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Role of Public Relations

“Public Relations” has acquired a connotation of ballyhoo, propaganda, and whitewashing.

To the general public, “public relations” means publicity—essentially an extension of advertising from advertising a product to advertising its producer. But, the emphasis should be on acquainting the broad public with the problems of the enterprise rather than on convincing it of the company’s virtues and achievements. This leads to the realization that to reach the public with its problems, the enterprise must understand the public’s problems first.

Every major decision of a great corporation affects the public somehow, as workers, consumers, citizens; hence the public will react consciously or subconsciously to every move the company makes. On this reaction depends, however, the effectiveness of the company’s decision—simply another way of saying that any corporation lives in society. Hence the effectiveness of the executive’s decision depends not only on his understanding the problems of his business but also on his understanding the public attitude toward his problems. Hence the program of public relations is to give both central-office and divisional executives a knowledge of public attitudes and beliefs, and an understanding of the reasons behind them.

ACTION POINT: Understand public reaction to company decisions. understand public attitudes toward the firm, and evaluate these attitudes. Recognize that an enterprise exists at the will of the public.

Concept of the Corporation

* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

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