With the development of new technologies, the media sphere has undergone a significant transformation. Today, there is an all-Russian trend towards the active development of public relations in the field of business. Most commercial enterprises have incorporated public relations into their work. It is not necessary to say that all commercial companies have a press service, but many business owners are seriously thinking about creating such a tool. Because in modern realities, with the condition of technological progress, there is constantly increasing competition. She pushes businesspersons to develop and adapt the company to new realities. The Public Relations Service helps to streamline the management system, which designed to ensure that the internal and external public agrees with the policies and existing practices of the organization.
Now starting your own business is not such a difficult task. It is much more difficult to keep it afloat and make it profitable. The main reason for this difficulty lies in the fact that modern business must meet a number of requirements imposed by the market and the public. The most important thing in the modern world is the image of the company, not the quality of its products/goods/services. It is no secret that the label has started to play a significant role. We hear a familiar name, such as Gucci, and immediately imagine the products of this brand. We do not need to go into other qualitative characteristics of the product. It is enough that there is a big name that everyone can hear. Perhaps there is another brand of clothing, shoes and bags from a cheaper price segment, but with excellent quality, but if it is less well-known and prestigious than Gucci, then the consumer will obviously choose the first brand. In our time, companies have to work on their reputation sometimes even harder than on the quality of their products. According to many experts, over the past 20 years, the share of the value of reputation in the total value of the company has increased from 15% to 83%. At the same time, a 1% reduction in reputation results in a 3% drop in the firm’s market value.
Many projects and good business ideas never implemented due to external resistance to their implementation. The goal of any business is to make a profit. Achieving this goal is always difficult. That is why there are various tools to achieve it. One of these tools is interaction with the public.
It should note that PR performs a special management function aimed at establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial cooperation between the company and the public, solving various problems and tasks, helping the management to inform about public opinion about the company, and giving a timely response to it.
PR has a number of approaches that are applicable to certain situations or businesses. For example:
The altruistic approach focuses on gratuitous service to society. The British Institute of Public Relations (IPR), established in 1948, gave the most complete definition of public relations in the context of an altruistic approach. The interpretation reads as follows: “Public Relations is a planned long-term effort aimed at creating and maintaining a friendly relationship and mutual understanding between the organization and the public”.
The famous English PR specialist Sam Black, on the other hand, offers an altruistic definition aimed at achieving abstract social harmony. It reads as follows: “Public relations is the art and science of achieving harmony through mutual understanding based on truth and full awareness.”
There is also a compromise approach to the definition of PR activities. It emphasizes the satisfaction of specific interests, rather than the abstract service of social harmony. The essence of the approach is that the company not only takes into account the interests of public opinion, but also makes sure that the interests of the organization are perceived by society with understanding.
One of the founders of public relations — Edward Bernays, sanctified this type of PR activity in the first decades of the twentieth century. Here is its definition:
“Public relations is an effort to persuade the public to change their approach or their actions, as well as to harmonize the activities of an organization in accordance with the interests of the public and vice versa.”
At this time, most PR specialists share this approach
You should also pay attention to the pragmatic approach, the essence of which is the ability to communicate with people and use this skill as a product for which you can freely sell.
The definition of this approach can be found in the Dictionary of New Foreign Words from MSU. According to the dictionary, PR is understood as «the organization of public opinion in order to ensure the most successful functioning of an enterprise (institution, firm) and increase its reputation. It is carried out in various ways, but primarily through the media. The art of relations between states (managerial), public structures and citizens in the interests of the whole society”.
In turn, A. N. Chumikov — doctor of political Sciences, Professor in the field of PR and consulting defines PR activity in the following way: now, the next way: “Public relations is a system of information and analytical, and procedural and technological actions aimed at harmonization of relations inside some project and between the project participants and its external environment in order to successfully the implementation of this project.”
