I love the way this blog, Prowl Public Relations, defines the main function of corporate public relations. As a means “…to connect with various publics using means such as press releases, social media, products and events to facilitate the building and managing relationships”. Just as with other PR ventures, corporate PR has the same objective of connecting with people within the company’s audience/ market.
But what is the state of corporate PR in America today?
Most companies continue to utilize PR to reach out to their audiences in order to improve their public image and relationship with the public by promoting or reporting positive events. However, I feel as if PR as it relates to the corporate world has become more of a means to manage mistakes, scandals, and other mishaps that can occur within a company rather than a means to report news or positive affairs.
To illustrate, The Corporate Image, a popular corporate PR service which specializes in “strategic corporate communications”, cleverly lists their services on the front page of their website. The list reads:
Crucially, “Crisis Response” is at the top of the list– strategically symbolizing The Corporate Image’s acknowledgement of the demand for corporate crisis management within the corporate PR industry.
It’s almost impossible to not think of instances where companies have had to utilize their PR team to dissolve or distract attention from a scandal or media crisis. (Please feel free to comment below any big ones that you can remember!)
I do believe that crisis management is an important component within the corporate PR world. Businesses are vulnerable for imperfect circumstances to occur since they have to much attention drawn upon them. However, as an upcoming PR professional, I see it as necessary for those within our industry to redefine this ever-growing and ever-changing field. Let us make it more about focusing on the good rather than trying to cover up the bad!
In my corporate PR class last Monday, we discussed this topic further and some students described what they believed. Many agree that corporate PR has transformed into a means to ‘cover-up the bad’. One stated that it has been and continues to be the fastest growing field within its industry and thus the industry with the most potential for change. “We can’t control the news, but with corporate PR… we have more tools to”.
What do you believe is the state of corporate PR in today’s America? Please feel free to share your opinions below.