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Introduction to public relation

Public Relations (PR) is the way
organisations, companies and
individuals communicate with the
public and media. A PR specialist
communicates with the target audience
directly or indirectly through media
with an aim to create and maintain a
positive image and create a strong
relationship with the audience.
Examples include press releases,
newsletters, public appearances, etc. as
well as utilisation of the World Wide Web.

The world of business is characterised by fierce competition and in order to win
new customers and retain the existing ones, the firms have to distinguish
themselves from the competition. But they also need to create and maintain a
positive public image. A PR specialist or firm helps them both create and
maintain a good reputation among both the media and the customers by
communicating in their behalf and presenting their products, services and the
overall operation in the best light possible. A positive public image helps create
a strong relationship with the customers which in turn increases the sales.

PR aims at creating favourable image of the organisation . still in the business
circles sometimes there appear to be confusion . The main reason for this lack
of understanding PR can be traced in the history of private sector in India .
Apart from the government and governmental organisations , where PR has
thrived as the legacy of British raj , the private sector has not justified its role
in the marking the proper role of PR.

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DEFINiTIONS

According to institute of public relations , USA:-

“ Public relations are the
deliberate , planned and
sustained effort to establish and
maintain mutual understanding
between an organisation and its
public.”

According to Edward l. Bernays:-

“ Public relations is the
attempt by information
persuasion and adjustment to
engineer public support for an
activity , cause, movement or
institution.”

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Newsletters are also a common marketing strategy but PR specialists use it to share news and general information that may be of interest to the target audience rather than merely promoting products/services. Some of the most common ones include:  Attendance at public events. a much larger audience.  Newsletters.  Press releases. This enables them to directly reach the public attending the event and indirectly. microblogging.  Blogging. PR specialists use the digital forms of press releases and newsletters but they also use a variety of other tools such as blogging and recently. Common PR Tools and Techniques In order to build a relationship with the target audience and maintain it on a high level. PR specialists take an advantage of every public event and the opportunity to speak publicly. This is due to the fact that most people consider such information more trustworthy and meaningful than paid adds. Press release is therefore one of the oldest and most effective PR tools. magazines and other types of mainstream media achieves a much bigger impact than advertisements. In order to attract public attention and keep it engaged with a particular organisation or an individual.directly to the target audience is also a common method to create and maintain a strong relationship with the public. PR specialists use a variety of tools and techniques. To reach the online audience. newspapers. Sending newsletters – relevant information about the organisation or/and its products/services . 3 . Information that is communicated as a part of the regular TV or/and radio programme.

Social media networks. consumers. It allows them to create and maintain a relationship with the target audience as well as establish a two-way communication. however.  Social media marketing. 4 . Like its name suggests. it is used primarily by the marketing industry. o Advertising o Radio / tv o Films/ slides o Exhibitions/trade fairs o House journal o Sponsorship o Event management o Plant tour. Some other tools of PR. investors and other target groups. are also utilised by a growing number of PR specialists to establish a direct communication with the public.

IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC RELATION Evalutes public attitudes Formation of policies & procedures Enhances community relations Helps in influencing public Co-ordination and communication of programs Developing goodwill Generating annual reports Managing government affairs Managing crisis situation Improvement of internal staff relations 5 .

NGO’s i. ii. To maintain internal peace. Sectors Roles 2. Implementation of public policy. ii.1% contributed by service sector and which is gaining lots of importance. To engage heavily in relationship building. Public relations in different sectors In today’s modern and fast world of service industries. iii. To enhance social capital. “PR is a planned effort to influence opinion through good character and responsible performance based upon mutual satisfactory two way communication. iii. ii. Role of public relation manager in different sectors Sectors Roles 1. To maintain good relations. To distribute knowledge about their activities among the society. To solve dispute of the students. Education centers i. According to two American PR professionals scott m. where Indian GDP is 54. center. iii. 6 . Government organization i. To understands the public realtion in services and it’s functioning as a tool for management. Assisting the news media in govt activities. 3. Cutlips and Allen H. Mobilization of support increasing the agency’s sensitivity to it’s public.

