FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC RELATION
Functions of Public Relation
It has been reported that Public Relations or PR is the art of managing communication between an organization and its key publics to build, manage and sustain a positive image (“”, 2006), and is an important function in the desire of any business organization or company to establish its reputation and brand image to its target market. For this reason, it is essential to determine the several functions of public relations, categorized as organizational and societal. This paper seeks to discuss the organizational and societal functions of public relation. In addition, it also seeks to explain the differences and similarities that exist between the two functions.
Organizational Functions of Public Relations
Organizational functions of public relations are activities that interact with or affect organizations, and these include functions, such as communications management, media, government affairs, publicity, investor relations, community relations, consumer relations, and employee relations (“”, 2006). These functions involve processes or actions that unite the different teams or functions within the business organization or company. The company can use them these functions to distribute or dissipate useful information to the employees of the company, to stakeholders and to other organizations involved in the company. The organizational functions can be used for fostering an effective and efficient workforce, to increase the productivity of the company, and to establish its reputation in the market. One of its important functions is employee relations or human resource management. Human Resource Management is concerned with all the activities that contribute to successfully attracting, developing, motivating, planning systematic approaches, and maintaining a high-performing workforce that result in organizational success (, 2002). In addition, it gives an increasing emphasis on the personal needs of the organization and its members, where the challenge is to create an organizational environment in which each employee can grow and develop to his or her fullest extent, and it aims at developing strategies for the total organization focused on clarifying an organization’s current and potential problems and developing solutions for them (, 2002). Another important function is managing customer relations or customer service. This strategy is used by business organizations or companies to learn more about the needs and behaviors of customers to develop stronger relationships with them. Managing customer relations is essential for companies for they need to value its customers based on the total value of their relationship with the company, the potential value of their relationship, the profitability of their relationship, the insights they can provide the company, and the influence that they exercise over other customers (, 2000). With proper management of customer relations, the company and its customers will be able to create a good relationship and benefit from one another.
Both the employee and customer relations are functions of the organizational function of public relations because both functions are processes that involve distributing useful information. Employee relations are responsible in dissipating useful information within the company, while customer relations is responsible for giving out information regarding the company and the company’s products and services. In addition, both functions are essential in the company’s aim to sustain and maintain their operation, and with these processes, the whole organization will be able to continue to produce products or render services, both internally and externally.
Societal Functions of Public Relations
In contrast to the organizational function of public relations, societal functions of public relations have to do with actions that connect to the public, and these functions include marketing communications, consumer relations, public affairs, and issues management plus social responsibility (“”, 2006). These are mainly external functions, for these involve the processes that would enable the company or the business organization to relate to the public properly. Without the external or societal functions of public relations, companies will not be able to have the chance to communicate with their consumers or clients. Effective communication includes giving out information regarding the company’s products or rendered services and receiving feedbacks from the consumers. One of the important functions of public relations’ societal functions is marketing communications. It has been reported that marketing communication consists of the messages and related media used to communicate with a market (“”, 2006), and this includes disciplines such as advertising, sales promotion, marketing public relations, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship, and Internet communications (“”, 2006). The use of marketing communications is important because through its use, companies or business organizations will be able to effectively and efficiently distribute information to their customers, and with the use of the various promotional disciplines mentioned, companies will be able to generate ideas, use their creativity and encourage effective communication and relationship with their customers.
Another important function of the societal functions of public relations is social responsibility, for this element encompasses its entire function. At present, companies relate effectively with their consumers using many forms of media. With this, they have the social responsibility of distributing and informing their customers of useful and relevant information regarding their products and services. Moreover, companies have the social responsibility of setting a good example to other companies, through being true to their words and to their actions, by using available forms and means of media and communication. With the use of effective public relations and dissipation of proper information, companies will be able to communicate effectively with their consumers, in line with their desire to establish their reputation in the market and in the industry.
Both marketing communications and social responsibility are functions of public relations’ societal functions because both elements are external means of distributing information and data to the consumers of the company. Both are also responsible with the main aim of public relations, which is to build and manage information and the reputation of the company to the public.
Differences and Similarities
Both the organizational and societal functions of public relations are involved in conveying messages and encouraging communication of a business organization, internally and externally. Both functions serve as good means of developing communications and gathering data, and both use different forms of media for better creativity and convenience.
The scope of organizational functions of public relations involves actions concerning the company, while societal functions are interested in activities regarding the society (“”, 2006). The organizational functions of public relations are involved in internal development of communication, while societal functions are involved in dissipating useful information towards consumers.
From the functions discussed above, it can be deduced that it is crucial for any business organization or company to use both the organizational and societal functions of public relations. With its use, companies will be able to encourage effective communication and distribute information to their employees and to their consumers. Using these functions, companies will be able to efficiently establish its reputation to the market and to the industry, and also establish its brand image and brand identity to its consumers.
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