Success in public relations entirely depends on integrating communication. Integrated communication is strategic in nature and ensures that the organization gets its desirable output. This specifically crucial in cases of crisis response where organizations are trying to undo any damages caused by rumors or negative accusations.
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Communication is therefore not just a common aspect of public relations. However communication needs to be strategic in nature. The approach used to relay any information to the public is one that is less offensive (Dozier, Grunig, & Grunig, 1995).
Communication in public relation is considered to similar to communication in advertising where the massage is sent to the end user. The similarity comes with the nature of information to be sent (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1997). Clarity is of the essence while relaying the message.
The public need not to experience difficulties in decoding the messages or interpreting them. The process of communication involves the sender encoding the message and sending it through a medium to the receiver, who is required to decode the message. The practitioners in this case are the senders of the message and the public is the receiver. The message therefore has to be relayed in a simpler way to enable the receiver act in the expected desirable manner (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
According to Dozier, Grunig, and Grunig (1995), the message communicated in public relations, has several components. These components include: developing an idea in the senders mind, coding the idea appropriately, selecting a medium to send the encoded idea, decoding the idea by the receiver, the receiver developing the idea in their minds.
Practitioners in public relations are of high caliber. They have the ability to feed the public with strategic information while making consultations with the management and leadership of organizations.
The practitioners have the ability to plan what information will go to the public, how the information will be relayed without causing damage, and when is the appropriate time to relay the information? Basically, practitioners are critical thinkers. They weigh situations before informing the public. With strategic planning in public relations, there is prospect of getting desirable output (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
Selecting practitioners to fill the post of public relation personnel in any organization needs to take into account some important characteristics and skills of the prospective individual (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003). Apart from having stable individual characteristics, there are other dimensions of behavior that need to be displayed by the practitioners. Basically practitioners are a people’s person.
Networking is a critical aspect that is mandatory for every practitioner. This entails the ability of the individual to be able to develop and maintain casual relationships or informal interpersonal relationships with other people. Networking is a fundamental characteristic for practitioners to possess since it helps in certain critical situations (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
Another important characteristic for practitioners to be a people’s person is the ability to communicate effectively. Communication is wide and it involves oral, written and internet enabled communication. Writing skill is specifically professional forms of writing. They include the ability to write documents such as memos, letters, and press releases.
Despite the fact that electronic communication especially social media and emailing has marred the quality in written forms of communication, practitioners are expected to be able to adjust to professionalism especially when handling official communication. Most companies today use social media as a means to maintain their public relations. Professionalism still needs to be maintained when communicating through social media (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
Apart from written communication prowess, practitioners are also required to be able to express themselves orally. Practitioners need to have the ability to articulate their thoughts and represent the perception and philosophy of their organization confidently before people (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
In most cases, it is the public relation people who are expected to make speeches on behalf of an organization during internal or external crisis response. Any information relating to public relation that needs to be relayed will have to be done by the PR practitioner. Therefore making the communication of the information effective needs an individual with a combination of communication skills including confidence of making speech before cameras and before people.
Being a people’s person also requires the ability to use social media and any other internet enabled communication. The practitioners have to familiarize with internet communication tools such as blogs, and search engines, and social media. There is a whole range of the public who can easily be reached through the use of internet enabled communication tools.
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With communication skills, simplicity is the most emphasized. PR practitioners are required to communicate to all kinds of audiences. The audiences include: business and corporate executives both in the c level management and mid level management, normal employees, and the general public. The information communicated needs to be simple so that all these audiences can be able to understand (Wilcox, Ault, Agee, & Cameron, 2003).
Cutlip, S. M., Center, A. H., & Broom, G. M. (1997). Effective Public Relations. Eaglewood cliff: prentice hall.
Dozier, D. M., Grunig, L. A., & Grunig, J. E. (1995). Manager’s Guide to Excellence in Public Relations and Communications Management. Prentice Hall.
Wilcox, D., Ault, P., Agee, W., & Cameron, G. (2003). Public Relations Strategies and Tactics. Boston: bacon and allyan.