5. ensuring effective and positive brand re- enforcement and image building. To look after customer satisfaction. iii. To manage the public relations activity. MNC’S i. To maintain customer employee relations. ii. To solve internal disputes. 7 . To generate quality media coverage. ii. Banks i.4. iii.

purchase and placement of purposefully planned and executed messages in selected media to further the interest of an organization or person.PUBLIC RELATION ACTIVITIES The various stages of the public relations process involve combinations of a variety of activities  Advertising Preparation.  Corporate Sponsorship Providing support to an event or a cause by devoting corporate resources in exchange for an opportunity to enhance good will. product image and sales.  Development Fundraising activities and membership drives designed to influence an organization’s relationships with various publics.  External Communications Controlled and uncontrolled messages disseminated in the mass media as 8 . Persuasive material that is presented to the public as the acknowledged appeal of an identified party who has paid to have it appear.  Corporate Philanthropy Recognition of corporate obligations and responsibilities to communities by making monetary and other contributions to charitable organizations.

for pay. provides certain types of lobbying services on behalf of a client. product. program. primary or secondary.  Public Relations Research The term public relations research does not describe specific types of research methodology such as content analysis. payroll stuffers. 9 . issue or cause published or broadcast in the news media because of its value or relevance/importance to the community or the media outlet’s audiences. Public Relations: Dissemination of purposefully planned and executed messages to selected media to further the interest of an organization or person without specific payment to media. organization or cause.  Lobbying Direct attempts to influence legislative and regulatory decisions in government. Public relations research can be formal or informal. lawyer. Tier II includes employees whose jobs involve a significant amount of lobbying for their employers. brochures. accountant. promos. to meet overall organizational goals. including pamphlets. etc. the term refers to any type of research that yields data for use in planning and evaluating public relations efforts. including newsletters.  Publicity General: Information about an organization. qualitative or quantitative. ads and stunts to create and stimulate interest in a person. person. According to the Lobbyists Registration Act. etc. non- broadcast videos. etc. public opinion polls or readership surveys. public relations audits. Instead. bulletin boards. etc. communication audits and social audits. Tier I is for an individual (government relations consultant. Special events often are designed to obtain publicity or other exposure.  Promotion Using techniques such as events. speeches.  Special Event Management The use of a project. well as other communications media. there are two tiers of lobbyists. action or happening.  Internal Communications Planned messages disseminated to employees through a variety of communications channels.) who. generally involving public participation. Four basic categories of public relations research activities are most common: environmental monitoring. posters. In Canada.

No matter what PR industry you chose one thing remains the same. The major operate of corporate pr is to associate with the public through various media like press release. however. social media. is crisis communications. I worked in community relations. such as a blog. DEFINITION OF CORPORATE PR “Corporate Public Relations as the name implies. Another. and more publicized function of PR in corporations. which is just one of the ways corporations exercise public relations. to connect and engage their publics. to an internal newsletter highlighting employee affairs. and social media contests. Targeting the audience and executing the process effectively will have a massive reach. The main function of corporate PR is to connect with various publics using means such as press releases. External PR for corporations can be vaster and include numerous messages to various publics. etc in order to manage their relationships. crisis communications teams can be brought in to asses a particular case. Crisis communications is typically executed in-house and is a part of the existing PR team. CORPORATE PR Corporate PR can have many different platforms including internal and external functions. or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). corporations are using social media. “ 10 . Internal functions of corporate PR can range from employee social media. knowing your audience is essential to running and executing an effective PR strategy. products and events to facilitate the building and managing relationships. businesses are tend to acquire fame amongst their competitors and the people. social media. More recently. depending on the size of the company and the severity of the situation. In my experience with Comcast-Spectacor.

