Chapter 4 Notes

Public Relations Department and Firms

  • George Westinghouse reportedly created the first corporate public relations department in 1889 when he hired two men to publicize his pet project, alternating current (AC) electricity.
  • Large complex organizations have a greater tendency then small firms to include PR in the policy making process.
  • Small scale organizations
    • Few public pressures and little governmental regulatory interest
    • Traditional organizations have little to no input into management decisions and policy formation.
  • A seat at the management table should be the goal of PR practitioners.
  • Influence of the company is based on four factors
    • Perception of value by top management
    • Practitioners taking on the managerial role
    • Reporting to the CEO
    • Years of professional experience
    • In large corporations corporate communications or communications outnumber the term public relations.
  • Public relations is a staff function
  • Levels of influence
    • Lowest level advisory has to need to make recommendations or request them, often not effective.
    • Compulsory-advisory position- line managers have to at least listen to the appropriate staff experts before deciding a strategy.
    • Concurring advisory- helps to approve copies and layouts
    • Command authority- has the right to make changes with or without the consent of PR.
  • Public Relations firms
    • Found in every industrialized nation and most of the developing world
    • Gives counsel and performs tactical services to carry out an agreed on program.
    • Internet has fueled the global reach of PR firms.
  • Request for Proposal
    • A firm is invited to make a presentation regarding their capabilities and express their ideas about what program they would create to address the potential client’s particular needs.
  • Advantages of PR Firms
    • Objectivity
    • A variety of skills and expertise
    • Extensive resources
    • International jobs
    • Offices throughout the country
    • Special problem solving skills
    • Credibility
  • Disadvantages
    • Superficial grasp of clients unique problems
    • Lack of full time commitment
    • Need for prolong briefing period
    • Resentment by internal staff
    • Need for strong direction by top management
    • Need for full information and confidence
    • Cost
  • Fees and charges
    • Basic hourly fee plus out of pocket expenses
    • Retainer fee
    • Fixed project fee
    • Pay for placement
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June 21, 2010. Chapter Notes, Uncategorized.

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