Chapter 19: Managing Public Relations

Examining the structure and activities of a public relations department, both domestically and globally Understanding how technology can enhance a public relations strategy for both small and large businesses Evaluating strategies used by business organizations to influence public opinion Identifying government regulatory agencies charged with protecting the public from illegal business practices Assessing effective crisis management plans Evaluating techniques used by business to assist employees who interact with the media

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Managing Public Relations Chapter19Copyright © 2014 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/IrwinCh. 19: Key Learning Objectives Examining the structure and activities of a public relations department, both domestically and globallyUnderstanding how technology can enhance a public relations strategy for both small and large businessesEvaluating strategies used by business organizations to influence public opinionIdentifying government regulatory agencies charged with protecting the public from illegal business practicesAssessing effective crisis management plansEvaluating techniques used by business to assist employees who interact with the media 19-*The General PublicAn organizational stakeholder composed of individuals and groups found in societyThe general public affects the firm through its opinions of the firm’s activities or performance, which in turn help shape the firm’s public image or reputationCompanies should be aware of public positions on important issues, especially since the public may not always share the same views as the firmSimilarly, the firm can affect the general public’s values, attitudes, and actions through various communication channels 19-*Public Relations in an Emerging Digital WorldAn effective public relations program is fundamental to any organization’s relationship with the publicA good public relations program sends a constant stream of information from the company to the public and opens the door to dialogue with stakeholders whose lives are affected by the company’s operationsThe role of the public relations department is to manage the firm’s public image and its relationship with the publicIt does so through both direct communications (e.g. Web site) and indirect communications (e.g. newspapers)19-*Figure 19.1 Public Relations Activities19-*Public Relations in an Emerging Digital WorldWith the emergence of new technologies the variety of available channels of communication for public relations officers have grown dramaticallyMore and more people are finding their news, marketing, and public relations information through Internet-related vehiclesCEOs and other senior executives are some of the key participants in a new form of business communication – bloggingThe Internet-based communication revolution has significantly benefited smaller businesses as well19-*Global Public RelationsGlobal businesses have extended their public relations strategies globallyWhen public relations take on a global perspective, new challenges emergeSensitivity to cultural disparities and similarities when crafting messagesMust ensure that sufficient funding is allocated globally for a positive and effective public affairs impactAll of the basic public relations tasks are more complex in an international business environment19-*Influencing Public OpinionPublic Service AnnouncementsSince 1942, the Ad Council has been the leading producer of public service announcements, addressing critical issues for generations of Americans and global citizens The longest-running PSA in American history, introduced in 1944 and continuing today, features Smokey the Bear’s “Only you can prevent forest fires”Modeled after the actions taken by the Ad Council, businesses have discovered that public service announcement-like advertisements are an effective means for promoting various social issues or topics that resonate with the public19-*Influencing Public OpinionImage AdvertisementsUsed by business organizations to enhance their public image, create good will, or announce a major change such as a merger, acquisition, or new product lineThese ads promote the image, or general perception, of a product or service, rather than promoting its functional attributesThe target the public’s emotions and seek to influence the consumers’ imaginationsDifferent than issue advertisements that focus on a public policy issue or piece of legislation 19-*Protecting the Public through Government RegulationAdvertising used to promote the organization and its products must meet both ethical expectations The Federal Trade Commission is entrusted with ensuring that honesty and fairness are found in company advertisingThe FTC jurisdiction applies to advertising in any medium, including online advertisingThe Federal Communications Commission, created in 1934, is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable19-*Crisis ManagementA critical function of the public relations managerCorporate crisis – a significant business disruption that stimulates extensive news media or social networking coverageA crisis is any event that has the potential to negatively affect the health, reputation, or credibility of the organizationThe Institute for Crisis Management breaks down corporate crises into four groups:Act of GodMechanical problemsHuman errorsManagement decision or indecision19-*Crisis ManagementThe process organizations use to respond to short-term and immediate corporate crisesAn effective crisis management plan must include these steps:Get ready before the crisis hitsCommunicate quickly, but accuratelyUse the InternetDo the right thingFollow up, and where appropriate, make amends to those affected19-*Media Training of EmployeesMedia training is necessary because communicating with the media is not the same as talking with friends and coworkersBy the late 2000s, engaging with “the media” took on a new dimension with the inclusion of social mediaAs an organizational representative, the words one speaks take on a special, official meaningFacial expressions, the tone of one’s voice, and body language can convey positive and negative impressionsMedia communication experts generally give their clients the following advice:Be honest, current, accessible, helpful, understanding and cool, courteous, and professional19-*Media Training of EmployeesTypically the news media is looking for a sound bitea short (often 30 seconds or less) clip of information that can be broadcast to the public Some of the best techniques to assist a spokesperson to stay on point when challenged by a reporter with a tough question are the followingHookingGrab the reporter’s attention by making a statement that influences the next question BridgingAnswer the challenging question but quickly move on to the key message FlaggingEmphasize key points and guide the reporter to them 19-*
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