Today, the oil industry operated differently, with the management of these companies not being solely reported to stockholders but to wider range including stockholders but also employees and the community where it operates. Consequently, the role of public relations has increased within this industry and this great shift in radium on the understanding of how the oil companies operate makes it quite vulnerable and open to crisis.
The role of the public relations personnel as the spokespeople of the oil companies is of paramount importance and they have a crucial duty to perform in order to be constantly alert, responsive, turning crisis into opportunities, maintain corporate governance and ensure robust community relations. Public relations are a profession that is emergent- developed from the 19th century- rapidly expanding during the 20th century. Harrow (1976), gathered 472 definitions of the word Public
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Relations to summarize it in one single paragraph which is as follows: Public relations is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication and understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilities change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and ethical communication techniques as its principal tools. (Wilcox et al, 2003:7) Since then, many attempts have been made to define PR, some involving the words ” art” and ” social science ” but the definition obtained by the PR in 1987 is quite useful, stating : ” Public relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organization and its publics According to Miscreant (1 996), two roles are commonly found in PR: technician and problem-solver. It is however not very easy to draw limits teen these two roles. Indeed, for instance, a good media release- a form of PR- should incorporate current media practices and channels but a public affairs adviser would also need a range of technical skills, including writing. According to senior practitioners the main activities can be divided into four. Firstly, building immaterial assets (organization culture, brands, reputation. , secondly facilitating business processes (generating public attention, influencing customers preference.. ), thirdly adjusting organizational strategies ( integrating public concerns, identifying opportunities) and finally securing room for maneuver ( managing crises and relationships). The table below outlines more the tasks and activities involved in PR. Marketing is the entire system of developing products or services and communicating their benefits to customers to entice them to make purchases. Public relations is a component of a company’s marketing plan which emphasizes the promotion of goodwill with the public and support of the company image (BPR, 2012).
In order to win the clients’ trust and earn credibility, oil companies to depend greatly on marketing strategists but they also rely heavily on PR specialists as in today’s world there is fierce intention and PR is the positive medium between potential clients and organizations. PR is very importance for the success of a business. Firstly, PR is much more than just promotion. Indeed, while marketing is primarily focused on promotion of a specific product/service, PR is mainly focused on communication with the public (potential buyers and media). The fact that relevant information is communicated to the public about the organization and its products, PR practitioners participate in the process of promotion of the organization and its business.
But more importantly, they reflect a costive image and build a relationship with the targeted audience or maintain a relationship with current customers. Consequently, the customer and the organization share a relationship of trust, which is of primordial importance in influencing the decisions of these customers. Secondly, PR permits ” damage control”. In addition to attracting public attention and reflecting a positive image, PR practitioners play a crucial role during crisis. Oil industry is quite vulnerable and prone to crisis such as oil spills and environmental related issues and face constant fear from media and No’s such as Greenback for instant.
When a rumor or even true information spreads, the organization’s PR have to react immediately before the media starts building a new, sometimes very negative image of the company in question. This can affects conscious consumers’ choices and thus, the success of the business. The reactions from PR specialists need to be quick and efficient in order to minimize any damage. PR covers a wide range Of areas, in order to represent the client in the best way possible. The profession is become extremely specialized and the disciplines are quite various and described below (Piper, 2012). Firstly, Financial PR is focused on financial matters including takeovers, adherence to government regulations, investments, disclosure agreements etc.
As it is extremely complex, the financial PR could include a staff of lawyers. The Financial PR communicates more with businesses, stockholders and the investor community rather than the general public. Secondly, the Consumer PR is the specialized in presenting products/services in order to attract potential clients by making the products/service more attractive to a targeted audience. Although it appears to be marketing related, it is quite sit unsuitable from marketing strategies. Thirdly, the crisis communication PR practitioners are employed to deal with crisis and are often very good leavers too. Their job is to control a crisis and keep it under control, limit the damages in terms of reputation and public image.
In this case, excellent communication skills are required to communicate with often a ” angry” or ” disappointed ” public and share ” the other side of the story”. Crisis communication PR approaches could also involve ” spin ” which, do not necessarily involve deceit or manipulation of public opinion. Moreover, although less popular government PR exists, which is specialized in engaging with the government in order to influence policies making. The main method used is lobbying but it is not always sufficient to gain the support of politicians. Government relations should not be tangled with government communication- which indicates to communication between the government and the public.