Public Relations Defined
The management function, which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and
procedures of an organization with the public interest, and executes a program of action
to earn public understanding and acceptance.
THE TRADITIONAL DEFINATION OF PR
Public relations require a series of stages, including:
• The determination and evaluation of public attitudes.
• The identification of policies and procedures of an organization with a public interest.
• The development and execution of a communications program designed to bring about
public understanding and acceptance.
This definition reveals that public relations involves much more than activities designed to sell a
product or service. The PR program may involve some of the promotional program elements
previously discussed but use them in a different way.
The New Role
Marketing and public relations are complementary functions.
Each makes a unique but complementary contribution to organizational goal attainment.
Roughly half of all public relations activity is considered to be ‘marketing public
Publicity refers to the generation of news about a person, product, service, or organization that
appears in broadcast or print media, and now on the Internet
Video news release (VNR): a publicity piece produced by publicists so that stations can air it as a
First is the fact that publicity typically lasts for a short period of time. The communication effect
of an article in the newspaper about a new product may last for a few weeks.Alternatively,
public relations are a concerted program, with many exposures extending over a period of time
that have a lasting communication effect.
Second complication is that public relations is designed to provide positive information about a
firm and is usually controlled by the firm or its agent. Publicity, on the other hand, is not always
positive and is not always under the control of, or paid for by, the organization. One factor that
distinguishes publicity from the other IMC program elements is its sheer power as a form of
communication, which gives rise to the final complication. Some of the more powerful incidents of publicity are unplanned by the corporation, and the
focus is on the successful and unsuccessful reactions of the organization to positive or negative
PUBLIC RELATIONS PLAN
Public relations are an ongoing process requiring formalized policies and procedures for dealing
with problems and opportunities.Apublic relations plan is required, as in the case for an
advertising plan or a sales promotion plan. Moreover, the public relations plan needs to be
integrated into the overall marketing communications program.
SituationalAnalysis Some elements of the situation analysis from the marketing plan or IMC
plan are reviewed. An additional key piece of information is a current assessment of people's
attitudes toward the firm, its product or service, or specific issues beyond those directed at a
product or service.
The reasons for conducting this research are many:
• It provides input into the planning process. Once the firm has determined public
attitudes, these become the starting point in the development of programs designed to
maintain favourable positions or change unfavourable ones.
• It serves as an early warning system. Once a problem exists, it may require substantial
time and money to correct. By conducting research, the firm may be able to identify
potential problems and handle them effectively before they become serious issues.
• It secures support internally. If research shows that a problem or potential problem
exists, it will be much easier for the public relations arm to gain the support it needs to
address this problem.
• It increases the effectiveness of the communication. The better the firm understands a
problem, the better it can design communications to deal with it.
Determine Relevant TargetAudiences
There are various types of target audience such as:
Internal audiences: are connected to the organization in some way and include the employees of
the firm, shareholders and investors, members of the local community, suppliers, and current
External audiences: are those people who are not closely connected with the organization (e.g.,
the public at large). Shareholders and Investors: An annual report like the one in 3 provides shareholders and
investors with financial information regarding the firm. While this is one purpose, annual reports
are also a communications channel for informing this audience about why the firm is or is not
doing well, future plans, and other information that goes beyond numbers.
Community Members People who live and work in the community where a firm is located or
doing business are often the target of public relations efforts. Such efforts may involve ads
informing the community of activities that the organization is engaged.
Suppliers and Customers an organization wishes to maintain goodwill with its suppliers as well
as its consuming public. If consumers think a company is not socially conscious, they may take
their loyalties elsewhere. Suppliers may be inclined to do the same. Indirect indications of the
success of PR efforts may include more customer loyalty, less antagonism, or greater cooperation
between the firm and its suppliers or consumers.
The communication objectives can similarly be used for public relations. Communication
objectives include category need, brand awareness, brand attitude, purchase intentions and
Marketing public relations (MPR) functions marketing objectives that may be aided by public
relations activities include raising awareness, informing and educating, gaining understanding,
building trust, giving consumers a reason to buy, and generating consumer acceptance.
Marketing public relations can be used in the following ways:
- Building marketplace excitement before media advertising breaks.
- Creating news about a new advertising or promotional campaign.
- Introducing a product with little or no advertising.
- Influencing the influential—that is, providing information to opinion leaders.
- Defending products at risk with a message of reassurance.
- Constructively promoting a product.
The historical role of public relations is one of communicating a favourable image of the
corporation as a whole. The domain of this image, or reputation management, concerns every
facet of how the organization interacts with its many social, economic, political, and charitable
constituents, in addition to the general public locally, nationally, and internationally.
Two broad directions of the actual message, marketing versus corporate, an organization has to
Decide the relative degree of the message's impact over the course of a year or even longer, as
public relations tends to have a lasting communication effect.
Criteria for using the effectiveness of Public Relations - Management by objectives. Executives and their managers act together to identify
communication objectives to be attained and the responsibilities of the managers. These
objectives are then used as a standard to measure accomplishments.
- Matching objectives and results. Specific communications objectives should be related
to actions, activities, or media coverage.
- Personal observation and reaction. Personal observation and evaluation by one's
superiors should occur at all levels of the organization.
- Public opinion and surveys. Research in the form of public opinion surveys may be used
to gather data to evaluate program goal attainment.
- Internal and external audits. Internal audits involve evaluations by superiors or peers
within the firm to determine the performance of the employee (or his or her programs).
External audits are conducted by consultants or other parties outside the organization.
Walter Lindeman says three levels of measures are involved:
(1) The basic, which measures the actual PR activities undertaken
(2) The intermediate, which measures audience reception and understanding of the message;
(3)The advanced, which measures the perceptual and behavioural changes that result.
Strategies approach to public relations measurement involves two- step process:
1. Setting in advance very specific and clearly defined public relations goals and objectives.
2. Pinpointing those levels of measurement that is crucial to the organization in determining to
what extent those specific public relations goals and objectives have been met.
In the model, there are three levels for measuring PR effectiveness:
- Level #1—the Basic level for measuring public relations OUTPUTS. This measures the
amount of exposure an organization receives in the media, the total number of
placements, the total number of impressions, and/or the likelihood of having reached
specific target audience groups.
- Level #2—the Intermediate level for measuring public relations OUTG