Chapter 4: PR Departments & Firms

Public relations departments go by many different names.  Here is a list of other names used for public relations in the corporate world:

  • Corporate relations
  • Marketing & corporate affairs
  • Investor relations
  • Public affairs
  • Marketing communications
  • Community relations
  • External affairs

According to professors James and Larissa Grunig, “Public relations is the management of communication between an organization and its publics.”  It’s inevitable for friction to occur at some point in one of these four areas:

  1. Legal
  2. Human resources
  3. Advertising
  4. Marketing

Public relations departments provide numerous services for corporations.  They handle the promotion of products, research and evaluation, how to handle a crisis, the management of events, branding of a company, and financial relations.

Important attributes an organization wants from a PR firm:

  • Understand your business and the industry
  • Respond to all your needs and requests in a timely manner
  • Work within your budget

A Few Pros of a PR Firm:

  • Objectivity: A PR firm can lend a fresh perspective to the client.
  • Variety of skills & expertise: A PR firm has people who specialize in specific areas the client may need help with, such as speech writing.
  • Credibility:  Using a successful PR firm gives a client more recognition among others in the economy.

A Few Cons:

  • Lack of full time commitment:  PR firms have many clients to work for and can’t spend all of their time on just one client.
  • Resentment by internal staff:  Members of the client may resent the PR firm due to a feeling of incompentance.
  • Costs:  Obviously, PR firms can be expensive.

This information was taken from the book  Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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