Corporate Public Relations sometimes act like a firefighter for the company. agencies. in the right way to the right group of people is very crucial. A PRO must be able to disseminate accurate information on a timely basis to the concerned group of “Public”. According to the book Essentials of Corporate Communication by Cees van Riel and Charles Fombrun the term Corporate Communication can be defined as “the set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications aimed at creating favorable starting points with stakeholders on which the company depends. industry bodies and institutes. and executing the plan efficiently and accuracy.” The role of a Public Relations Officer (PRO) in communicating the right information. It emerges as a savior at the time of crisis. A PR campaign begins with the identification of the problem or challenge. government. like any other individual. It was just because of a strong PR strategic campaign that the Cadbury worm controversy was put out. Here comes the role of Corporate Public Relations. stakeholders. By doing so he/she will earn reputation. media. credibility and authenticity for the respective corporate entity. exists in a society.Importance of Corporate Public Relations in Businesses A corporate entity. educational institutes. nourish and maintain relationships with various members of the society for its existence. It needs to establish. A PRO is in short the face of a corporate entity and helps build a Corporate Image that is unique to the company. 11 . setting the public relations’ goal and priorities. Similar is the case with Nokia battery blast case. customers and general public. channel partners. A PRO deals with various “Publics”. “Publics” include employees. For establishing. In the process of executing the PR campaign a PRO must be swift in conceptualizing relevant messages and disseminate them through proper channels to the concerned party. nourishing and maintaining healthy and sustaining relationships one needs to communicate effectively and consistently.

Functions of corporate Public Relations • Communication Management • Media • Government Affairs • Publicity • Investor Relations • Community Relations • Social Responsiblity • Influencing Public • Managing Employees • Public Affairs 12 .

and the attempts to retain a company image and credibility.’’ EXAMPLES OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT Johnson & Johnson did not share the same fate as Firestone when crisis struck the company in 1982. planning a response to the crisis and confronting and resolving the crisis. and it was killing people. the same role they have every day: maintaining and improving their organization’s relationships by effectively communicating with its target audiences. attempting to diffuse the damage. DEFINITION OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT “ The response to a crisis that affects a company. Crisis management is occasionally referred to as incident management. Tylenol was tampered with. Public relations practitioners play a crucial role in crises. effective crisis communication can actually enhance an organization’s reputation. A public relations unit’s goal during a crisis is to get the organization through the situation with as little damage to its reputation. and key relationships as possible. Crisis management Crisis management is the communications management function used to convey accurate facts and data to the general public and to specific publics during a crisis situation in order to prevent or minimize negative publicity that could adversely affect the success of company. credibility. such as a product recall. Crisis management involves identifying a crisis . One of Johnson & Johnson's well-known products. Johnson & Johnson reacted quickly and pulled 13 . Someone had been placing cyanide pills inside of Tylenol bottles. or a legal issue. although several industry specialists such as Peter Power argue that the term "crisis management" is more accurate. In some cases. a technology breach. Crisis Management is the process of remedying the issue. They cannot independently determine their organization’s actions. Public relations practitioners are not normally responsible for resolving the underlying problems that created a crisis situation.

Double layer packaging launched within 90 days.their product off the selves. Sometimes crisis management is used to protect a company from its customers. A grocery store surveillance camera caught a customer placing a syringe in the Pepsi can. They promoted the product by featuring brand ambassador Amitab bacchan. a Pepsi customer claimed to have found a syringe in a can. 14 . Pepsi started running ad campaigns against these incidents saying that they were "copycats" and Pepsi cans are "99." This gave Pepsi enough time to discover what was happening. syringes and bolts in Pepsi cans. The Pepsi Company immediately denied that this was possible and that these claims were fraudulent. Instead of suffering long-term damage to their reputation. But Cadbury India search the reason behind this incident and they find the problem of poor packaging. Once the story hit the press. In 1991.9% safe. Pepsi now had the proof they needed to refute the claims that their soda was unsafe to drink. Tylenol regained consumer confidence quickly because their crisis management plan told them to act in the interest of the consumer. there were numerous reports of people finding screws. That time Demand for dairy milk chocolate sharply decrease and customers loose their confidence in it. Cadbury India in the year-2004 Some worms were found in few bars of dairy milk chocolate.

