The Role of Public Relations Department in an Organization

The importance of public relations department in an organization cannot be over emphasized. This is due to the fact that the department makes the organization both in creating and maintaining the organizations good image. This good image is maintained through good relationship between the organization and its various publics.

Many authorities in their previous research work have shown how good image can help an organization to be in good terms with its publics.

The simple purpose of PR activity is to help the organization obtain and maintain a good social climate (Robert Ross 1967).

What he referred to as good social climate or environment is a situation where the attitude and reactions of the general publics of the organization is favourable to the organization which will create a favourable inter-relationship between the organization and its publics such as government group, customers, minority group and others. In the same vein (Cutlip and center 1964)

Opined that good performance public relations results from good performance publicly acknowledged and appreciated without the publics good remarks about the public relations activities in an organization, then the efforts of the department will be in vain. So promotions as one of the vehicles through which a good P.R. job will be achieved for the organization will be channeled and propagated in order to achieve good public relations of the organization will be channeled and propagated in order to achieve good public relations of the organization.

Also, in his write up in the financial punch Emeka Otuokere in an article published in PR news in march 1963 said that PR gives a kind of service that makes the client feel satisfied and may be decided on following another part or group of the publics. The meaning, one can ascribe to the above saying is with Premier Brewery Onitsha and kind of services they render to the public which make them feel satisfied and of course continue patronizing the organization. Such service includes the organizational activities of the organization which is a PR function.

The PR department in its bid to build up a favourable image carried out a number of projects aimed at not only correcting misconceptions and ensuring goodwill but also fostering favourable relationship with both its internal and external publics. What the above findings indicate is that  the PR of any organization will with the aid of its numerous activities of which image promotional activities is one of them, enhance a favourable relationship of the organization in a good platform before the external publics. This will bring support and goodwill for the organization.

Without the help of the internal publics the public relations of any organization will not find it easy to carry out their function.

Public relations department of an organization has to take internal publics both junior and senior staff into confidence as partners in progress, informing the external publics on the corporation policies and activities as a step towards building good image and public confidence. (Fred Milton 1970).

From the above declaration of Milton, one can see the importance of the internal publics relations department build a favourable image outside the organization. This is because according to Milton when such desire atmosphere, that is atmosphere of good relationship between the public relations department is not a partnership one, than there will be apathy, loss of confidence with the organization among the staff which will in turn affect over all image building of such organization.

Public relations in Premier Breweries Ltd Onitsha entails formulation of good and acceptable habit for staff customer relations. And a company like Premier Breweries where a lot of personal rapport between staff members and customers matter, it must be noted that every telephone call received by telephone operator, every sale call mad by salesman, every delivery made by them or correspondents to customers by staff affects favourably, or otherwise. The public relations of the organization will therefore through the image promotional activities make the staff of an organization happy by improving their welfare so that they act as good ambassadors of the organization to the eternal publics of the organization. This invariably requires that every staff of Premier Breweries should see him/herself as a tool of public relations and that the public judge the organization through her staff. For an organization to understand its publics and then draw policies that will tend to build favourable image of the organization, the organization must first of all know what the public want, their feeling about the organization. This they do through research, knowing those areas that they lack with the publics.

The policy of an organization on its image promotional activities on the external publics might not be acceptable to the publics. So in order to know which image promotional activities that will be suitable for that point in time research becomes inevitable. The public relations department of any organization will then carry out the research to know whether they have satisfied their programme and then know which other step to follow in order to win their support and goodwill. The aim of the research is also to create awareness to the management the rating of the organization and what people feel and think about the organization.

It this way, the research will provide a realistic framework based on data on which policy decisions as it affects image promotional activities for the publics can be made by management of the organization.

The essence to any public relations programme, be it an image promotional programme, or not must be connected with the organization’s reputation. This is true in the sense that through the organization maybe a good considerate member of the local community and upholder of high standard of business ethics, efficient production and technical performance without this good reputation, the organization may be swimming in a pool of rumour and suspicion by the general publics.

Rumour and suspicion about the integrity of an organization’s fortune or the quality of its industrial relations travel fast in the financial and business world. Goodnews is much harder to spread than bad or undesirable stories about an organization. (Wilfred Howard 1982)

Therefore it is the responsible of the public relations department to note that the larger the organization the greater its communication responsibilities in order to overcome this rumour and suspicion. This calls for a wider public relations objectives and efforts needed to achieve and sustain them for goodwill and building of good image of the organization.

In that study also Howard noted that some organizations by the nature of their products and services inevitably have a wider community. For instance beer or food manufacturers must ensure a wider awareness of its activities than say a specialist supplying to the computer industry. This goes down to mean that reinforcing an image of quality and reliability into customer’s mind make them aware that they are buying from an organization which is well established, invest in research and is a good responsible citizen of the community. Robert C. Hood holds that a company must be a good industry by determining it’s citizenship responsibilities and how to meet them.

