Chapter 4: Public Relations Departments and Firms

26 03 2009

(Notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron)
“When public relations helps that organization build relationships, it saves the organization money by reducing the costs of litigation, regulation, legislation, pressure campaign boycotts, or lost revenue that result from bad relationships with publics-publics that become activist groups when relationships are bad.  It also helps the organization make money by cultivating relationships with donors, customers, shareholders and legislators.”  -James Grunig


To make a 6-figure salary in PR you need to:

•  Have detailed knowledge of the business- Be up to date on general knowledge of the business(know it like the back of your hand!)

•  Have an extensive communications background

•  You need to be able to anticipate how people will react in different situations (events, messages, channels)

•  “C-suite credibility”- “Experience in actually running a business or a division is one form of earning one’s ‘credentials.”‘


Public relations does not always go by “public relations”…it can also be called corporate communications, corporate relations, marketing and corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, and external affairs.

Services provided by public relations firms (or agencies):

•  Marketing communications

•  Executive speech training

•  Research and evaluation

•  Crisis communication

•  Media analysis

•  Community relations

•  Events management

•  Public affairs

•  Branding and corporate reputation

•  Financial relations

How Public Relations Firms Get Business:

“A common approach to engaging the services of a public relations firm is to issue what is called a ‘Request for Proposal,’ known as an RFP.”

Pros and cons of using a public relations firm:

•  Advantages:  Objectivity, a variety of expertise, extensive resources, international jobs, offices throughout the country, special problem-solving skills, credibility

•  Disadvantages:  Superficial grasp of a client’s unique problems, lack of full-time commitment, need for prolonged briefing period, resentment by internal staff, need for strong direction by top management, need for full information and confidence, costs.




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