Thanks to technology and the internet, just about any Public Relation efforts can be considered global. With a couple clicks of a mouse, information can be gathered from around the world and communication is nearly instantaneous. Any organization could be scrutinized by any group at any point in time. To some, this poses as a problem to others, a solution. Either way, for the organizations with strong moral fiber, this could be free publicity and for the less morally sound companies; it could act as free publicity. However, your success is rated on the message receivers rather than the amount of messages you send so it is vital that you can relate to whatever audience you may have.
A great man by the name of Nelson Mandela has recently passed away. He was a global voice of reconciliation and well respected by all nations. According to the article, http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/world/africa/nelson-mandela-memorial/index.html here were world leaders from all around the world that made and appearance at the gathering to praise the “Giant of History,” including President Obama.
Simply showing up to this event is communicating to the people. It says that you appreciate everything Mandela has done in his lifetime and everything he stood for. The social impact of President Obama not showing up would devastate his remaining time in office.
President Obama also decided to go the extra mile and deliver a very moving speech at the gathering as well, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46wLTVNiUrI. As the leader of one of the most powerful and influential nations in the world, he felt it was his responsability to do so.
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Companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see many benefits, including loyal customers and happier employees. When your employees are happy, your business becomes more efficient. More and more organizations are realizing this and all other benefits of giving back to the community and implementing strategies to do so. According to a study by Echo Research, http://www.conecomm.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/0/fdf8ac4a95f78de426c2cb117656b846/files/2013_cone_communicationsecho_global_csr_study.pdf 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop, meaning that if you fail to take community outreach seriously, your business is suffering.
A recent example, Lincoln Motor Company donated 600 turkeys and 100 hams to nearly 30,000 people in Detroit last Tuesday. Detroit, a city in turmoil, gladly accepted these donations and will always remain thankful. All residents take note of this and will keep it in mind when concerning a new purchase. An article, http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/lincoln-gives-back-with-mike-epps-and-big-sean/ states that Lincoln teamed with some of the biggest names in the worlds of sports and entertainment, such as Mike Epps and Big Sean in making this event happen.
In order for an organization to be successful, there has to be a firm line of communication between leadership and workers. If an entire business can move forward with the same goals and attitudes, it would be a perfect world. It’s almost as if the decisions are being made behind the curtain. This is why having a strong relationship between your corporate decision makers and your worker bees putting in the effort. By communicating well with your employees it avoids suspicion and rumors flowing through your ranks because they trust your judgment.
However, there will always be turmoil to stir the fire. For example, an article on Bank of America recently having an intern suddenly die on the clock http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/22/news/boa-intern-inquest/index.html?iid=HP_River . They say he died of natural causes due to a rare disease, unfortunately they are also associating the results on stress and overworking with long hours. This draws a lot of negative attention to an already stereotyped industry. Naturally, employees are curious to what really happened and if not communicated with properly, the rumors will spread like wildfire. On top of that, their public will start to perceive them with a negative image which brings the question to your integrity as an organization.
Bank of America has some important decisions to make on the best way to handle this situation in the next few days. This clip describes the expected plan of action by Bank of America. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTr7EDpE0j4
The business world lives on the fine line that is considered “Ethics.” This is becoming an issue for PR professionals since there is always bone to be picked with most of today’s corporations. Unfortunately, there has to be more than moral fiber for a firm to become successful. This is where that fine line comes into play. Some will dance around the corners in order to make a profit even if it may provide a blow to their image. If that is the case, there is work to be done to reestablish a respectable reputation.
Wal-Mart is an excellent example. They are being accused of unlawfully firing employees who participated in protests last black Friday. These workers were fighting for better work conditions and should have been legally protected by the laws established by the union. This looks poorly un Wal-Mart’s reputation, it tells people that they want to intimidate their employees into playing by their rules. This negative publicity may cause an impact on their business, especially one black Friday, coming up next week. Wal-Mart must react positively in a way that can reestablish trust into their customer base.
An article, http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/18/news/companies/walmart-workers/index.html?iid=SF_BN_River gives more information on this case and states that there are more and more cases like that are popping up for Wal-Mart.
Today’s athletes, collegiate and professional, are under the microscope 24/7 and the players reputations are on the line day in and day out. There have been many instances where players have said something not knowing the implications of those words and get ridiculed immediately because of it. The one case that has been in the news across the country for the last couple weeks, is the story of Richie Incognito. Richie Incognito is an NFL offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins and has been suspended from the team because of his actions towards fellow lineman and friend Jonathan Martin. Martin has claimed that Incognito has been harassing him throughout the football season and thus causing psychological problems for Martin. The media has been covering this story from the beginning and can be seen on sport shows and news channels across the country daily. Incognito’s reputation has been shredded as of late because of words he had allegedly exchanged with Martin in which he had been accused of being racist because of.
Since this story was such a great ordeal, it is extremely difficult for Incognito to get his reputation back to where it was as a respectable person and player. This clip is Incognito in his attempt at clearing his name, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTqT9wHAq3s There are some people that assume that by hearing it on the news it is entirely true and do not feel the need to do further research about this story and therefore, Incognito’s persona is damaged and people may never view him as an honorable person anymore. Because the initial reports about Incognito were so terrible and disrespectful, it is hard for people to change their mindset about him because they formed their conclusion on him from the very beginning.
There are many stories just like this that happen all over the world that may not get the attention like this instance because the people may not be well recognized and popular. This however comes with the territory of athletes and they understand that they are always under scrutiny and must think before they speak, whether publicly or privately because as it shows in past scenarios, it can always become public whether you think it can or not.
“Public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion, through sounds character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication.” Out of the first few chapters, this quote stood out the most. There is a strong relationship between the the public opinion and a successful organization. Public relations helps communicate the evolution of a company to the public so that they can mutually adapt to a situation. It is important that the message you are delivering is of sound ethics, in that you’re being honest and genuine. In todays society, everyone is “Plugged in” meaning that the world is connected by the internet. If you are being dishonest with your message, chances are someone will find out and once they do, they have access to tell the world about it.
When going creating your message, there must be an audience in mind and you must take into consideration how that audience communicates as a group. The language, tone, medium, it all plays a role and can ultimately effect how well your message is being received. You must use these elements to mold your communication strategy and deliver in a way that your audience will understand.
I found an article on the University of Maryland and how they are planning to put a positive spin on their decision to join the Big Ten conference. They had anticipated that their fan base would react in an emotional and negative way about the change so they took proactive steps that included planting positive comments in popular blogs in hopes that it would also influence their fans view on the change. They did a great job in isolating the group that their fans consist of and planned out steps to reach their audience.