It is very important that an organization puts effective measures in place to strengthen its public relations so as to be able to operate in a favorable business environment. The essence of proper public relations cannot be over emphasized but truth be told, it forms a huge part in the activities of any organization. To achieve these targets, the organization utilized the various tools at its disposal.
This paper highlights in a very deep sense the essence of creating proper channels of public relations in large-sized organizations such as (Company X) and the repercussions that become of such activities. This essay focuses on how public relations support processes such as marketing of the organizations products through developing both the image and product of the company otherwise known as publicity. It is greatly important that we recognize the fact that the public relations function would be used to attract various stakeholders for example, the organization’s employees as well as certain non-target market groups.
Public relations methods such as exposure to media offer proper audience as well as a potential benefit to the organization. It is important therefore that we understand the basics of public relations and its application in organizations in as far as aspects such as culture, design and structures are concerned. Worth noting is the fact that public relations help in a very big way to improve the relationship that the organization has with its external environment. Therefore, this essay will contextualize the public relations idea with the Company X forming the basis upon which projections will be made.
Definition of public relations
The term public relations can be described in many ways. Generally though, it is described as a process of cultivating admirable ties for organizations and its subsequent products as well as the major publics by exploring various communication channels and tools. It basically refers to the process through which various public relations officials, often tasked with curving exemplary images for the organization, team up with the news teams and various media houses to publicize an organization or the organization’s product via stories in both printed and broadcasted media (Ledingham & Bruning, 2001). The dynamics shaping up the contemporary world has; however, brought in a new lease of life in as far as the role of public relations is concerned. These include creating appropriate but accepted images for an organization by use of articles and other forms of representation found in media outlets that are relevant, aids the monitoring process of many media channels in as far as sentiments about the organization and the products are concerned, offering management to possible crises that would hurt the company’s image or its product and lastly public relations has been noticed to create friendly environments for organizations as concerns their target markets. This has been made possible through exploring methods such as community participation, spendthrift and events as well as programs of specialty. In any organization, the main target of the department of public relations is to increase the organizations’ reputation and protect it at the same time.
Importance of the public relations to the organization
Owing to the competitive nature of the business field in the contemporary world, it has become increasingly important that organizations and any other business enterprises device competitive advantages over their rivals through exploring the best public relations practices. In so doing, these organizations get to market themselves to the public (customers) through the effective media. Public relations service the company through aiding in the process of giving the public domain and the media more efficient ways to understand the functioning of the organization. For the internal environment of the organization, the public relations would be referred to as public information or customer relations. These departments come in handy to the employees particularly in instances where they are burdened by problems. Through carrying out surveys and PR also helps the company to accomplish its full probable. They offer a response to the company from the public. This usually takes the variety of research concerning what areas the public is most unhappy with, and or happy. A successful public relations officer has to possess certain qualities as well as skills that would help in determining the success of his or her activities. These include efficient communication skills; be it in the written form or the spoken form. An individual should be fluent and clear in the method of communication he so chooses to disseminate information. Such individuals must also have a good mastery of multitasking (Wilcox & Cameron, 2011). This is actually the process of engaging in two or more activities concurrently to facilitate the process of job completion. Multitasking also helps in a big way to manage time and work within the scheduled time frames. Background information on how the media functions and the world of advertising could be added advantages. An individual’s interpersonal skills should also encompass proper organizational and planning skills that would help in shaping public relations. An individual working in the public relations department of the organization would need to be able to work under pressure. This is considering the fact that this job has its pressure points that need a lot of composure to maintain. Academic qualifications are also an added advantage.
