TOW: What is public relations?

The responsibility of those involved in public relations is to promote goodwill between a corporation/company and the public. You should be enhancing a company’s reputation and managing communication between the organization and the people.  I believe public relations also requires some use of publicity which is defined in the dictionary as, “the spreading of information to gain public awareness for a product, person, service, cause or organization”.  Good publicity  can be an effective public relations tool. There should also be a certain amount of technology involved, especially in this day in age. If used appropriately, I think it should be the main tool to get messages to target audiences. You can use social networks, blogs, or even internet radio to send direct messages to those you wish to reach . In my opinion, PR needs to help a company achieve its full potential. They can do this by providing  feedback to the company from the public via these technology outlets. Social networks and blogs typically always let a person respond to a post or an idea.  I think that should definitely be taken advantage of because it gives you direct communication to your audience. In order for a public relations department to experience success I think it should be very important to have a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of each client in many of the public’s.

A second thing that I believe a person in public relations should be responsible for is giving the public and the media a better understanding of how the company works. The ability to give the company you work for an edge that makes them stand out from the crowd must also be present. You should be able to produce ideas that make them more appealing and interesting to not only the public, but to the media as well. It’s important to get the public’s attention because they are the buyer/supporters of a product, but the media is the tool that is ultimately responsible for selling it. It is also necessary to give a sufficient amount of attention to the media so that you may monitor different outlets for public comments about the company. Not only should public relations help sustain a positive image, but they should be ready and prepared for any clean-up. Obviously not everyone will be a supporter of your company, so it’s important to have some foresight and a plan in case any negative comments are made. Essentially, I view public relations as using all of the efforts to establish the company or organization you work for as reputable to the public eye and to draw people to learn more and eventually do business with the company.

-Sarah Minerella

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