A long-standing CIPR definition of public relations is ‘the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics’. Here, the definition implies strategic management by the inclusion of the words ‘planned’, and ‘sustained’, and the use of the word ‘publics’ for stakeholders, interested parties and other influential groups. A more recent CIPR approach is to refer to public relations as being ‘about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you’, and ‘the discipline which looks after reputation – with the aim of earning understanding and support, and influencing opinion and behaviour’.
Alternative practitioner definitions nearly always identify a strategic role for public relations when they are heard saying that public relations is the management of all communication within the organization and between the organization and its outside audiences. The purpose is to create better understanding of the organization among its audiences. Circumstances determine which audiences or sub-audiences are most important and need priority attention at any time.
Public relations practice involves management of an organization’s reputation by identifying perceptions which are held of the organization and working to inform all relevant audiences about organizational performance. It is concerned with developing a deserved reputation for an organization, one which is based on solid performance not hollow hype. Reputation will not necessarily be favourable and may only be as favourable as the organization deserves. This becomes increasingly complex in the light of new technologies. Many CIPR members reject the notion of a change of name from ‘public relations department’ to ‘corporate communication department’ and argue that the impact of the internet on public relations is simply that it offers new electronic operational tools which don’t alter essential practices. However, given that technology has so changed strategic operations for all forms of business and organizational communication, and given that human communication is the key measurable variable, the term ‘corporate communication’ better represents theory and practice of this discipline in large organizations.
Underpinning these changes and developments is the convergence of traditional telecommunications industries. ‘Time-to-market’ for some communications technology firms often narrowed from 20 years to six months during the 1990s. This convergence has led to some of the most lucrativeconsultancy in the corporate communication profession as industrytried to cope with the rapid rate of change in company and commercial cultures. Thus we see that corporate communication is both divergent and convergent in theory and practice, requiring special, advanced multiskillingand powers of strategic thinking and operational practice.
While the public relations industry owes a debt of gratitude to the marketing industry for its development of numerous research tools and techniques, it has led to considerable semantic confusion. For example, one group of marketers defined public relations as ‘building good relations with the company’s various publics by obtaining favourable publicity, building up a good corporate image and handling or heading off unfavourable rumours, stories and events’. Such academic marketers view public relations as a mass promotion technique and suggest that the old name for ‘marketing public relations’ was merely ‘publicity’, and ‘seen simply as activities to promote a company or its products by planting news about it in media not paid for by the sponsor’.
From a strategic point of view, this is important in terms of quality assurance. In global companies, a public relations or corporate communication department is never subjugated to the marketing department even though marketing strategy may be linked to corporate business strategy, because it fails to address the holistic links of strategic public relations with overall corporate strategy . Strategy is essentially longerterm planning while bottom line sales tactics, in spite of loyalty schemes, often demand short-term, if not immediate, results. Of course both can influence strategic decision making under changing circumstances.
Strategic public relations is concerned with managing the relationships between an organization and a much wider variety of stakeholders or audiences and range of priorities at any given time. The development of macroeconomics and environmental management studies has put pressure on the public relations industry to focus public relations strategy on the dimension of the enterprise or organization which goes beyond the bottom line of profit and shareholder price to include measures of corporate success based on social accountability. As well as an organization’s role in the economic life of its country and its position in the global or national marketplace, public relations counsel and activities form an important part of an organization’s policy in defining the environmental factors which affect its corporate business activities. These include social stratification, social welfare and national policy, technology, and the political, legal and regulatory processes appropriate to a particular organization or the industry in which it operates. All these factors need understanding of attitudes and cultural norms that influence an organization’s reputation and public acceptability.
base on the information
Q1 please explain semantics and make summarizes.