Public Relations Practices in Crisis Management Public relations events can happen to any company at any time. 15 . Taking emergency steps/procedure: 3. Preventing media from spreading of wrong news about co. Timing One of the mistakes that companies sometimes make in a public relations crisis is waiting too long to address the situation. public relations practices for crisis management must be put into action. Do not assume that the situation will solve itself or that people will forget about it. 6. 2. according to Ellie Whims. But when a business faces a public backlash from a scandal or some other negative event. Periodic review of emergency procedures: 4. admit a mistake and present as many pertinent facts as necessary. The sooner you address the issue the less chance it has of getting out of control. the public relations exposure is planned. Honesty Releasing incorrect or incomplete information to address a crisis situation will only serve to make the problem worse. In some cases. Letting media know about the new and everlasting changes in product. product. Crisis Procedure 1. But the situation may require the company to stand up. 5. The PR should have an immediate communication with company’s top management and even work staff as per the type of crisis. but it is necessary in diffusing a crisis. An effective public relations practice in crisis management is to recognize the problem as early as possible and begin working to develop a solution as soon as possible. It can often work to the company's advantage to find ways to put a positive spin on a crisis. Releasing a positive spin on a bad situation can indicate that the company accepts responsibility and has learned from the experience. The public relations steps a company takes in crisis management will have long- term effects on profitability and company growth. writing on the All About Public Relations website. Identification of errors: to protect workers and public. Honesty is a public relations practice that can sometimes be difficult.

Tsunamis. Types of Crisis Crisis refers to sudden unplanned events which cause major disturbances in the organization and trigger a feeling of fear and threat amongst the employees. Follow Up Addressing a crisis when it happens with procedural information and honesty are good practices when addressing the beginning of a crisis. If the crisis occurs as a result of company error. Natural Crisis  Disturbances in the environment and nature lead to natural crisis. Earthquakes. If those facts can get out before the accusations of company negligence.  Tornadoes. 16 . If a crisis occurs and the company instituted proper emergency procedures to prevent a problem. 7. Following are the types of crisis: 1. that information will find a way into the media quickly. A periodic review of emergency procedures to ensure they are adequate and up to date is good business and good public relations. Allow the media to see the progress in your crisis management program and prepare a statement for the media when the crisis has officially ended. Hurricanes.  Such events are generally beyond the control of human beings. that information needs to be released immediately. For the public to regain confidence in the company. a company typically has emergency procedures in place to protect workers and the public. Flood. that can put the accusations against the company into question. In a crisis situation. Landslides. the company needs to release regular updates on the progress of the final resolution to the crisis. The company needs to offset any potential public relations issues by letting the media know what the company did to prevent the crisis. Drought all result in natural disaster. After all this the PR should take necessary steps to take the company out of crisis.

false rumours all lead to crisis of malevolence.  Acts like kidnapping company’s officials. Crisis of organizational misdeeds can be further classified into following three types: iii. give them ultimatums and force them to accept their demands. Technological Crisis  Technological crisis arises as a result of failure in technology. Crisis of Organizational Misdeeds  Crises of organizational misdeeds arise when management takes certain decisions knowing the harmful consequences of the same towards the stakeholders and external parties. Crisis of Malevolence  Organizations face crisis of malevolence when some notorious employees take the help of criminal activities and extreme steps to fulfill their demands. strikes for indefinite periods and so on. Crisis of Skewed Management Values 17 . Confrontation Crisis  Confrontation crises arise when employees fight amongst themselves. Individuals do not agree to each other and eventually depend on non productive acts like boycotts.  In such cases.  Breakdown of machine. 3. employees disobey superiors.  Internal disputes. corrupted software and so on give rise to technological crisis.  In such a type of crisis. ineffective communication and lack of coordination give rise to confrontation crisis. superiors ignore the after effects of strategies and implement the same for quick results. Problems in the overall systems lead to technological crisis.2. 4. 5.

