Three reasons why PR deserves a seat at the table

by Evan Whittaker

Business concept - Planning for future events.

As you may know, the academic Public Relations Program at the University of Central Missouri recently found its new home in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. In previous years, the PR Program has been part of the Communications Department for rather obvious reasons; PR focuses heavily on communication. So, considering the recent move to the business college, does PR really have an important place in a business environment?

In a word: absolutely.

Public relations can serve numerous valuable purposes in any business. Here are a few examples:

Connecting with consumers

This is perhaps the most obvious answer. One of the primary goals of public relations is to ensure that the messages an organization sends to its publics (and vice versa) are strategically distributed and meaningfully understood. When considering the goals of a business, the benefits of PR become readily apparent.

In essence, a business aims to create value for shareholders by providing products or services to consumers. Public relations professionals can craft strategic, targeted messages for the business to attract and retain those consumers. In addition, PR pros can ensure that the business has a clear understanding of its consumers and is receiving clear messages from them. This can help the business to refine and expand its offerings, thereby creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

PR in management

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKXAAAAJGEzNDNkZTkwLTUwYmEtNDQ5My04ZTMzLTRlNWFiNWUwYWZhOQPublic relations also can be extremely useful in communicating with a business’s internal publics, such as employees. If you take a minute to read how PRSA defines public relations, you’ll see the phrase “management function” appears several times. That’s because the knowledge and training public relations professionals receive in the areas of organizational communication, strategic messaging and audience analysis all prove extremely beneficial for business managers.

A key element of executive leadership is the ability to communicate effectively with employees, and arguably PR professionals are among the highest skilled individuals when it comes to crafting effective messages that maximize understanding. By facilitating clear and meaningful communication between management staff and employees, PR pros can help to create a positive and constructive work environment.

Investor relations

investor_relations_cover_image_3

Investors often play a vital role in a business’ success. Their investments add value to the business and provide it with the opportunity to grow. This undoubtedly designates investors as an important public for virtually every professional organization.

Often, the struggle for businesses regarding investors is not only to attract new prospects, but also to retain those who have already invested. A PR professional can be a valuable asset for a business’s investor relations program because, although the investors’ interest is often primarily focused on financial information, public relations practitioners are highly skilled in communicating strategic messages to specific audiences. This means that input from a PR pro regarding the best ways to convey this information can be the difference between attracting/retaining investors and a missed opportunity to expand.

 

These are just a few examples of the numerous public relations functions that can benefit nearly any business. The relocation of UCM’s PR Program to the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies signifies a growing trend, as business-minded professionals are beginning to acknowledge and support the benefits PR can bring to the table.

Do you think public relations deserves a seat at the table in the world of business? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow IPR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Advertisements

One comment

  1. CL

    Hmmm…I think that it’s open to interpretation. Does it deserve a seat at the table as far as a solid degree, absolutely. However, PR in the business world is treat like “Safety Management” in construction, you ask yourself “Do we need to have one person who specializes in it, or do we need ALL employees to practice this and become experts?” That is where the argument comes into play.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s