Public Relations & Communications: Goals & Outcomes

Instructor: LeRon Haire
This lesson will address some of the primary goals of public relations today. We will also discuss how the public is effected by public relations messages.

Public Relations as We Know It Today

In today's competitive market, organizations are determined to succeed by getting the public to purchase their goods and services. One of the most prevalent ways that this can be done is through public relations. Public relations (PR) can be defined as a set of activities or events designed to develop positive relationships between businesses and the public. In order to have mutually beneficial relationships between the public and organizations, an organization must first determine the goals that are to be met.

Primary Goals of PR

Let's take a closer look at some of the primary goals of public relations.

Awareness

One of the major goals of any organization's PR and communications campaign is to increase the awareness of the organization and/or its products and services to the public. Despite how good an organization's products or services may be; they are of no use if the public doesn't know that they exist. Major companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola help to generate awareness for their brands by using various outlets such as billboards and commercial ads. When attempting to raise awareness, the organization should follow a few simple rules:

  • Use clear and concise wording
  • Use words and phrases that are easy to understand
  • Avoid any type of buzzwords that are only familiar to your organization or industry

The PR and communications campaign should also seek to promote awareness in order to add value to the organization and/or the organization's brand. Each individual member of the public may have his own opinions and perceptions about what value means to him. For example, some may see value in lower (or higher) pricing, while others may find value in being given superior customer service. The promoting of brand awareness helps the public to identify these values for themselves within an organization.

Attitude Adjustment

The use of a successful PR campaign can help to shape or change consumer attitudes towards an organization or its products and services. There are several organizations that have endured negative press from things such as fraud, unethical tactics, or simply unsatisfied consumers. During these periods, an organization should look to change the negative perception that is held by the public. Let's take a look at a few examples of how organizations can use PR to change the attitudes of the public:

  • Giving to charity

These philanthropic efforts place organizations in a better public light.

  • Community involvement

Direct participation with the community helps to humanize organizations.

  • Positive Ads

Using commercials or billboards invokes positive emotions for the public.

Receive Feedback

There is an old saying that states if you want to know what improvements need to be made in a business, ask the actual employees and not the CEO. The reason for this is simple: Although the CEO is ultimately responsible for the organization, he/she is not aware of the daily nuances and routines of the job like an everyday employee would be (because they perform the jobs daily). This illustrates the value of an organization receiving feedback after a PR campaign.

The feedback and interaction from the public is very important because it allows organizations to hear the truth directly from the consumers. Since the public is partly responsible for the life of an organization, it's imperative that organizations not only listen to what is being said, but work diligently to implement changes based upon the feedback.

Providing Information

The definition of ignorance can best be defined as having a lack of information, or not being informed. One of the goals of public relations and communications is to inform and educate the public. It can be a risky proposition for organizations to assume that the public has the correct information as it pertains to their organization or their products and services. The correct and accurate information helps the public to make educated decisions about buying from a particular company.

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