How the organization utilizes public relations to create brand and influence opinions
For an organization to create a brand it has to be acting in a specific way different from competitors and in a manner that favors its target populations; mostly customers and prospective investors. In creating a brand, the organization can therefore be at a position to influence the activities of many people. It is important to realize the fact that brand creation in itself is a way to create influence as the target group will start to identify itself with this brand. The biggest problem is not creating a brand but how to do it. The process of creating a brand involves many players as well as resources most significantly; financial. The organization utilized the various tools at its disposal to achieve these targets; these tools are mostly the various forms of communication that the company utilized to create efficient public relations. The company used methods such as blogs and websites (collateral literature) to gain market dominance in the internet circles (Baron, Conway & Warnaby, 2010). Blogs allow the prospective customers and investors to ask for any clarifications on the operation of the organization. This allows the customer confidence to be boosted in the company and in so doing the customer and the investor groups can tag along to the activities of the organization. Websites also work in a similar fashion as blogs only that it is more convenient and detailed in its information.
This way the organization managed to influence its target groups into joining its operations. Organizational values, ethos, structures, philosophies and designs are just but a few of the information common sighted in these sources. Added to these methods, the company utilized talk shows in the various media outlets to boost on the perception building process among its target customers. Talk shows are media through which an organization gets to showcase its range of activities to any interested persons. This is a job carried out by public relations professionals doubling up as spokespersons. The company also utilized the print media to establish their influence and their marketing brands. Working on a motivating philosophy, the organization managed to put advertisements and promotional activities on print media sources. These sources include books and other literary sources, local newspapers and newsletters. Brochures and the organizations’ magazine were also some of the methods used. So as to increase their popularity, the organization used publicity events otherwise referred to as stunts or pseudo-events (Smith, 2004). The organization also utilized desk visits to keep their dedicated and prospective customers in touch with their activities. In this case, public relation professionals took to journalists in the leading media houses the new products so as brief them of the new promotion schemes. Considering it is through the media houses that the larger percentage of the population gets to acquire information, the organization managed to establish their brand and consequently, their influence. Another way through which the organization managed to create their brand was through the use of direct communication methods to reach its constituents. The idea of carrying important messages and ideas to customers was a major representation of dedication on the part of the organization that managed to cultivate in the customers a sense of trust and appreciation. The organization also managed to assert their influence through organizing nationwide seminars and induction sessions in which they not only attracted new stakeholders on board but also made it possible for them to learn all the procedures and activities that shape up the organization. In this way, the organization managed to attract more customers and investors as well as other important stakeholders. The attraction process only represented in a big way the influence they had managed to create in the customers.
Social media sites and their implication in the organizations’ operations
The 21st century has witnessed a flurry of activities especially as concerns the internet developments. The olden days of telephony and e-mails have been overtaken by the present days and their sophisticated yet widely used methods of communication. These methods are mostly tied to the social media sites and their rapid development in the past few years. It is not uncommon to see most if not all business enterprises resorting to social sites to market their products to the numerous users. Social media sites can be described as technologies in the web and mobile sectors that manage to create interactive dialogues out of important communication. They can also be described as media for social interaction that allow its users to exchange user-generated information. It has acted to revolutionize the communication systems between the various groups that would be interacting to generate a business idea. Key to understanding the idea behind social media sites is the fact that they are internet based and as such manage to bring into congruence the activities of various groups. In a bid to market their prices, social media sites have in their ranks various categories that business enterprises are exploring. The organization under discussion, being a profit making business enterprise, also utilized these social sites. Social media sites consist of sections such as bookmarking, news, networking, photo and video sharing and wikis (Hendricks, 2010).
