Public Relations Is Everything, Everywhere

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/

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6 Responses to Public Relations Is Everything, Everywhere

  1. malauddi says:

    I concur with your main ideas that PR is everything but most companies in the world don’t pay attention to the PR personnel. In many cases, only one or two people handle a big company’s PR. Thank you very much for your posting.

  2. shotchk1 says:

    I absolutely agree that there should be a PR professional in most, if not all, departments of a business or organization. For that much, I think responsible professionals should have some basic training in public relations. Through my experiences, I have often found that the higher up the totem pole, the less he/she knows about the functions of public relations and why it is essential. Not to say that it is a lack of education, but that it because PR is everywhere, people forget to recognize it.

  3. rmmoore5 says:

    I agree that it would be smart for every department of a business to have someone with some relevant knowledge of public relations. Especially in today’s economy, people need to realize how important PR is or can be to a company. With more people understanding the concept, then businesses can be more successful. I too find myself applying skills I learn from my classes to my internships and job. It’s kind of funny. It blows me away when people ask me what are you studying at ASU? When I tell them public relations, they don’t understand what that entails. So you are right. PR is everywhere and people should have at least a basic knowledge of good PR, especially when it comes to running a company.

  4. mwilson9 says:

    I understand what you are trying to say and agree with most of it. PR is everywhere and everything, even though it’s often times unnoticed. The wonderful world of PR needs to undergo a bit of an upgrade and market itself better.

    Instead of merely seen as a crisis management team or situation management team, we should revamp as simply relating to the public. Not just waiting for a crisis or a launch, but be there in the day-to-day dealings and activities.

    And I guess that’s where your idea of a PR person in every department may come into play. I’m not sure how practical it would be for every department to have public relations personnel, however, it would help in some cases. Or maybe simply hire someone who has some form of communications skills, but that would be taking away our jobs, now wouldn’t it?

  5. latipton says:

    PR is definitely extremely important when something goes wrong, but it’s also important before it ever gets to that. I think that the reason that companies who do not have at least one PR person on staff might be due to cost, but there should be someone who acts the part – even if it’s just a business manager who comes up with ideas to get new business and keep existing business – someone who can relate to the public (as mwilson9 mentioned).

    Though I do see how it would be beneficial if everyone had basic PR skills, I don’t think that is an attainable desire. Anybody could say that about any field that he/she is interested in. For example, I have been working in the service industry for the past eight years, and I think everyone should have serving experience before dining out. Plus, if everyone was good at what we do, we wouldn’t have jobs.

  6. mbgiles says:

    I completely agree! This is why I love having public relations as a major. It truly has a place for any business venture a person could possibly be interested in. The public relations profession can help organize a system of damage control that can change the media and thus the public’s opinion about a situation. Like we briefly talked about in class, BP could still have a somewhat okay reputation in the media had they implemented a better PR campaign or plan. They were not prepared for what occurred.

    Great advice and knowledge for any type of business out there…if you don’t have a PR professional involved in the company, start hiring!

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