Public Relations or PR is an art of handling communication among an organization and its major publics to construct, direct and maintain a positive image. It is a significant function for an organization in concern to establishing its standing and brand image for its target market. Public Relation has a number of functions that play a prominent role in asserting that image (Peter & Donnelly, 2002).
Mainly these functions are classified in two categories which are known as organizational or internal functions and societal or external functions. Here in this paper, both of these functions of public relation will be discussed. The selected organization for explaining the organizational and societal implications of an issue is Wal-Mart, which will also be discussed in this paper. Subsequently, the recommendation for addressing both the organizational and societal audiences will be talked about.
Organizational functions of public relations are the actions that interact with and influence the organizations. These comprise functions, like communications management, publicity, media, investor relations, community relations, consumer relations, investor relations and employee relations. Organizational functions of public relation include procedures or activities that connect the diverse teams or procedures of a business (Functions of Public Relations, 2009). These organizational functions could be used by the company to distribute or disperse functional information to all of its employees, stakeholders and to other organizations involved with it.
The organizational functions can be used by organizations for developing an effective and competent workforce so that the productivity of the company could be increased along with the establishment of its prominent position in the market. One of the significant functions of organizational functions is employee relations and the management of human resource. Another imperative function is handling customer relations or customer service (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). The management of customer relations is essential as it is used by organizations to learn about the needs and conducts of its customers, which assists in developing strong relations with them.
Both the employee and customer relations are prominent functions of the organizational function of public relations as both of these are procedures that include dissemination of valuable information. Both functions of are critical to the company’s objective in concern to affirming and keeping up their operation (Peter & Donnelly, 2002). With these procedures, the entire organization will be competent to keep on producing products or delivering services internally as well as externally.
Societal Functions of Public Relations
Societal functions of public relations are the actions that relate to the public. These functions involve marketing communications, public affairs, consumer relations, social responsibility and issues management. Primarily, these are external functions and include company actions that enable it to communicate to the public appropriately. These societal functions of public relations enable companies to communicate with their consumers or clientele.
The most significant function of public relations’ societal functions is marketing communications. It includes the messages and associated media that could be used by an organization to communicate with its market. In addition to this, it also regards disciplines like advertising, sales promotion, marketing public relations, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship and web communications (Functions of Public Relations, 2009). The next crucial function of the societal functions of public relations is social responsibility. This comprises of an organization’s entire function.
Both societal functions marketing communications and social responsibility are vital functions of public relations’ as these are important external means of disseminating information and relevant data to the consumers of the company. In present distributing information to consumers is essential to attract them and for establishing a positive presence in their mind.
Employee & Labor Relations Issue within the Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is a well-known American public corporation. It operates a chain of large, discount departmental stores all over the world. Although the company is doing good but from last many years, it is confronting numerous issues in concern to its employee and labor relations. It had been criticized by a variety of groups and individuals. A number of labor unions, grassroots organizations, religious organizations, community groups and environmental groups used to complaint in opposition to Wal-Mart (Business Practices, n.d.). All of them believe that the policies and business practices of Wal-Mart are not in favour of its employees and labor.
The company had made various efforts to resolve this issue but still it is making prominent effect on company’s organizational and societal implications. The company’s image and position in front of its employees is getting worse and which in turn is making an effect on its organizational culture and employees’ productivity. In addition to the organizational implications, this issue is also making numerous societal implications (Peter & Donnelly, 2002). Its customers are receiving a negative image in their mind, with the news and information’s broadcasted about the company and the number of lawsuits filed against it. Overall, it is making a negative impact on its customers and clients.
Addressing Wal-Mart’s Organizational and Societal Audiences’
The issue of employee and labor relation in Wal-Mart had made tremendous impact on its organizational and societal audiences’. Both of these audiences could be effectively addressed by the company, with the help of different organizational and societal functions of public relations. With the use of these different functions, the company can effectively communicate with its employees and customers for demonstrating a faith to resolve this as soon as possible and their own concern about employees and its customers (Functions of Public Relations, 2009).
With the help of organizational functions of public relations like employee relations, human resource management and media relations, the company management would become able in managing its employees and labor along with a development of trust among them for organization and its practices & policies. Human Resource Management will help the company in concentrating on the activities that will impart to effectively drawing, developing, prompting, planning organized accesses and exerting a high-performing workforce (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005).
These attempts of the company towards employee relations and human resource management will develop a positive feeling among its employees that the company they are working for is highly concerned about their employees (Hunter, 2007). In addition to the, management of organizational audiences the company can also effectively manage its external and societal audiences with the help of societal functions of public relation like issue management, marketing communications, publicity and social responsibility (Functions of Public Relations, 2009). For managing the effect of this critical issue the company can publish its different efforts undertaken in concern to managing positive employee and labor relations along with the positive results as this will assist them in convincing its external public.
In addition to this, with the help of developing and demonstrating social responsibility also, the company management can create a positive image in the minds of their external public. By taking part in different social events with its employees, the company can easily address its external public in concern to the management of its issue (Hunter, 2007). With different organizational and societal functions of public relation, Wal-Mart can easily and effectively make a positive image of it in the minds of its organizational and societal audiences.
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