All these categories were incorporated by the organization and used effectively to bring the best out of them. Specific reference, though, can be made to the networking sites, photo and video sharing sites and lastly the wikis. In the networking sector, the company made use of facebook and twitter which are arguably the largest networking sites. Counting on the large user bases of these two sites, the organization posted links on their pages (especially for facebook) and making use of mini blogs (in the case of twitter) to nab a larger consumer base. As concerns the video sharing sites, the organization, being a communication oriented organization (mobile telephone Company), resorted to the use of the popular YouTube and videoconferencing techniques to share information on their new technologies. For instance the money banking services recently launched by the organization were posted in YouTube for subscribers who are farfetched to see. This allowed the customers to learn the requisite techniques without necessarily being instructed at individual levels. The working of the wikis is rather understandable. The organization shared the necessary information such as specific dates and location as well as activities. This allows customers to acquire information about the organization in a rather easy fashion. These social sites have managed to propel the organizations’ image to the global stage thereby increasing its influence as well as popularity. However, it must also be noted that the use of media and social sites have also brought in their fair share of disadvantages. Considering social sites are merely informal sites that allow organizations or rather companies such as this to reach their customers, it is hard, therefore, that formal discussions would ever be promulgated. The process of disseminating important information would only be limited to very secretive or formal platforms. This would go a long way in hindering the development process especially if certain interested stakeholders cannot access these forums. Another huge threat posed by these sites is the fact that successful companies such as this, have to deal with the menace of hackers who are for all time on the lookout for information privy only to the members of the organization. A good example would be a hacker obtaining important documents such as the company’s competitive advantages alongside other strengths. This is a serious problem that has been dubbed as cyber theft and is on the verge of killing the spirit of cyber technology or rather the internet progressions so far witnessed.
Crisis faced by the organization
Being a communications company, this organization mainly faces the threat of tariff regulation in the face of increased competitors. The communications industry is a very competitive one especially if it has many players on board. Having been, in the business for a long time the organization seemed to have taken over the mobile industry and as such set user friendly tariffs. However with increased competitors coming to the fore and lowering the billing rates, it is becoming increasingly important that the organization finds a way out. As such, the organization managed to resort to other inventions to keep its faithful customers. Considering the new entrants set very low tariff levels which in turn translate into very low billing rates, the organization decided to venture into other equally productive ventures so as to keep its turnover rates at constant levels at the same time maintaining its large customer base. To start with, the company has decided to introduce new tariff packs to counter the strategies adopted by the new market entrants. Apart from this, the organization decided to invent services such as mobile banking services as well inviting its consumer base to subscribe to its initial public offers (IPO’s). These are measures adopted in the face of stiff competition especially in the sector of making calls so as to increase the efficiency levels of the company. The introduction of new ventures have helped in not only maintaining the large user base but also bringing in more customers especially in the rural areas who might not be in positions to access services such as banks. This is seen as strength and a competitive advantage that will take time to get imitated by any competitors.
Comparisons to a non-profit organization
Most non-profit making organizations are charity organizations and in other instances community initiated programs that are always at helping a category of persons within their areas of jurisdictions. Comparisons made between these two organizations could be on the basis of raising awareness and reaching their prospective customers. To this end, both types of organizations are deemed to be using the same methods in as far as public relations is concerned. In both cases, the use of the media and other social networks as discussed herein could be applicable (Vernon, 2002). This is to imply that even the non-profit making organizations would resort to wide spread advertisement schedules to obtain customers and various stakeholders such as financiers. The differences on their part are numerous considering the major goals of these two organizations are totally different. To start with, their mission or goals would be different. The profit making organization would stress on obtaining turnovers as well as increasing their operation areas while the non-profit making organizations would stress mainly in offering their services to their customers in the best possible ways. The other major difference, though not related to the aspect of public relations, would be in the payment of tax schedules. The profit making organization has a strict tax payment regime while the non-profit making organization has tax concession regimes that sees them operating at little or no costs. The only payments made by the non-profit making organization could be in the form of obtaining license fees.
The aspect of public relations is very important in the establishment of an efficient organization as it acts as the mirror by which the organization in question is known and therefore attention should be accorded to all channels of public relations. As seen from the company X discussed herein, it is important that organizations aiming to use the media and social sites to market themselves as well as their products or services do so in most commonly used sites. Without a doubt, the competition among organizations majoring in similar products would reach a high new level where the differences will be picked according to the public relation channels in existence.