Public relations roles in our society can’t be overemphasized. Public relations play a significant role in society today. It has successfully spread across all areas in the economic sectors. The role PR plays in the market places, churches, banks, and even government cannot be overemphasized. Over time, I have heard people argue that the only function of PR is creating a good image for a brand or organization. But PR is worth more than that. It goes as far as covering the 5Ws (What, Why, Where, Who, When) and H (How) of business and also helps in maintaining a good relationship between an organization and its public. Some of the core functions of PR include,
Maintaining a brand’s public image
This involves the act of influencing a brand’s reputation through various content. It is one of the major functions of public relations. PR helps to build a good reputation for a company. So whenever a brand or an organization is having trouble with its image, it applies PR strategies to help present its brand in a favourable way to the public. This function of public relations can be carried out by either a PR expert or the brand customers.
Another major role of public relations is to maintain a good and healthy relationship between the employees of an organization. This involves dealing and communicating with all employees, gathering their opinion and complaints, and reporting them to the appropriate authorities. PR enhances team building and employee empowerment.
It is the duty of the PR team to monitor every piece of news that the media publishes about the brand they represent. This is to stop the media from publishing any content that will defame their brand’s public image. When it comes to crisis management, the PR team uses the media to answer all customer’s queries and complaints.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with the internal public of an organization
Public relations also apply to the internal public of the brands which includes public stockholders, shareholders, management, and other key affiliates. The PR team has to use various channels of communication like email, phone calls, slack, etc. to pass the right information that is necessary for management functions. This will help them learn to share updates from different departments from within and the public which will compel them to act for proper functioning. The kind of communication involves mainly the senior leaders of a firm and the Human Resource department.
In 2020, a sachet water company had issues with its customers which could have led to the fall of that brand. The timely intervention of its PR department saved the company. The PR team listened to all the customer’s complaints and offered to help. After a while, the company worked on their fault and today it is still functioning. The PR team ensures that all crisis management steps are put in place even before a crisis begins.
Social Media Management
With the evolving changes in the internet, businesses are discovering how to manage their businesses using social media platforms. It has become the duty of the PR team to maintain communication with all their social media followers. Social media has become one of the fastest places to get information about a particular brand and organization. To avoid misconception and a bad reputation, the brand’s identity is properly represented on its social media platforms.
Writing and submission of press releases
This is one of the most common public relations roles. A press release is a formal announcement made by a business sharing newsworthy information relating to its latest business objectives and development and sending it to the media for publishing. It is one of the most common communication means used by the PR team. The major significance of writing a press release is to help a brand get its story in front of a larger audience. This in turn helps to build the brand’s image and create more awareness.
Research and counselling
One of the roles of a PR team is to research the industry they are working for. They ask the public to share their opinion. They collect the feedback which they used in counselling top members of the said organization on the decision they should or shouldn’t make. This includes advising top management in case of product mishap or defame.
Other roles of public relations include; Content writing, publicity, government relations, marketing communication, and product promotion.