18 . Employees must not spread anything which would tarnish the image of their organization. vii. Communicating wrong information about the organization and products lead to crisis of deception. v. Crisis Due to Rumours  Spreading false rumours about the organization and brand lead to crisis. Crisis of Management Misconduct  Organizations face crisis of management misconduct when management indulges in deliberate acts of illegality like accepting bribes. vi.  Management makes fake promises and wrong commitments to the customers.  Crisis of Skewed Management Values arises when management supports short term growth and ignores broader issues. Crisis of Deception  Organizations face crisis of deception when management purposely tampers data and information. Crisis due to Workplace Violence  Such a type of crisis arises when employees are indulged in violent acts such as beating employees. iv. superiors in the office premises itself. passing on confidential information and so on.

 Warn the employees immediately to avoid such a situation.  Lack of fund leads to crisis. storms.  Managers do not get warning signals and such a situation is in most cases beyond any one’s control. Crisis Due to Natural Factors  Disturbances in environment and nature such as hurricanes. Sudden Crisis  As the name suggests.  Managers often can foresee crisis but they should not ignore the same and wait for someone else to take action. Smoldering Crisis  Neglecting minor issues in the beginning lead to smoldering crisis later. flood. ix. earthquakes etc result in crisis. x. Bankruptcy  A crisis also arises when organizations fail to pay its creditors and other parties. 19 . volcanoes. droughts. such situations arise all of a sudden and on an extremely short notice. ix.viii.

there are millions of bloggers and Facebook users. PR would lose one of its main avenues for communication with the public. do they know how and are they patient enough to make social media effective communications tools for clients? Social media present challenges. PR people can control access to information which journalists want. Twitterers and texters and Linked-in business people. and the ever growing ranks of PR are happy to help fill the pages. customers. Whilst newspapers have been steadily shedding staff over the last couple of decades they have simultaneously managed to produce ever thicker publications. not the least because they break down traditional categories of audiences – employees. But. Newspapers are withering. Meanwhile. shareholders. Magazines are shrinking. The public and universal nature of social media means all audiences can read communications intended for any one audience. The power of the big agencies and spin doctor goes beyond this however. As the primary point of contact between businesses and the media. PR practitioners are forced to consider and to use social media. PR practitioners want to place their stories in the news or other publications and Program. Without being able to do this. Network television has watched audiences decline. The media is the central vehicle for much of the PR industry's messages.Pr in media relations The relationship between the news media and the PR industry is a complex and increasingly symbiotic one. as they are in a position to refuse information. 20 . Radio is splintered. As reporters disappear from traditional media. The media in turn has become more dependent on PR to supply content to fill air time or column inches. This gives them tremendous leverage in negotiating with journalists.

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and if one of the basic rules for crisis communications is to disclose everything and disclose it immediately. The tagline: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra large boot.) We take this very seriously and are reviewing approval and oversight processes.” The ads were not approved by Ford.com. Another showed Paris Hilton with the Kardashians in the trunk. “ and taking necessary steps to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. "We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened. (They have since been removed. then at least Ford India did that partially right. The company was working with WPP’s JWT India agency on a series of ads for the Ford Figo—and a leaked mockup showed women bound and gagged in the trunk of a car driven by Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.Case studies on public relations Ford India Sparks a PR Crisis Over Ads That Depict Violence Against Women Ford Motor’s India unit found itself in the middle of a PR crisis today.” The ads were never published commercially. 22 . Ford India said it regretted the incident and called the images “contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford. according to Business Insider. via email. But that was about the only thing Ford Motor Co. adding that the agency made the mockups and posted them to website Ads of the World without approval.’s Indian subsidiary did correctly in an episode that made international news today. But the entire concept was mind-bogglingly dumb in a country with a series of horrific incidents of sexual assaults against women.” Ford spokeswoman Sethi Deepti told the washingtonpost.” adding.

