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Functions Of Public Relations

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Autor:  anton  03 December 2010
Tags:  Functions,  Public,  Relations
Words: 1110   |   Pages: 5
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Functions of Public Relations

Functions of Public Relations

The functions of public relations take many forms in different organizations. Public relations specialists handle organizational and societal functions such as media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations as well as political campaigns, interest-group representation, conflict mediation, or employee and investor relations. They help an organization and its public become accustomed and adapt to each other (U.S. DOL, 2005).

Public relations specialists handle organizational functions such as media, publicity, employee relations, investor relations, community relations, consumer relations and government affairs. However, public relations are not only about telling the organization’s side of the story. A very important part of the job is to understand the feelings and worries of consumers, employees, and other groups. To get better communication, public relations specialists create and preserve cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups, and with representatives from magazines and newspapers as well as broadcast journalism (U.S. DOL, 2005).

To advertise the interest of a company, the public relations department is mainly concerned with the preparation of verbal and written materials, which are intended to influence the public. From a societal approach, as defined, public relations are the firm's communications and relationships with its diverse publics. The publics can include customers, suppliers, stockholders, employees, the government, the general public, and the society in which the organization operates (Van Hook, 2005). The public relations of a company are fundamental to the company's success. Whether the public relations department is formal or informal, it is critical that the organization is concerned with the public relations.

Social responsibility is referred to often from a societal approach to an organization. It is not that the functional approach does not believe in social responsibility, it is just not the focal point of their theory nor is it a theoretical concept that they often use. In social systems theory, social responsibility is considered a symbolic medium of the public communication systems. In the new social order, social responsibility has replace the law of regulating mechanism and plays a major role in adapting social systems to each other. This has been functional to organizations and is used from this societal approach to explain the functions of the organization using this underlying principle (Public, 2005).

Another societal approach concept used in the organizational literature are public affairs and issues management. The focus is on public affairs and issues management versus marketing or investor mismanagement. Issues management is the method of prioritizing and proactively addressing public policy and reputation issues that can take an affect on an organizations success. Many big companies use issues management procedures to keep all their external relations activities focused on challenges and opportunities that have a high priority (Public, 2005).

Media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations, which include political campaigns, interest-group representation and conflict mediation, employee or investor relations are all organizational functions handled by Public relations specialist. When the term relations are used, it is often from this viewpoint. This is not an exact science but it is one way to try to separate the two approaches. This is just the nature of the theory and the theoretical concept that the theorists from this approach make use of to describe organizations and their functions. Every theory has concepts and terms unique to the theory, but often others are taken from existing theories (Van Hook, 2005).

A Media relation is organizational because it is considered an organization function from this viewpoint. Investor relations are considered an organization function from this perspective. They are focused and use terms that stand for their theory and ideas about how to explain organizational functions. To make sure the organization has a strong public image Public relations consist of constant activities. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the organization and its products. Public relations often depend on designing and implementing a public relations plan, which is similar to effective advertising and promotions. The plan regularly includes an explanation describing what, whom, how you want to get across who is responsible for the various activities and when. The plan should also include a budget to see how much money is going to be needed to fund these activities. A media plan and calendar can be very useful because it helps identify what media plans were used and when. Newspapers, magazines and television are some ways in which public relations is conducted through. Organizations typically have little control over the message in the media, at least, not as much as they do in advertising. Regarding publicity, unfortunately reporters and writers choose what will be said (McNamara, 2005).

In theory consumer relations is focused on the consumer, it is not for social responsibility but rather in keeping order in the organization, such as with the Board’s Corporate Development Plan and the National Health Strategy, Quality and Fairness. For example: The Department of Consumer Relations was established in 1999. The Department’s overall responsibility is the development of a consumer-focused organisation in keeping with the Board’s Corporate Development Plan and the National Health Strategy, Quality and Fairness. The Department is responsible for the performance of the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 and also access issues in relation to the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 very much focused on the organizational structure and the functions are described in terms of the organization (DCR, 2005).

There is tryly no clear defining line to understand these concepts other than to understand that certain theorists explain things in different ways. These are two different ways to explain the functions of organizations, societal and organizational. It seems when taken together then they are a good fit. Societal or organizational functions, they are all needed so that public relations specialists can serve as promoters and build and maintain positive relationships with the public; inform the general public, interest groups, and stockholders of an organization's policies, activities, and accomplishments; keep management aware of public attitudes and concerns; prepare press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material; set up speaking engagements and often prepare speeches; represent employers at public functions; and prepare annual reports and write proposals. Public relations specialist all use this function in their own unique way to help them achieve whatever their task is at that moment.


McNamara, Carter. Public and Media Relations. Retrieved: 11/20/05.

The Department of Consumer Relations & Communications. Department of Consumer Relations. Retrieved: 11/20/05.

The Public relations Profession: Careers in Public relation. An Overview. Retrieved: 11/20/05.

U.S Department of Labor. Public Relation Specialist. Retrieved: 11/20/05.

Van Hook, Steven R. All About Public Relations. Media Relations. Retrieved: 11/20/05.

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