand
recognition and receive media coverage with relatively little investment.
“ Public relations personnel sometimes organize events, such as grand openings, to
create news about a company.
„ Some public relations tools are associated specifically with publicity. Publicity is
communication in news story form about an organization, its products, or both.
Publicity-based public relations tools include:
” News release–a typed page of about 300 words provided by an organization to the
media as a form of publicity
What Public Relations Can Do
Since public relations communicates your messages through the news media, all the power
of the media is brought to bear when the public, those viewers, listeners, or readers you
want to reach, learns about your news this means: high interest level, credibility, implied
objectivity, and possibly implied
endorsement by the journalist or publication reporting the information. There is also an
urgency conveyed when news is reported in the media, and that news has the potential to
reach a tremendously large audience. With exposure comes awareness. An important goal of
public relations, in any medium is to make people aware of what your organization is, what
it offers, and what it does.
• Public relations departments help organizations to manage problems or issues
• Organizations in which the public relations department is part of their decision
management level, will have resolved most of the problems with publics before
they become issues.
• Excellent public relations departments make sure that they scan the environment
around the organization and balance their organization mission with external and
• On the one hand, they must interpreter the philosophies, policies, programs, and
practices of their management to the public(s); and on the other hand, they must
translate the attitudes and reactions of the public(s) to their management.
• Even when they are not represented in the dominant coalition, as environmental
scanners, public relations practitioners are sensitive to changes taking place in the
larger environment surrounding the organization that may influence the public
• Excellent public relations departments must use research techniques as its
principal tools for developing decisions
• If communicators and public relations practitioners are decision makers, then
operations research can contribute to public relations management by helping to
provide decisions that produce efficient and/or effective courses of action in a
rigorous and demonstrable manner. Operations research can be used to help develop
well formulated objectives, that is,
• assist in goal setting;
• discover states of nature (situation analysis);
• identify possible strategies,
• competitive strategies;
3. • handle excessive numbers of strategies and states of nature;
• determine outcome;
• evaluate outcomes, that is quantifying the outcome's desirability; and
• select a specific strategy that is the best or the most efficient or both.
4. THE IMPORTANCE OF TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION
• Feedback obtained in research and evaluation phases
• Feedback equates with two-way communication
• Two-way is arguably The key to excellent practice
• Two-way is usually lower in the hierarchy of communication channels
ACTING ON THE MESSAGE
• Ultimate purpose of any message
• The five-stage adoption process: According to Adoption of Innovation Model
WHAT IS AN OPINION LEADER?
– Highly interested in the subject or issue, better informed on the issue than
the average person, avid consumers of mass media, early adopters of new
ideas, able to get other people to act.
• Formal : elected officials
Informal: those having clout with peers because some special characteristics
HOW TO GAUGE PUBLIC OPINION
- Personal contact
- Media reports
- Field reports
- Letters and telephone calls
- Advisory committee
- Staff meeting
- Polling and sampling
WHAT IS PERSUASION?
Is an activity or process in which a communicator attempts to induce a change in the
belief, attitude, or behavior of another person or group of persons through the
transmission of a message in a context in which the persuade has some degree of free
• Use of Persuasion
• - Change or neutralize hostile opinion
- Crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
• - Conserve favorable opinions
WHAT IS PROPAGANDA?
It is the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognition,
and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intend of the
HOW TO COMMUNICATE DURING A CRISIS
• Put the public first
• Take responsibility
• Be honest
• Never say “No comment”
• Designate a single spokesperson
• Set up a central information center
5. • Provide a constant flow of information
• Be familiar with media needs and deadlines
• Be accessible
• Monitor news coverage and telephone inquiries
• Communicate with key publics
Crisis Communication Strategies
• Attack the accuser
• Corrective action
• Full apology
PUBLIC RELATION5' ROLE
• The public relations function, providing the communications channel between
employers and employee groups, is important on both sides of the relationship.
Practitioners are called on to participate more or less continuously in four phases of
an employee's work experience:
• The start. For example, recruiting programs or help wanted advertising, orientation
sessions, tours, or kits of information.
• On-the-job working conditions. For example, employee publications, bulletin boards,
suggestion systems, training meetings, morale boosters, surveys of attitudes,
complaint sessions, feedback mechanisms, teleconferencing.
• Rewards and recognitions. For example, award programs, implementation of
employee participation in civic affairs, staging of political science or economic
education events, old-timers' parties, open houses, wage increases or bonuses,
promotions, annual reports to employees, and so on.
• The work stoppage or termination. For example, communications in a strike, layoff,
or boycott problem, news about benefits for retirees, a retiree publication, projects to
help laid-off employees relocate, or exit interviews.
• LOBBYING is closely aligned with governmental relations or public affairs, and the
distinction between the two often blurs. This is because most campaigns to influence
impending legislation haνe multiple levels.
– One leνel is informing and convincing the public about the correctness of the
organization's view point, which the public affairs specialist does.
• Lobbying, on the other hand, is a more specific activity. Webster's New World Dic-tionαry
defines a lobbyist as "a person . . . who tries to influence the voting on
legislation or the decisions of government administrators:' In other words, a lobbyist
directs his or her energies to the defeat, passage, or amendment of proposed
legislation and regulatory agency policies.
