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Management process In its most advanced form, public relations are a scientifically managed part of an organization‘s problem-solving and change processes. Practitioners of this type of public relations use theory and the best available evidence in a four-step problem process:

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Management process

In its most advanced form, public relations are a scientifically managed part of an organization‘s problem-solving and change processes. Practitioners of this type of public relations use theory and the best available evidence in a four-step problem process:

    • Defining the problem (or opportunity).
    • Planning and programming.
    • Taking action and communicating.
    • Evaluating the programme.

Public Relations Techniques

Media relations: one of the most important responsibilities for practitioners. The following steps provide a successful media strategy:

    • Research all available media;
    • Identifying key media contacts;
    • Briefing these contacts and providing them with detailed information;
    • Arranging interviews and visits
    • Writing special articles and features;
    • Encouraging debates on issues of importance.

Publications: is the next most important responsibility which deals with employee publications, house journal or newsletter to staff, management letters or memos, employee handbooks, manuals and annual reports, including employee summary.

Corporate image: is the net result of the interaction of all experiences, impressions, beliefs, feelings and knowledge people have about the company. Everything the company engages or owns contributes towards its image for an example its products, services, its letterheads, brochures, factories, office and trucks. The way it treats its employees, its recruitment polices- all of this either adds or detracts from the company‘s image. The management of the company‘s image lies on the public relations practitioners‘ responsibility.

Corporate advertising: is used in a public relations context especially when the organizations are not satisfied with what is being said in editorial sections of the media.

Sponsorship: many companies spend vast amounts of money in a lucrative sponsorship market.


Promotional activities: this is high profile and is media sensitive. Public relations practitioners devote vast amounts of time to this. It deals with various promotional activities such as conferences and teleconferences to planning exhibitions, preparing audiovisual material, direct mail and special events. This will also require working with other professionals in the marketing, advertising, and design fields.

Issues Management: this has a huge impact on a company‘s operations, policies and future direction, and thus needs very careful monitoring. It is regarded as proactive process.

Lobbying: this is a more specialized part of PR. Lobbyist is at all levels of government functions and is acquainted with individual law-makers and officials. This activity is becoming more and more popular.

Networking: Identifying and developing networks of influential people is a starting point in community relations. Most networks are formed to provide solutions to perhaps a problem in a community. This has become increasingly important for organizations today.


Strategic planning in public relations deals with making decisions on the following:

      • Programme goals and objectives,
      • Identifying target publics,
      • Setting polices,
      • Rules that guiding the selection of strategies and determining strategies.

Relationships according to Mersham and Skinner (2001:68)

are defined as mutual dealings, connections or feelings that

exist between the organization and its stakeholders.


The following illustrates the types of managers:

  • Sales managers : Deal with managing personal selling. Often it is the responsibility of the sales manager to build good distribution channels and implement place policies. In smaller companies, the sales manager may also act as the marketing manager and will be responsible for advertising and sales promotion.
  • Advertising managers : They manage the company‘s mass selling effort through television, newspapers, magazines and other media. They are also required to choose the right media to develop advertisements. The company‘s advertising departments or outside advertising agencies will be engaged for these efforts. The manager may also handle publicity or an outside agency or whoever handles the company‘s public relations.
  • Sales promotion managers : Manage the company‘s sales promotion effort. In some companies the sales promotion manager has independent status and reports directly to the marketing manager. If the promotion spending is substantial there should be specific sales promotion efforts. The sales promotion is left as a responsibility of individual brand managers. Companies tend to use both inside and outside specialists.

Source: (Perreault and McCarthy 1996:423)


Basic Definitions: Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales

One Definition of Advertising

Advertising is bringing a product (or service) to the attention of potential and current customers. Advertising is focused on one particular product or service. Thus, an advertising plan for one product might be very different than that for another product. Advertising is typically done with signs, brochures, commercials, direct mailings or e-mail messages, personal contact, etc.

One Definition of Promotion

Promotion keeps the product in the minds of the customer and helps stimulate demand for the product. Promotion involves ongoing advertising and publicity (mention in the press). The ongoing activities of advertising, sales and public relations are often considered aspects of promotions.


One Definition of Marketing

Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you're continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return. Marketing is usually focused on one product or service. Thus, a marketing plan for one product might be very different than that for another product. Marketing activities include "inbound marketing," such as market research to find out, for example, what groups of potential customers exist, what their needs are, which of those needs you can meet, how you should meet them, etc. Inbound marketing also includes analyzing the competition, positioning your new product or service (finding your market niche), and pricing your products and services. "Outbound marketing" includes promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.

One Definition of Public relations

Public relations include ongoing activities to ensure the overall company has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the company and its products. Often, public relations are conducted through the media that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. As noted above, public relations are often considered as one of the primary activities included in promotions.


One Definition of Publicity

Publicity is mention in the media. Organisations usually have little control over the message in the media, at least, not as they do in advertising. Regarding publicity, reporters and writers decide what will be said.

One Definition of Sales

Sales involves most or many of the following activities, including cultivating prospective buyers (or leads) in a market segment; conveying the features, advantages and benefits of a product or service to the lead; and closing the sale (or coming to agreement on pricing and services). A sales plan for one product might be very different than that for another product.