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associations. CHAPTER 2. "PUBLIC RELATIONS, CORPORATE ADVERTISING, AND NONCOMMERCIAL ADVERTISING" 1. THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Public relations (PR) is a term that is widely misunderstood and misused to describe anything from selling to hosting, when in fact it is a very specific communications process. Every company, organization, association, and government or says. They might be employees, customers, stockholders, competitors, suppliers, or Just the general population of consumers. Each of these groups may be referred to as one of the organization's publics. The process of public relations manages the organization's relationships with these publics. As soon as word of the Valdez Spill got out, the PR staff at Exxon assumed responsibility for handling the barrage

of phone calls from the press and the public and for managing all company communications with the media. Simultaneously, other company departments had to deal with numerous local, state, and federal government agencies and with the community at large - not just in Valdez, Alaska, but anywhere in the world where someone was touched by the disaster. In addition, myriad other publics suddenly popped into the spotlight demanding special attention and care: Alaskan fishermen, both houses of congress, local politicians, the financial community, stockholder, employed, the local press, national networks, Exxon dealers, and environmental groups, for starters. Companies and organizations know they must consider the public impact of their actions and decisions because of the powerful effect

of public opinion. This is especially true in time of crisis, emergency, or disaster. But it is just as true for major policy decisions concerning changes in business management, pricing policies, labor negotiations, introduction of new products, or changes in distribution methods. Each of these decisions affects different groups in different ways. Conversely, effective administrators can use the power of these groups' opinions to bring about positive changes. In short, the purpose of ever using labeled public relations is to influence public opinion toward building goodwill and a positive reputation for the organization. In one instance, the PR effort might be to rally public support; in another, to obtain public understanding or neutrality or in still another, simply to respond

to inquiries. Well-executed public relations is a long-term activity that molds good relationships between an organization and its publics. Put yourself in the position of Exxon's top public relations manager at the time of the Valdez accident. What do you suppose was the major thrust of the PR staff's efforts in the days immediately following the discovery of the oil spill? What might they have been called on to do? We will discuss these and other questions in this chapter. But first it is important to understand the relationship between public relations and advertising they are so closely related but so often misunderstood. 2. CORPORATE ADVERTISING As mentioned earlier, corporate advertising is basic tool of public relations. It includes public relations advertising,

institutional advertising, corporate identity advertising, and recruitment advertising. Their use depends on the particular situation, the audience or public being addressed, and the message the firm needs to communicate. 2.1 PUBLIC RELATIONS ADVERTISING Public relations advertising is often used when a company wishes to communicate directly with one of its important publics to express its feelings or enhance its paint of view to that particular audience. The Claris ad in exhibit 18-7, for example, targets customers investors, and stock analysts. Public relations ads are typically used to improve the company's relations with labor, government, customers, or suppliers. When companies sponsor art events, programs on public television, or charitable activities, they frequently place

public relations ads in other media to promote the programs and their sponsorship. These ads are designed to enhance the company's general community citizenship and to create public goodwill. The ad in Exhibit 18-8 promotes an art exhibit ant southwestern Bell's sponsorship role. 2.2 CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING In recent years the term corporate advertising has come to denote that broad area of nonproduct advertising used specifically to enhance a company's image and increase lagging awareness. The traditional term for this its institutional advertising. Institutional or corporate ad campaigns may serve a variety of purposes - to report the company's accomplishments, to position the company competitively in the market, to reflect a change in corporate personality, to