Image is important for any organization. Individuals, companies and organizations use public relation to enhance their reputation before people. In order to effectively make use of public relation practices, PR firms and professionals are involved. Basically what the do is to communicate with and through the media so that customers can be presented in the best way possible. Public relation is not only limited to communication as it also involves working together with other organization and individuals to promote good will so that the customer’s image an organization is enhanced within the community. This paper seeks to evaluate the public relation practices at Apple Inc, a for-profit organization.
There is a lot of competition within the world of business. Companies would want to look different in the minds of the public. They want to be different from their competition and this is why they would value image. When the image is favorable, sales can increased. However negative publicity destroys reputation resulting to reduced sales. When it comes to PR practices in profit based organization, the primary intention is to ensure that the public develop a positive image that would in return translate to increased sales. But for the nonprofit based organizations, the primary goal for public relation is to ensure that both the organization and the public understand each other. It ensures a sense of mutuality so that whatever action an organization make take, the public will be able to understand the reasons behind it. The public may necessarily not be active in performing their role to understand the organization. Therefore, it calls for the organizations to be proactive in making the public understand everything about them.
In the nonprofit world, the value of public relation is the foundation of the organization. Any organization and corporation need to maintain their reputation through the good times and the bad times. The stakeholders really matter in any organization. Both the profit based companies and the nonprofit based companies have stakeholders who play different roles in supporting the organization. Customers are among the biggest stakeholders an organization may have since without the customers an organization such as Apple may not be able to sell its products. Stakeholders in Apple case also involve the shareholders within the company . It is a public company listed within the global security markets for trading. Investors would want to be associated with companies having good reputation within the public domain .
Public relation within the company has always been doing something right for the company that it is not worth for. Everything that is done in the company has to bring value to the company . It makes attempts every single day to create an understanding between the target publics and the company. This is true for every public relation campaign of the company . Some of the campaigns do target the employees, some will target to increase the sale of its products, and some will target issues that affect the company and its industry, while others will target community relations. Regardless of the platform and the target population, the public relation campaign of the company always tries to create an understanding between the company and the target public.
Public relation has never been more important than it is at this moment. There so many challenges that companies face at this moment ant time. Some of these challenges can easily be addressed through the use of better communication. This is where the role of Public Relation comes in. The principles of public relation can also be applied to any subject matter. Depending on the area in which an organization deals in, public relation principles are always applicable because of the simple reason that PR involves communication. In Apple, Public Relation serves the function of being both the eyes and the voice of the organization . The PR team in the organization does not only speak on behalf of the organization but they also listen to what the public have to say about the organization . They have to know what the markets and shareholders are saying about the organization, what they think about the company, what they really need, and what they want. Public relation helps to provide an introspective look into the market .
The emphasis on public relation at the company has shifted into strategic counseling . This focuses more on the future of the organization. It seeks to incorporate the strategic goals of the organization and be part of the future plans as the company grows up . Public relation therefore seeks to help the company accomplish its goals and objectives. It is now the problem solver as well as the strategic planner and the strategic counselor of the company. With the important role that PR plays in the organization, the future seems as though significant success of the company will be based on.
Apple Inc uses public relation practices as one of its strategies of managing competition and any conflict that arises both internally and externally. There are several media platforms that can be used for public relation purposes. The current and emerging media is the social media. Research has been conducted on how the internet can be used to enhance practice in public relations . Emerging technologies may not necessary change the way public relation is conducted but it has only played an enhanced role similar to what the old media used to do . When talking about emerging media and social media, it basically implies the use of social networking sites such as Google plus, the use of micro blogs such as Twitter, the use of video sharing on Youtube, search engine marketing, blogs, electronic forums or message blogs, and podcasts. All these platforms are made into use by companies that intend to compete within the current market situation.