From this realization, his company draw up it responsibility to its community to include the availability of emergency squad 24 hours a day for every member of the community and at no cost, participation in the activities of the local chamber of commerce, a daily local programme which carries free social and civil announcement for all local groups, large fie demonstration to highlight five prevention week each fall and weekly advertising support of “Go to church company’s”. All these were provided for the community to show their good. By providing all these


Things, it will make the company win the support, goodwill mage from the community. The effect of the demand that the industry must portray the life style of the community for a better treatment and recognition from the company has been succinctly stated by Cutlip and center.

There are increasing interdependence of organizations upon the co-operation and esteem of so many people, either in group or as individual. An industry for instance cannot prosper without freedom from strangulatory regulations. A community cannot live and grow without industry to provide expanding opportunities for its people. (Cutlip and center 1952). The interdependence of organization upon the co-operation and  esteem of so many people either in group or individual indicates that the organization cannot do without the patronage of the people like-wise the people cannot do without the organization. Premier Breweries as an organization will have to depend much on the patronage of its publics which they will get by winning the goodwill and support of the publics. The publics likewise will always benefit from the organization either in providing job opportunities or by uplifting the welfare of the publics. This goodwill and supports of the external publics of the organization cannot be achieved despite the fact that the organization provide some of the amenities that will uplift the welfare of the public’s without the internal publics being good ambassadors of the organization. There is need for a better atmosphere which must exist between the organization and its worker for them to promote the organization outside the organization.

This was emphasized by Robert R. Aurner and Moris Phil Wolf when they were emphasizing on the need for conducive and partnership atmosphere for the PR publics.

If you are sincere and can show your subordinate that you have something for him, if you can show that you are offering something for his personal good, you break down the wall between yourselves, (Robert R.Aurner and Moris Phill Wolf 1987).

What they mean in essence is that the workers who constitute the internal publics of an organization if provided a welfare scheme the workers will be the public relation officers enhancing image promotion outside the organization. The need for the organization workers or the organization so as to be good ambassador of the organization so as to build good image of the organization was thrown more light on by Major Jor Craruba in his lecture titled “Towards a better image for Nigeria” in 1985 delivered at the national institute for policy and strategic studies Kuru. He enumerated various ways in which Nigerians both home and abroad have contributed on different ways to be deteriorating image of Nigeria.

Gen. Gamba pointed out that drug trafficking, bribery and armed robberies have contributed in loss of good image of Nigeria overseas. For the country to open up a new leaf of her image, the government should mount serious campaign aimed at inculcating in the citizens the need for national pride and see themselves as ambassadors of Nigeria who must in all their dealings act in such a ay that will create a good image of this country. (J. Garuba, 1985).

One can from the above statement draw analogy that the workers of an organization will act as good ambassador of the organization in correcting some bad impression of the organization to the external publics.

Similarly, in his lecture about the Premier Breweries Mr. E.N. Okeke the operation manager of Premier Breweries emphasized on the importance of the workers being the mirrow of the organization. Public reactions over the company policies serve as a mirrow through which we interprets how we look like before the publics (Mr. E.N. Okeke, 1985). This shows the importance of the workers in the organization like Premier Breweries relations should not be left to the PR man alone but each and everyone of the workers will always see him or herself as PR man in his own capacity and this will be achieved through the responsible performance and behaviour of the workers.

It is on this note that the general manager of Premier Breweries Mr. J.J. Hope enjoined the staff of Premier Breweries during their 1986 Christmas party to be good ambassador of the company.

This is because; the greatest disservice one could do to the company’s product is to pass derogative remarks over them”. (Mr. J.J. Hope 1986). This statement will go a long way in damaging the image of the organization as well as the products because people see them as coming from the horse’s mouth or the mouth piece of the organization.

This good image created will go a long way developing the co-operative of the external publics with the organization. This co-operation was emphasized by Cutlip and center when they said that the co-operation has extended beyond more pretence. The co-operation has reached the point where the organization offers a few scholarship and makes minimal donations in a whole year, sponsor some activities in the community and act as corporate citizens of the community, investing resources and harvesting not just dividends but also goodwill and center suggested areas of specific interest in the community to the company to include; prosperity, for religion, work for everyone, adequate educational facilities, varied recreational and cultural pursuit, attention to the public welfare among others.

Although the organization will provide all these to the community or the external publics in order to win their support and goodwill but this will be better achieved only if the internal publics of the organization are happy and help in promoting the good image of the organization to the external publics.

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