Public Relations in Day-to-Day LifePrior to my enrollment in this course, I never really put much thought into the relationships between companies, the media and their stakeholders. I didn't realize how often we come in contact with public relations on a day-to-day basis. Every single tweet a company sends out and every single corporate Facebook post that flies by on my timeline are all types of public relations. We don't realize it, but public relations impacts our day-to-day lives on a large scale.
Just the other day, for instance, my girlfriend and I had a very unpleasant experience at a Denny's restaurant. Our food took well over 30 minutes to arrive and when it finally got there, it was incredibly cold. The entire experience was horrible and I took to Twitter expressing my displeasure. In my tweet, I tagged the Denny's Twitter account, and shortly after, I received a response apologizing for my experience and asking if there was anything they could do to make things right. This is an example of a company reaching out via social media to their stakeholders in an attempt to foster and recreate a positive image of their organization. Personally, that tweet made me feel better about my poor experience in the restaurant and I will have no problem revisiting a Denny's in the future.
Public relations is all about creating and maintaining a positive relationship between the company and its stakeholders. Any time I ever go shopping, whether it be for food, clothing, electronics, etc. on the bottom of the receipt is a request for me to visit the company's website and let them know what I thought about the service they offered. This is a super effective use of public relations. It allows the organization to collect qualitative information in regard to the impression they left on their customers. Based on customer responses, the companies are able to adjust accordingly. This type of information can only be acquired by being proactive and interacting in a meaningful way with their customers. In my own personal experience, I have been approached in-store by employees asking me to make sure I let them know how they did. To me, I think these interactions paint the company in a positive light because it shows that they not only have a vested interest in their customers satisfaction, but that they care as well.
The Public Relations course at Mohawk College has really taught me to be more critical in the way I think. Every day I find myself questioning more and trying to view every situation from as many possible angles. It has really helped me with decision making, communicating and thinking critically. Public relations forces you to be sympathetic and understanding to the wishes and needs of all publics because your goal as a professional communicator is to build these strong relationships.