Training/Marcom Academy

Roles Of A Public Relations Executive

Public relations is the life blood of any company, be it public, private, profit or nonprofit. It deals with reputation management. A PR Executive is a person responsible for managing the reputation of a company. The reputation of a company contributes to its ultimate success. The failures of PR department in a company can seriously undermine a company’s credibility. The duties performed by a public relations executive include but not limited to:
Advocating role: The public relations manager or officer in some companies is the chief advocator for the company. He focuses on building the image of his organisation. He is also seen as the mouthpiece of management. In political circles, he is known as the press secretary to political office holders who speaks on their behalf.
Communicating Role
The public relations manager drafts communication policies and sees to the development of all statements and news releases for the company in a clear and concise manner relevant to the audience. He or she is responsible for media placement of information concerning the company. It is his responsibility to determine the kind of information that is appropriate for each situation in the organisation and ensure that the information issued out is suitable for the situation at hand. He decides the appropriate vehicle of communication for the company that can provide visibility for its activities to the public.
Relationship management: Relationship management deals with a company or an organisation having a good relationship with its publics so as to have a good public image. To achieve this, a public relations officer has to identify key publics and establish strategies on how to build and maintain mutual beneficial relationships with those publics.
Reputation or image management: This responsibility involves a public relations officer planning and implementing policies, procedures and strategies to demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to its public concerning its social responsibility to them.
vol 3 106-120-6Risk management: This puts a public relations officer in the preventive role. This role requires a PRO helping an organization to recognise likely areas of potential danger in the course of dealing with the public and recommending strategies before dangers develop into crises.
Strategic management: In most companies, a PR person is in the management position helping the organisation to develop sound policies to suit the interest of the public as well as the organisation. This helps to cement long-lasting relations between the two.
Crisis management
Most organisations rely on their public relations officers to engage the media and the public during a crisis. For example, if somebody dies on the job, the public relations officer must have a plan in place for handling such crisis with support from other important management staff from other departments.
Media contact: A public relations officer is the media’s main contact person for news about his organisation or company. He or she writes press releases in the media, has a good relationship with both the local and international media. He organises media conferences for the company when the need arises.
Marketing role: A public relations officer takes charge of communicating information about her organisation to the plant community on the activities of the company in the community.  This is to encourage them to develop interest in the company. Also, he or she ensures that details of a company’s activities, appointments and awards are communicated to the public.
Budget management: Public relations officers in some organisations head the entire information or communication department. They manage people in the department, prepare budget for the department, host events for the company, and make media contacts.
vol 3 106-120-7Other Responsibilities:
•    Managing the public relations department and publicity programmes for the company.
•     Improving the public image of the company, and clarifying the media on some company policies to the public.
•    Monitoring public opinion about an organisation or particular issues, and offering useful advice to management on policy issues and communication strategies that can positively project the image of the company to the public.
•    Planning public relations programmes for the company and the public relations department.
•    Liaising with the public on issues affecting the company on one hand and the company plant community on the other.
•    Managing the relationship between the company and the plant community and responding to inquiries bordering on company relationship with the community.
•    Liaising with the media, arranging interviews for the company’s CEO and MDs.
•     Arranging for journalists plant tour of company to showcase the company to the public for visibility purpose any time such needs arise.
•    Writing, editing and arranging for the production of print materials for the company such as letters, house magazines, pamphlets and brochures.
•    Assisting in preparing the organization’s in-house material such as annual reports, corporate profile, etc.
•    Writing speeches, preparing press releases and making pubic presentations in promoting the image of the company.
•    Organising special events on occasions such as opening day, exhibitions and awards, etc.
•    Dealing with the media on behalf of the company- ensuring that details of media involvement with the company are immediately communicated to the public.
•    In some companies, the public relations officer is responsible for the production and distribution of the company’s newsletters to the public.
•    Ensuring that details of a company’s activities, appointments and awards are communicated appropriately to the public.
•    Recruiting, managing and training PR specialists on behalf of his organization.
•    Developing PR strategy campaigns to improve the perception of the company.
•    Responding to information or queries from the media or  the general public.
•    Formulating policies and procedures related to public information programmes of the company.
•    Managing special events such as parties, introduction of new products, or other activities the firm supports in order to gain public attention and visibility in the media.
•    Preparing and publishing newsletters and other company literatures aimed at showcasing the company to the public.
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Conclusion:
Public relations is the life blood of any company, be it public or private, profit or nonprofit. The failure of a PR department in a company can seriously undermine a company’s credibility. The duties performed by a public relations officer include but not limited to: managing public relations department along with publicity programmes; improving the public image of his company and clarifying the media on some company policies to the public. Monitoring public opinion about an organisation or particular issues, and offering useful advice to management on policy issues and communication strategies that can positively project the image of the company to the public. Others are: liaising with the public on issues between the company and the plant community; liaising with the media, arranging interviews for the company’s CEO and MDs; writing, editing and arranging for the production of print materials for the company such as letters, house magazines, pamphlets and brochures.
Assignment:
In only 800 words, explain what you think contributes to the under-performance of some public relations officers in most organisations in Nigeria. First prize – N10,000 worth of recharge cards. The second and third best answers will get N3,000 value of recharge cards each. Send written answers to: info@brandiqng.com

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