What do you think the PR profession could do to improve the seemingly negative opinions that journalists and general public have about PR profession?
Public relations is the way of company, institution, or organization to establish and maintain a good relation with the media, stakeholders, employees, and societies in order to create a mutual understanding. A good organization must have a good PR as well. Therefore, PR is necessary. It is the only option for companies mandated to engage with wide-range of people, and conduct a communicative approach with them.
By this far, PR has been getting positive appreciation from the people towards its undertakings for the company. Yet, negative perception among societies about this profession is uninevitable. For this reason, they, as PR managers should reduce these opinions, or at least uphold this issue to not growing bigger. They can really remove it because positive-negative opinions should live together and cannot be really gone except the company has found its end.
There are many ways to control public opinion. One of them is to keep holding on the company’s ethical standards. Eventhough, there are lots of buzzes deployed outside of the company, PR managers should be able to keep focus on what they do ethically. As long as they can keep up with ethical manners, the bad opinions about a thing will reduce or be gone for itself. These standards are being respectful, honest, independent, loyal, fair, and expert. These are explained as follows:
The most essential standard is being respectful. PR managers should respect communities around the company. The decision should be considered based on public – in a manner that does not jeopardize company and not create a conflict with public interest, public dignity, and public rights. Thus, the company runs as if it works from the people to people. They just need to remember that company’s reputation is held by the public power of opinions.
Secondly, PR managers are human beings. To be a good human being, a person should not lie to each other. PR managers should be transparant in sharing what is really happening and should not mislead information. It does not have to be very open with the public – there should be a confidential information, yet they should at least give correct and quick responses by excusing, justifying, condoling, relabelling or denying – as long as it does not put people’s lives at risks.
Thirdly, PR should be independent. Company should be able to execute large programs. Thus, the company should do practices and conduct pseudo-events in order to prepare them to any possible things that might happen during the real process. PR managers also have to understand the complexity of making good relationships with people. They shoud be dynamic and in-depth in making connections with them. For instance, PR managers want to deal with media. They should know about the theory of Agenda-Setting which proposes a corellation between media and public, stating that an issues published based on the same interest between media and public. For this reason, PR managers should monitor what kind of issues growing in public which might be newsworthy and deal with that by doing a good communicative approach.
Fourtly, loyalty to a brand can strengthen the power of PR managers. PR managers may know what public likes, dislikes, hates, prefers, however they are not sufficient if they cannot represent the goodwill of the product. It is important to know both, what people interests and how good the product is. Hence, as making decision or events, PR managers have understood about the situation and minimize the critics that might rise caused by a misleading understanding.
Fifthly, like the first and the third ethical standard, fairness and expert have to be embodied on PR managers. As a company which was built in the middle of society, all the decision-makings should be considered in a fair way, at least find a win-win solution. Doing so, PR managers should have capability in understanding what public needs as well as the what the company wants.
In a nutshell, inadequate opinions about PR profession will be easily decreased if the PR managers do all attempts ethically. PR managers are expected to not disadvantage other people (including company’s stakeholders, media, government, employees and society). All the decisions and programs should be beneficial for both, people and company. They should be smart in doing heavy programs in accordance with company’s reputation as well as in managing issues and crises, and able to build a good communication with them. They should comprehend about the product and the company very well so that they will be easily accepted in society. Also, PR managers should be wise to share which information that people want to have in an accurate way. Concequently, more polite manner conducted towards people, less bad assumption appears from the people.