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Public relations flow from a good heart

Public Relations is the Management Function that establishes and maintain mutual beneficial relationships between an Organization and the public on whom its success or failure depends. We live in an age of dependence. Therefore, all of us rely upon one another for the satisfaction of our economic, social and spiritual needs.

Today, only a very few people can accomplish their aims without the help of the others. In this global village, dependence of people at work and in their social, spiritual lives has increased tremendously, the importance of public and human relations. There are numerous definitions on public relations.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines Public Relations as relations with general public, as through publicity; specially, those functions of a corporation, organization etc concerned with attempting to create favourable public opinion for itself.

An indepth study on PR suggests Public Relations is a social philosophy of management expressed in policies and practices, which through sensitive interpretation of events based upon two-way communication with its publics, strives to secure mutual understanding and goodwill.

Public Relations is composed of four main basic elements. They are Social Management Philosophy; Expression of this Philosophy in Policy Relations; Action resulting from these policies and the two-way communication that contributes of these policies and how it promotes them to the public.

Public Relations can be considered as an important mass promotion tool, building good relations with companies, institutions various publics by obtaining favourable publicity, building, a healthy co-operate image, crushing unfavourable rumours and events. For example, if a customer goes to an institution or a government organization to obtain some services and if they serve them with good performance the "Receiver of the Service" will transmit a good report to the public. In short, PR is equal to - GP + GR. Good performance + good reporting. If the customer is not satisfied its vice versa - Bad Performance + Bad Reporting.

Therefore, in this competitive business world, a special emphasis should be laid for the promotion of public relations. Specially up and coming new business ventures, or any other new establishments should recruit top officers on a higher managerial level, persons who are competent on public relations, marketing management.

Once, the Great Indian Prime Minister late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, mentioned "Public Relations is something that flows from a good heart. It is an exercise that binds the entire nation." Words of Wisdom!

Public relation exercises is a key in promoting products, people, places, ideas, activities, institutions, government departments and even nations. Governments maintain friendly good public relations with various countries. It's an important image building exercise.

In the business world, an important mass promotion tool is Public Relations. An institution or a company must interact with various publics, by obtaining favourable publicity. These institutions must be a good corporate image, handling, very tactfully unfavourable rumours (Kata Katha), which can be considered as the most powerful source of publicity. Once you tarnish your image, it is difficult to regain the prestige you possessed earlier.

Therefore, business ventures must give "Top Priority" from the start to serve his customers to best of their satisfaction. They must win the hearts of the consumers, customers by speaking to them politely in selling their goods or services. A satisfied customer, will transmit the good message by word of mouth which is worth more than an advertisement, in the print or electronic media.

Now, let us analyse briefly the main functions that a Public Relations Department should perform.

Publicity relating to the product or services by publicizing specific product or service.

Public Affairs:- Building, maintaining national or local community relations. Shramadhana, sports activities, social service etc.

Lobbying:- Building and maintaining friendly relations with legislation and government officials to influence legislation and regulations.

Press Relations:- Placing newsworthy information in media to attract attention to person individual, product or service.

Investors relations: - Maintaining friendly relationship with shareholders and others in the business and financial community.

Development - PR with donors, NGO's to gain financial and volunteer support.

Companies use Public Relations to build good relations with consumers, investors, media and their communities. It can create a very powerful impact on public awareness. For example a human interest story in the print media, which will be published free, will be sometimes more effective than a stereotyped advertisement which will cost the company. Of course, image building, creative advertising is very necessary.

Recently an advertisement was carried by AIA Insurance for Vesak. I presume, it is a commendable advertisement. It is a full page advertisement depicting showing, a Bo leaf, and how the Bo leaf wither and decay.

This gives a strong message of impermanence or death in your inner mind. When one sees this advertisement, one thinks of his or her's life security. It is a subtle way of giving a strong message on the value of insurance. The Bo leaves tell the story, rather that thousand words.

What are the major, significant Public Relation Tools?

News - Public Relations Professionals create favourable news about the company, its products or people.

Speeches - It can create product and company publicity.

Special events - This ranges from news conferences or press conferences, grand openings. Press tours, multimedia presentations. Educational Programmes, Batoon Releases etc.

Buzz Marketing Campaigns - Create excitement, favourable word of mouth communication for the products, brands and services etc.

Mobile Marketing - Travelling Promotional Tour. One to one relationship.

Written Material - This will reach and influence the target markets.

Audio-Visual Materials - Films, slides, video, CD's, DVD's etc.

Corporate Identity - Logos, brochures, business cards, uniforms, company cars etc.

Public Service Activities - Ways of improving the companies public goodwill etc.

Further, company's websites can be a good public relation vehicle.

The successful Public Relation action results from sound policies and management. The institutions, companies, governments are judged by what they do and not by what they say in their policy statements.

Once, the leading management and public relation expert Paul Farrett expressed, the conviction that Public Relations is the philosophy of doing things people like and doing them the way people like and that doing is more important than saying.

One should remember in the competitive business world, good or successful public relations, cannot be achieved by delegation of action to a PRO or PRM and their staff. It is a function of every operating Department entire staff in manufacturing, marketing and finance.

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