Chapter 4 Public Relations Departments and Firms

March 27, 2009 whitneychilds

Chapter Four breaks down all departments with a PR firm and how each one is organized.  One thing that stuck out most to me while reading this chapter was all the experience required by each department you must have to even be considered for a position. Another thing I found interesting was PR companies lingo, most often it isn’t “public relations,” it is “corporate communications” or “communications” outnumber public relations by almost four to one.

John Buckley, EVP of corporate communications for AOL simply states, “A significant part of our function has to do with strategic communications-altogether too much crisis communications.”

This chapter had a lot of neat information. In 2006 a survey was conducted by PRWeek asked respondents what activities their departments performed. The highest ranked in-house department’s responsibility was media relations with 79.5% and the lowest being blog relations with 11.9%.  Marketing landed in the middle with 45.7%.

PR is considered the “management of communication between an organization and its publics.” However, other staff functions are involved and this leads to friction. The four areas of friction are legal, human resources, advertising and marketing.

With regard to size, public relations firms range from one or two person operations to global giants such as Weber-Shandwick, which employs almost 3,000 professionals in 81 offices around the world.  The U.S. has the world’s most public relations firms with an estimated 7,000 companies that no doubt include many one or two person operations.

One fact that blew my mind was that an estimated 60 percent of the global business in public relations is conducted by firms that are owned by holding companies that also own advertising agencies, marketing firms, and special event specialty shops.


Entry Filed under: Chapter Summary

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