Discuss the Role and Function of PR in Service Industry.
The importance for PR in a service industry, such as, tourism is greater because the industry depends on the effective coordination among its various components. The public relations people perform various functions starting from research, action, communication, evaluation and handling crisis, etc. The need of the PR officer is for the following reasons:
- Interacting with the community.
- Resource mobilization.
- Dealing with government departments.
The nature of the PR varies as per the component of the tourism industry. The PR can enforce the number of issues:
- Promises that carry marks of quality assurances.
- Product endorsements and testimonials of travel experts.
Public Relations professional has to play the role not only of a communicator and of an adviser. This is done to:
- Reduce friction.
- Minimize the stress.
- Diffuse the tensions.
Following are some of the activities which are performed by the PR department:
- To develop the media relations amongst the various organizations and try to develop the attraction amongst the potential customers.
- To perform the activities to publicize a product and service.
- The dealing with the officials for softening their altitude towards the organization.
- To promote understanding about the organization through external and internal communications.
- To do the counseling of the management regarding company image and people’s concern.
In the modern era, more companies are setting up Marketing Public Relations group. Their tasks include:
- Help in launching new products.
- Help in repositioning a mature product.
- Developing publicity campaigns.
- Influencing specific target groups.
- Creating credibility of the company’s product, service.
FUNCTIONS OF PR.
PR department works by the principle of “Management by objectives”. PR professional is to act as a catalyst for change within a company and in order to fulfill this objective it needs “information”. In conventional marketing, public relations is employed to influence customers and their buying habits.
Public relations is also part of a comprehensive marketing communications amalgam which also includes advertising, sales promotion, and direct sales. The effective use and practice of public relations theory which results in the organization being viewed in the general public’s eyes as a responsible and ethical company that is concerned about the welfare of its customers will soon manifest itself in the organization’s bottom line.
Following are some of the functions of the PR department:
When new products are introduced to the market the role that public relations play is crucial for creating awareness and differentiating the product in the public’s eyes from other similar products.
To scan the environment and gather organizational intelligence and perform corporate surveillance.
In contrast to the organizational function of public relations, societal functions of public relations have to do with actions that connect to the public, and these functions include marketing communications, consumer relations, public affairs, and issues management plus social responsibility.
The wide range of activities that public relations have to cover in the political arena includes influencing legislation that can be hindrances to the proper operation of the company.
PR to create an emergency communication plan, which should form part of the “disaster management plan” of the organization.
Organizational functions of public relations are activities that interact with or affect organizations, and these include functions, such as communications management, media, government affairs, publicity, investor relations, community relations, consumer relations and employee relations.
To periodically evaluate the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the economic and business environment.
It is concerned with all the activities that contribute to successfully attracting, developing, motivating, planning systematic approaches and maintaining a high-performing workforce that result in organizational success.