The moment Apple launched its Ipad, it received overwhelming coverage on the media . The buzz and hype that was created could be considered to be a dream for any public relation professional. Almost everyone across the globe had something interesting to say about the Ipad . It can be noted that the company created a social media buzz on twitter of up to 7000 tweets per minute . Bloggers and technology journalist across the world were eager to listen to what the then CEO, Steve Jobs had to say about the new product. This means that the new product made headlines on the front page of many publications across the world. News about the new product was fully optimized even in the leading search engines in the world. The company has always managed to cause buzz even before the launch of any of its products . This role has been made possible by the company’s public relation practices and marketing. Public relation is seen as a marketing strategy of the company .
The public relation process at the company has the traditional components of PR. They include research, planning, implementation and analysis. These components form a cycle; meaning that they depend on each other. In each of the stages, there are questions that have to be answered in order to complete the stage. For instance in the research stage, public relation professionals seek to constantly answer the question of what is happening now in the organization and who are the target audience? Therefore when the company launched the Ipad, its PR team was involved in communicating news about the new product to the target market.
In the planning stage, the company’s PR team has always sought to have the knowledge of what the company wants to accomplish. With this knowledge in mind, it is easy to figure out the message to send to the target market. Figuring out the appropriate message may not be enough as the PR team has to come up with better ways of communicating the message so as to encourage action and achieve the intended purpose. Once the message has been sent out to the target audience, the company has to focus on evaluating the results of the campaign.
Public relation like any other professional practice has ethical standards. The PR professional adherence to ethical issues is based on the standards set by the company. For instance, most of the regulations are set by the company or the consulting firm. A common challenge that PR professionals may face in the course of practice is when conflict arises between their personal rules and standards set by the organization. Sometimes, the professionals may be faced with a situation where they are expected to make a communication that does not measure to their own personal principles and ideologies.
However, the regulation and code of ethics of individual organization sets the rules and ethical practices that professionals have to meet during practice. In order to solve any conflict arising during professional practice in the current time, companies mainly focus on previous examples of similar cases. Decision made when resolving such challenges are based on case studies. This may imply that most of the challenges faced today are similar to those faced in the past during professional practice of public relations.
Other ethical dilemmas in public relation may involve trying to cover up unethical act that the company or its most loyal customers have engaged in. There usually are several “evil” operations that companies do in the dark . Such operations may go unnoticed because of the role that public relation plays in organizations. The reputation has to be maintained at all times; both in the good times and in the bad times. The dilemma therefore occurs when any unethical thing done by the organization has to be covered from the public to maintain its reputation. Some of the cases that company has had to face when dealing in ethical dilemmas in practice of PR include customer complaints and manufacturing errors. Even though the company registers few complaints of its products, it has had to deal with unsatisfied customers.
The company also is involved in global public relation. Even though this may simply involve the communication, it focuses in improving its image within a global scale. Global public relation can be seen in terms of moving ahead on ethical practice, the use of social media, and reaching out to a target audience that company has never reached out to before. Global public relation ensures that the sharing of information on a global scale is done on continual basis. Global public relation is also about harmony. Since it involves promoting two-way dialogue between the company and its target population, it simply encourages harmonious living between the parties involved.
Harmony is a scalable factor. It is scalable from the point of view of marketing, investor relations, employee communication, community relation, and all the way up to the way in which nation relate to each other. The basic function of public relation in creating two-way dialogue between the parties involved can be used to create harmony within all the scales mentioned above. Therefore harmony is not just a byproduct of public relation but is a direct result in many different inter-relationships.
This paper has evaluated the public relation practices at Apple Inc, as a profit based organization. From the discussion it is clear that Individuals, companies and organizations use public relation to enhance their reputation before people. In order to effectively make use of public relation practices, PR firms and professionals have to be involved. Basically what the do is to communicate with and through the media so that customers can be presented in the best way possible. Public relation is not only limited to communication as it also involves working together with other organization and individuals to promote good will so that the customer’s image an organization is enhanced within the community. For Apple, public relation has always been strategic and used as a means to be competitive and maintain the company’s image during crisis.
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