I know the saying is cliché but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still just as true as the last time someone else said it…PR is everything and everywhere. People unfamiliar with the industry may not value the importance of a strong public relations department/person; however, it becomes a top priority when anything hits the fan. It may sound discouraging to practitioners to think that firms think of them only in times of failure or bad judgment but the truth is, the essential elements of public relations live in every area of a (successful) business, not just the PR department.
I realized this while working at my current internship with the Arizona Diamondbacks. I do not work in the PR department, yet, I find myself applying everything I have learned in school so far that relates to successful public relations. This got me thinking, would it be smarter for every department of a company (business, organization, etc.) to have a PR professional of their own? I know the specific responsibilities of my department more so than the individuals in the PR department. That’s not to say the PR department isn’t full of amazing, wonderful people whom I believe are the best in the business, but would it be beneficial for PR professionals to be spread throughout a company and work more specifically with the everyday responsibilities of each department?
Much of the time, I have a public relations/marketing motive while talking to and meeting new people on the job (and off the job for that matter). Why? As I stated before, I do not work for the PR department so why do I feel like I do? It’s simple…PR is everything and everywhere. It is part of everything people do when trying to build and/or maintain a successful business. Who would ever succeed at running a business if the employees purposefully tried to give the company a bad reputation? Employees of a company do not, and would not, do that; instead, it is human nature to speak positively about things you are personally involved in, a job being one of those things (unless you hate your job). The backbone behind success in any field is not just a good PR department or person but rather a situation where all employees of the company have good public relations skills. As a CEO, you never know when any one of your employees is going to run into a potential client or sponsor inside or outside of work. Public relations personnel are not the only people who live in society (obviously), so why are they sometimes the only people who are required to have good PR skills?
Significant business opportunities are generated from conversations not originally related to work or even during normal business hours. It could be the receptionist by day, soccer mom by night at her child’s game on Saturday morning sitting and talking to another parent who could need or want a certain service. Depending on if the soccer mom receptionist has good or bad PR skills could make or break a potential new client. The moral of the story is that everyone should have at least a basic knowledge of good public relations. Companies do not survive without the public. Every employee within a company should be able to apply basic PR skills to their duties around the office and within the community. For a list of good PR skills to always remember, visit http://reneenoseff.blogspot.com/