• Α good example of how the two functions work in tandem is how Arthur Andersen, the
accounting firm, responded when it was accused of massive negligence in covering up the
financial problems of Enron, the energy company, just before it went bankrupt
Ten Effective Public Relations Tactics
• You are likely familiar with brochures, flyers and web sites. Below are some other
effective public relations tactics with which you may be less familiar. Which ones
will benefit you depends upon several factors -- your objectives, the size, type and
location of your organization, the characteristics of your customers or audience, and
– Publicity and Media Relations
6. Media relations includes a variety of methods to contact and give information
to the media: news releases, press kits, media advisories, news conferences,
press tours, and personal letters or phone calls to editors and reporters.
– Special Events
Events draw attention to your organization or bring people to your place of
business. Open houses, fund-raisers, trade shows, awards ceremonies,
contests, stunts, receptions, speeches by V.I.Ps., are examples of special
Publications typically four to 12 pages in length, although some are longer,
with short articles intended to keep your customers, clients, members,
investors, or donors up-to-date on what your organization and its people are
doing. It may also contain advice or other information of particular interest to
– News Sheets and Action Alerts
One or two page sheets communicating urgent or recent information. The
intent is to motivate the reader to take a specific action, such as write a letter
to a public official, make a donation, or change a purchasing habit.
– Tip Sheets
One or two-sided sheets containing advice, instructions, or other information
of particular use to your customers or clients. The objective is to show off
your expertise. These sheets are usually formatted as bulleted or numbered
– Letters to the Editor and Op Ed Pieces
Promote your expertise by writing a letter to the editor or an Op Ed piece
responding to items in the news.
– Speakers Bureau
Arrange to have individuals in your organization speak at meetings of
professional and trade associations, service clubs, civic organizations, and
If you don't want to organize a special event, sponsor one somebody else is
organizing. Or sponsor a local sports team, musical group, or community
theatre. Make sure your sponsorship will be acknowledged on advertising,
programs, uniforms, posters, or other promotional materials.
– Charitable Contributions
Even though a donation has to be very large to make the news, a consistent
commitment to giving back to your community by supporting local charities
will do much to enhance your image. Be sure you give to charities that
acknowledge donations in their newsletter, annual report, wall plaques, or
other promotional materials.
– Thank You Notes and Letters
Directly thanking customers for their business, and donors for their
contribution, will encourage repeat business.
PUBLIC RELATIONS TECHNIQUES
• Feature articles by and about your company help you explain specific projects,
industry trends, etc., while positioning your organization as a leader.
• News releases keep editors and readers up-to-date on positive developments:
business news, technological advances, promotions and new hires, and special
• Company profiles present your company's achievements, capabilities, and leaders in
a positive light.
• Professional seminars and association meetings let you highlight your latest
achievements and innovations, share information with colleagues.
• Business seminars for your customers let you explain new developments, trends,
services, and products in detail -- in a setting where you call the shots.
• Trade shows can be a critical sales forum, let you meet face-to-face with purchasing
• Internet/World Wide Web services help you establish an early presence within this
powerful new communications medium.
• Crisis management arms you with strategies and tools to deal with unexpected and
News Releases and Press Kits
• Releases serve many purposes and its an excellent tool for achieving publicity
• Editors depend on releases
– Routinely, certain columns in almost every paper are put together by pasting
our news releases: business promotions, military personnel activities, cultural,
sport and entertainment events.
• Elements of the Standards News release
– Paper and Typeface: Print on one side only, Double –spacing is standard
(triple spacing is not uncommon), try to keep the release only in one page,
user a standard clean typewriter face or one of the basic computer fonts, for
radio releases make sure to use font size at least 18 – points.
– News Flag: To make it absolutely clear that the information is intended as a
news release, a large single word NEWS in Black or Red and printed in large
font (36 in typical)
– Release Date: Floating clearly above the text and after the news flag, is the
phrase FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (both underlined and capitalized) as
well (if you wish) a specific day and time of release For release at 6 pm
Friday, Oct 23. In case that you want the release to take place during morning
hours you must have an indication such AMS, or AM’s
– Contact Person: The name address and phone number of the person to contact
for additional information should appear in a block near the upper right hand
corner of the page. The use of more that one contact names is okay.
– Serial Number: Many organizations assign a code number to each release (in
the heading, under the contact person, or at the end of the first or last page).
This code usually indicates the no of release the month and the year as well as
the initials of the person prepared the release. Serial numbers serve two
• The identification of specific releases within organizations that they
produce a great number of releases
• To assist when management requires an audit
– Headline: to capture the reader’s attention and to summarize the information
in the article. The headline should be simple, direct, and written in an active
– Dateline: start the story with a so called dateline – it is the name of the place
where the release originates. This is probably important for editors that look
for local names and places.
– Slug line, Continuations, and End Sign: If the releases runs more than one
page then the word “more” should appear at the bottom of each page except
the last one. An end sign indicates that there are no more pages. The second
as well as the successive pages should be slugged at the top in the following
• Promotion– add one, or promotion --1