settlement information. annual stockholder meetings and individual letters and phone calls. newsletters. At the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal. who is taking responsibility. Union Carbide:  Held press conferences  Hosted press tours  Had key people available for interviews  Issued press releases In the book Public Relations Cases by Hendrix.000 more who have died from disease related to the incident. this case was handled probably the best it could have been considering the number of deaths and distance from the incident. Union Carbide made some very important decisions early on. legalities. the fact sheet shown has a large amount of information and is organized effectively. I think a decent job managing the crisis was done. It is said that the crisis was caused by an sabotage. Twitter and more. which was done through employee news bulletins. I think this strategy was very effective because it showed the public that they were not denying what had happened and gave people the feeling that Union Carbide would attempt to take care of the situation. video messages. relief efforts. Although the incident occurred more than 20 years ago. It is estimated that 8. the same principles apply: short. There also is environmental and safety information about the company’s safety record. The company decided to accept responsibility using an attachment/forgiveness strategy and provide aid to victims. the cause. India. medical effects. From a crisis communications standpoint.000 people died immediately. Source: Public Relations Cases by Jerry Hendrix (1988) 23 . From the standpoint of 20 years ago though. According to Hendrix. status of the plant in Bhopal and litigation. Considering this. concise writing. Included in the fact sheet is information on the incident. More than 2.000 died within the two weeks following in addition to the approximate 16. It also was decided to be available to and share information with the media. Union Carbide also had to keep its internal audiences informed. toxic gases were released. safety and environmental goals and achievements and improvements made to training and procedures. employee publications. Now. medical assistance. Union Carbide would have to worry about blogs. Case study: Union Carbide The Bhopal gas tragedy would be a nightmare of a case to handle. getting a good idea of the situation would have been difficult considering the distance between India and the US (Hendrix).

The company should train employees about the new techniques or upcoming techniques which will directly or indirectly lead to organisations/company benefit. business and industries. PR in employee relations and communications No organisation can work without employees . The organisation should provide incentives. Summary Public in Public relations Public in public relation is a group of persons to whom the organisation has to deal or communicate.e. The vital tools and techniques for employee relation and communication are-  House journal  Video journal  Electronic newspaper  Notice boards PR – AS A PROFESSION Profession means any thing which makes a specialized in a specific field. 24 . In this case PR has to play an important role. shareholders. From public relations point of view there are two types of public i. Professional PR play its important role in almost all the areas . community. Employees are the most important persons which make the company to reach its desired level . hospitals and health care . while external consist of customers . some of those are – Government institutions. Internal consist of staff / workers. Internal and external. The important role that a PR has to play is making public (internal + external) in public relations . government etc. facilities to employees. press. The success and failure of any organisations much depends on better employer employee relationship. education institutions.

It conduct meetings with different members from time to time with different countries. 25 . Distributors. The code of conducts and ethics in PR The code of conduct and ethics are very essential for any organisation to run very efficiently. It is an international association for Pr professionals which has been designed by European countries for only those countries which follows French language. turning point for better or worse of any organisation. Due to crisis the management Shareholders. Financers and the public gets effected. IPRA is having more than 800 members from 15 different countries. great difficulty. PRSI . To give importance to PR PROFESSION every year in INDIA on 21 st april is observed as PR day. There are two important association involved in this connection and those are – IPRA . PRSI stands for public relation society of India. CERP Stands for Centre European Des Publiqua. House Journal House Journal is a Publication issued by an industrial undertaking a business house or a Public service organisation which is not deviced for profit. The IPRA stands for international public relation association. Suppliers. Types of House Journal:  Internal House Journal  External House Journal  Internal External House Journal PR in-Crisis Management Crisis are time of danger. It was started on 1st may 1955. The IPRA is a supreme policy making association for PR profession at international level. The PRSI is informal body was frame in the year 1958.

All too often. too. but you must also present the public back to your organization and colleagues. that public relations is a two way street: not only must you present your organization to the public. Therefore it is vital that good people with good intentions also master effective public relations skills. Of course it is possible to use public relations skills to advance less than noble causes. rather than conveyors of truth. If done well. It’s not always a popular spot to be in. Some see public relations professionals as manipulators of the public mind. Help them understand how the public perceives their actions. we know that bad people and bad causes are advanced through the adopt use of public relations. Remember. The public relations professional is often the conscience of a company or campaign. but it’s an important job. 26 . and also be a valuable contribution to the greater public good. your PR work should serve both your organization and the news media. Conclusion Many people perceive public relations as quite less than respectable — as clever strategies to convince the public that something wrong is right.