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Pr: Organizational And Societal Functions

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Autor:   •  June 8, 2011  •  1,250 Words (5 Pages)  •  357 Views

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Public Relations: Organizational and Societal Functions Reviewed


The pituitary gland is a human body part that is no larger than a pea and is located in the base of the brain where the three lobes meet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (2007), this master gland of the endocrine system performs a number of functions from controlling skin pigmentation, an external activity, to the internal action of increasing hormones found in the advent of puberty. In short, this gland performs both internal and external functions. The organizational and societal functions of public relations are similar to the internal and external functions of the pituitary gland. To understand these communication functions, one must denote the meaning of each while categorizing particular genres based on understandings thereof.

Definition of Organizational and Societal Relations

Organizational functions of public relations (PR) typically target internal publics, such as workers, management, the board of directors and investors. The purpose of the role is the attempt to offer information which will center the power of workers, management and financiers towards the organizational goals. As a difference, societal functions of PR target external publics, for example, government agencies, media, consumers, and specialty groups. The meaning of this function lies with a message that promotes and vends the organization as a whole, appealing to opinion and cultivating a relationship of reciprocal honesty and trust. From this point, the following list of actions can be categorized as organizational, societal or both in practice.

The list includes: public affairs and risk management, consumer relations, governmental affairs, social responsibility, community relations, investor relations, marketing communications, employee relations, media relations, relationship management, publicity and communications management. For the purpose of this discussion, a maximum of four have been chosen: employee relations, community relations, social responsibility and communications management.

Organizational Purpose

In whole, employee relations holds internal functions. This has become an increasing role in the synergy of public relations and the human resources fields with a stress on honesty, professionalism, and responsibility. Organizations can no longer proceed blindly to employee interests and must build morale with an ongoing rapport among workers of all levels through various internal activities such as annual employee surveys, intranet communiquйs, organizational progress reports, face-to-face communications and other similar tools. As a model, NASA's Office of Human Management offers a translation and protocol for the discussed activities. The explanation reads:

"Employee Relations involves the body of work concerned with maintaining employer-employee relationships that contribute to satisfactory productivity, motivation, and morale. Essentially, Employee Relations is concerned with preventing and resolving problems involving individuals which arise out of or affect work situations" (NASA OHCM, 2007).

From the given point, an etiquette is offered to supervisors regarding the review of employee performance including disciplinary actions, how to provide employees with appropriate information depending on the department, regulations, legislations and bargaining agreements, in addition to civil rights and whistleblower protections.

Societal Roles

In turn, the field of community relations offers a societal role for public relations. Seitel (2004) comments that a clear understanding of community concerns an open door policy for community leaders, an unlocked and honest flow of information and an sense of regular association and interaction with the community; all of which is imperative for successful community relations. The computer and technology expert, IBM provides a solid understanding of this function.

IBM believes not just in local community but global community. This organization is one of the largest corporate contributors of manpower, monies and equipment to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and educational institutions worldwide, stressing information technology in the aspects of philanthropic programs and solutions providers. IBM believes in working "hand-in-hand with public and nonprofit organizations to design technology solutions that address specific problems. This kind of partnership requires a grantee organizations make that is significant to commitments regarding IBM and to go beyond business as usual, to set clear benchmarks and to focus on measurable results" (2007).

The Unison of Organizational and Societal Functions

In actuality, some public relation functions are both organizational and societal. Social responsibility and communications management are two such examples, servicing both internal and external needs simultaneously.

Social responsibility, which also doubles as an environmental factor, is both an internal and external function. Social responsibility is a PR role which is concerned with how organizations handle the business processes to create an overall constructive impact on society; all while acting ethically, contributing to a quality of life for its workforce, and local and global communities. Social responsibility is the "respecting of cultural differences and finds business opportunities in building the skills of employees, the community and the government" (Business Respect, 2007). Because of this explanation, Nike seems to be an adequate corporation to describe this function.

Public relations decisions are often affected by social responsibilities, both globally and domestically. These tasks have grown due to negative perceptions from


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