All the definitions above allow us to evaluate the pros and cons of a particular approach to PR activities, and also give us an understanding that the activities of public relations services in business are aimed at creating a certain reputation of the company, generating interest in the activities of this company, highlighting the results of its work and, as a result, increasing profits.
For the author of the article, the compromise approach is the closest, because he keeps a balance between public opinion and the needs of the company, trying to take into account the interests of both parties.
For a visual idea of what the public relations service does in business, let us look at the work of one of them on a specific example. As a sample, the work of public relations was taken of the Moscow region company “RemZhilServis”. The company was taken as a basis, because the author is an employee of this organization. This fact will help to reveal the subject of the article, as well as facilitate the study of the main issues.
“RemZhilServis” is a commercial organization that provides services in the field of housing and communal services to create a life-supporting environment for people in urban planning. The company was founded in August 2013 and has been on the market for about eight years. The company is based in the Moscow region, in the military town of Kubinka, Odintsovo district. Despite the fact that the company is engaged in a specific focus of business (housing and communal services), it is extremely important for it to have a positive image among citizens, since the development of the organization and making a profit directly depends on it. Since the company is small, it has only 95 employees, among whom there is one person responsible for public relations. The person in charge of public relations work has only recently joined the organization, just two years ago. Nevertheless, I have already done a lot of work for the company and the formation of its image in the market.
Public relations, used by a specialist of this company to solve such tasks as:
- Formation and strengthening of a positive image of the company in the market and among the public;
- Expanding the company’s geography;
- Creating materials about the company;
- Interaction with local media; Improving the relationship between the organization’s staff.
The formation and strengthening of a positive image of the company in the market and among the public is extremely important in the field of housing and communal services, since the more positive the attitude of residents to the company that oversees their housing and communal sector, the higher the chance that the organization will win the auction, expand its geography and as a result increase profitability.
The formation of the image is due not only to the high-quality work of the company, but also through interaction with people through various channels (social networks, newspapers, local TV, holding face-to-face meetings). It is extremely important for the public to understand that the company is open to dialogue and ready to help.
The company also uses patronage to strengthen its image. On a voluntary basis, the organization financially supports the local children’s club “Istina”. Prints posters and leaflets for the holidays for the military town that it oversees. The PR service employee of the company directly handles the design of leaflets and posters.
In addition, an important task of a public relations specialist is to create materials about the company. The specialist maintains the social networks of the organization, where he can directly communicate with the residents. Process their requests in the field of improving the quality of services, work with claims, and give releases of upcoming events (repair work, events).
In addition, the company’s website is maintained, which provides all the necessary information about the organization, as well as provides an opportunity for residents to get answers to the most frequently asked questions and advice from the company’s specialists.
Interaction with the media is another important task. The mass media helps to work for the image and reputation of the company, as well as to tell about the company’s activities in wide circles Communication with local media takes place mainly through newspapers and local television. Communications are informational in nature, where the main results of the company’s work are highlighted, interviews on various topics are also given, and citizens complaints are answered.
The PR specialist also faces the task of improving relations between employees of the organization, but it is not the main one. Since the team is quite small and the company does not have a large budget for holding events. As a solution to this problem, such methods are used as: organization of corporate events, motivational mailing to corporate mail, a single box for complaints and suggestions of employees, birthday greetings in verse form, selection and reservation of training for company employees. For all activities, the company can allow you to allocate no more than 2.5% of the monthly profit.
In the modern world, it is very important what your colleagues say about you. Sometimes the image affects the company’s profit. The role of public relations in this case is to make sure that both the image of the company and the image of its head is impeccable.
Thus, we can draw the following conclusions. Each commercial structure is aimed at making a profit; however, the strength of full-time employees is not always enough, so the business needs a public relations service. Even if you have a small company in a narrowly focused area, it is extremely important to form a certain positive image, a certain opinion about the company’s activities in the eyes of the target audience, promote your services, expand the area of influence, as this is all an integral part of maintaining the business and increasing profits.