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1.1 Background of the Study
For many non-commercial
organizations, public relations, whether to recruit volunteers, publicize an
event, or commemorate organizational milestones, is a scary, if not foreign,
task. In most situations employees at non-commercial organizations know their programmes,
the communities they serve, and are knowledgeable about the organization’s
target social issues, but do not how to perform public relations.
There has been a push in the
non-commercial sector in recent years on developing public relations as a core
competency, as evidenced by the increasing number of workshops and conference
presentations on the subject. Recent workshop offerings include: “The Nuts and
Bolts of Public Relations,” presented at the 2005 Washington Library
Association (WLA) Conference in Spokane, Washington; “Media Management: The
Value of Relationships,” presented at the 2006 Montana Non-commercial
Association Annual Conference in Helena, Montana; and “Branding,
Communications, and Public Relations” to be presented at a July 2007 day-long
workshop presented by Technical Assistance for Community Services (TACS) in
Portand, Oregon. Though these three presentations are but a sampling of the
myriad of workshops and presentations directed at non-commercial organizations
n the Pacific Northwest, it should be emphasized that all three focus on media
relations—the composition and distribution of pitch letters, media advisories,
press releases, and public service announcements.
The truth is, public
relations are much more than just press agency. However, with the decreasing
emphasis on government funding and increased reliance on independent sources of
funding (Frumpkin, 2006), funders want to know that their money will be used
wisely, and media clippings are one way to demonstrate this.
Therefore, media relations
usually comprise the bulk of non-commercial organizations public relations
programs. Many non-commercial organizations are already performing public relations,
though not as strategically or effectively as they could. For example, sending
out a monthly or quarterly newsletter to clients, employees, and supporters, or
writing or distributing press releases and public service announcements in
conjunction with a fundraiser or event most certainly qualify as public
relations activities. Some non-commercial organizations even have established
and maintained media contacts, and have impressive databases of supporters,
donors, clients, and partners in the community. However, these resources may
not be utilized to their fullest potential, and the public relations activities
that are being done could be done more efficiently, consistently, and
The purpose of this paper is to establish effective public
relations programs in organizations that are either establishing a public
relations program for the first time, or to increase the capacity and
effectiveness of an existing public relations program. The basic operations of the
organization, as dictated by the mission statement, take precedence over public
relations, and the organization’s success is measured in quantifiable terms
related to service output, not media coverage. Simply put, many non-commercial
organizations lack the resources to acquire a full-time public relations
practitioner. As a result, many non-commercial organizations hire interns to
perform public relations functions, as observed by internship postings on any
university’s career services website, a myriad of online intern search
websites, and even job search engines that offer an internship search.
At first glance, this seems a
viable solution to the resources dilemma many non-commercial organizations
face. However, most interns work at the non-commercial organizations during the
summer months or for a semester during the year. Interns rarely have the
opportunity to meet the person who previously held their position, and as a
result, the continuity of the position often suffers. For example, summer interns
at an non-commercial organizations might develop a database of media contacts,
and distribute press releases accordingly. Interns who take their place in the
fall may not know about the database or who was contacted, and thus
relationships with gatekeepers may not be fostered.
1.2 Objective of the Study
The objectives of this paper,
is divided into two parts: theoretical basis and practical application.
If public relations are to be
performed in the non-commercial setting of Guidance Community Development
Foundation, the case study of this project, it must take into account the
unique climate of non-commercial organizations, not be overly time consuming,
and encourage continuity while recognizing that many people in the organization
may be performing
public relations functions. Additionally, given the challenges of establishing
a public relations program in the non-commercial setting, non-commercials must
be convinced it is an endeavor worthy of their time and energy.
The following research
questions were generated for the study:
what extent as non commercial organization utilizing public relation as a
medium for communication.
are the medium of public relation adopted by Guidance Community Organization?
is the combined influence of Public Relation programmes on performance of non
there any significant difference in Public Relation practice within
non-commercial organization and commercial organization?
can non commercial organizations cope with different dimensions in relating to
the public officially and unofficial?
of the Study
In the world of integrated
marketing, the lines between advertising, communications and public relations
have become almost non-existent. Just what role does Public Relations play in
the today's mix?
Reputation can account for a
large portion of a company's market capitalization, and can be its most
important long-term asset. It impacts an organization in a myriad of ways,
including stock price, and the ability to attract and retain customers and
1.5 Scope of the Study
To enable a complete and
broader study of this research work, the scope of this study is arranged as
The theoretical basis section,
will explore relevant theoretical foundations and best practices. In the
practical application section, it will apply the theoretical foundations and
best practices to a guide to establishing public relations programs in
non-commercial settings. In the first part of this paper, the emphasis is on
public relations in general; in the second part, information from the first
part is applied to non-commercial settings, specifically for a non-academic
audience. Guidance Community development foundation is used as a case study
1.6 Limitation of the Study
“The road to success is not that smooth”, according to an
adage. The realization of the ambition to write this particular topic was not
without some problems or debates.
These problems are as follows:
1. Time Factors: Enough
time was not given to carry out this research work, the resulting in
leaving some necessary thing or area introduced. The degree of sample areas
used is also affected.
2. Lack of Corporation: Difficulties
that almost results to frustration was also encountered in the process
of gathering relevant information as a result of lack of Corporation and hostile
attitude of some respondents, they through that the information recurred would
be used against the company.
3. Financial Constraint: This
is another problem encountered, in carrying out this research work
insufficient money to print enough questionnaires and also for transportation.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Public Relations (PR) is the
actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting
goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers,
etc. An earlier definition of public relations, by The first World Assembly of
Public Relations Associations, held in Mexico City, in August 1978, was
"the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their
consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned
programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public
(also spelled noncommercial) refers to an activity or entity that does
not in some sense involve commerce, at least relative to similar activities
that do have a commercial objective or emphasis.
public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals,
and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such
Nonprofit organization: Nonprofit
organization (abbreviated as NPO) is neither a legal nor technical
definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues
to achieve its goals rather than to distribute them as profit or dividends.
relation Officer: Public relations practitioners provide
communication services to organizations by giving advice to management,
planning and implementing communication activities and evaluating their
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