Strategic Roles Played by PR Agencies in modern businesses

Dennis Toh

Strategic roles played by PR agencies.

Roles Played by Public Relation Agencies[d1] 

PR agencies play multiple roles for companies that hire them.

All of these roles are based on their goal of promoting the organization that has hired them.

These roles include the following:

a)    Manipulating the Influence of Public Opinion

The most prominent role played by a PR agency involves managing the impact that public opinions have on the company and its reputation.

 It is the foremost job of a PR agency to expect, analyze and interpret public opinions about a particular company. The agency keeps an eye on whether the opinion affects the company’s plans and operations positively or negatively.

In case of a positive impact, they don’t have much of a job except highlighting it so that the company can gain more benefits from it. 

If a negative opinion emerges about the company, the PR agency springs into action. They actively work to change or manipulate that opinion into something that is positive for the company.

b)    Providing Helpful Counseling to the Management

A PR agency always stays available for the company.

It guides the management at all levels.

It directs the policy making of the company as well as its decision-making. It helps them in following a course of action that pulls them out of a particularly tight spot.

Sometimes, businesses are so focused on making profits that they overlook how their actions are being perceived in the public. They take one decision after another that affects their reputation badly.

A PR agency reminds them of the public ramifications of their dealings. It shows them how they need to be careful about being perceived by the common man.

c)    Creating the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Image of the Company

They are responsible for creating an image for the company where they are socially responsible and actively engage with the communities they operate in. It helps them in developing several programs that keeps them in the good books of the public.

Sometimes, company spokespersons make a bad situation worse by making a callous statement in the press or taking some irresponsible action in public.

When you’re running a multi-billion dollar company, there are bound to be legalities and bad press.

However, if you tackle it right, you can get through anything.

A PR agency can turn the tables for any business.

Even if a business is facing bad press, their PR agency can pull them from the brink of sustaining a huge loss by giving them something good to replace their bad reputation.

d)    Communicating to the Press on behalf of the Company

Your PR agency communicates with the press continuously on your behalf.

In this way, they can manage any and all kinds of news about the business in an efficient way.

Even if a certain situation is going bad for the company, a PR agency can contain it before it becomes colossal.

e)    Doing Extensive Research for the Business

PR agencies carry out research on a regular basis to design programs for the business that help in improving its functions.

Since PR is responsible for creating an image for the business, it develops programs with respect to various aspects that can help in building and maintaining a favorable impression of the company.

In this respect, it focuses on the company’s marketing strategy, its financial plan, its employee benefits plans, its policies with respect to the government and its fund raising efforts. 

For marketing plans, the agency makes sure that the businesses’ marketing strategy is not offensive to anyone else.

It ensures that the company’s financial plan jives well with the opinion of its Board of Directors.

It guides the business in developing employee benefit schemes that continues to support their employees even after retirement. It designs effective employee retirement and provident fund plans.

It makes sure that the company’s policy doesn’t contradict with any government policy.

It also assists organizations in building fund-raising schemes to help under-privileged people in society.

f)     Recruiting and Training Company Staff

This may not come across as a major function but upon assignment, PR agencies also recruit employees for the businesses who have taken their services. 

In addition, they also train their staff.

They design programs for ‘Employee Learning and Development’ and allow the company’s workforce to grow independent and competent!

All of the roles are contingent upon the needs of the company that hires them.

Moreover, PR agencies perform more or less similar functions for an individual celebrity or politician who hires them for managing their public relations!

Excerpts from '101 Ways to get Publicity'
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