Kourtni's Blog

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Chapter 4 June 5, 2010

Filed under: Reading Notes — kourtnilee @ 8:50 am

Chapter 4 notes from Public Relations Strategies and Tactics.

Importance of organizational structure:

  • Having influence in the company based on 4 factors..
  1. perception of value by top management
  2. practitioners taking on the managerial role
  3. reporting to the CEO
  4. years of professional experience

Names of Departments:

  • a PR department goes by many names, most often it isn’t “public relations”. Terms like “corporate communications” or “communications” outnumber “public relations”. Other names used to PR departments include: corporate relations, marketing and corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, & external affairs.

Public Relations firms provide a variety of services, such as:

  • Marketing communications (involves promotion of products and services through such tools as news releases, feature stories, special events, brochures, etc.)
  • Executive speech training (top executives are coached on public affairs activities)
  • Research & evaluation (scientific surveys are conducted to measure public attitudes and perceptions)
  • Crisis Communication (management is counseled on what to say and do in an emergency such as an oil spill or a recall of an unsafe product)
  • Media analysis (appropriate are examined for targeting specific messages to key audiences)
  • Community relations (management is counseled on ways to achieve official and public support for such projects as building or expanding a factory)
  • Events management (news conferences, anniversary celebrations, rallies, symposiums, and national conferences are planned and conducted)
  • Public affairs (materials and testimony are prepared for government hearing and regulatory bodies, and background briefings are prepared)
  • Branding and corporate reputation (advice is given on programs that establish a company brand and its reputation for quality)
  • Financial relations (management is counseled on ways to avoid takeover by another firm and effectively communicate with stockholders, security analysts, and institutional investors)

Advantages of PR firms:

  1. objectivity
  2. a variety of skills and expertise
  3. extensive resources
  4. international jobs
  5. offices throughout the country
  6. special problem-solving skills
  7. credibility

Disadvantages of PR firms:

  1. superficial grasp of a client’s unique problems
  2. lack of full-time commitment
  3. need for prolonged briefing period
  4. resentment by internal staff
  5. need for strong direction by top management
  6. need for full information and confidence
  7. costs

Fees & Charges:

  • The 3 most common methods a pr firm charges:
  1. Basic hourly fee, plus out-of-pocket expenses. (Commonly used by attorneys, accounting firms, and management consultants)
  2. Retainer fee. (Basic monthly charge billed to the client….the # of hours the firm will spend on an account each month. out-of-pocket expenses are billed separately)
  3. Fixed project fee. (PR firms will agree to a specific project like an annual report, newsletter, or special event for a fixed fee. Least popular among PR firms because it is difficult to predict all work & expenses in advance)

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