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Public Relations Interview, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

The structure of an ideal organization comprises of different functional departments handling different tasks. Examples of these functional departments include the accounting, human resource, and the public relations departments. All the tasks handled by each department directs towards achieving the overall objectives of that organization. In this regard, no department is more important than the other is. For instance, the public relations department requires assistance from the human resource department during staffing and training of employees. On the other hand, the human resource department needs assistance from the public relations during advertisements for job vacancies (Jacquie, 2007). In this case, all the functional departments within an organization function interdependently in an effort to accomplish common goals. Despite this integral interdependence of departments within an organization, each department has explicitly defined responsibilities based on its functional purpose. In this regard, the marketing department handles tasks different from those dealt with by the public relations department. Despite the difference in job responsibilities, an organization needs to integrate efforts contributed by each department in executing projects meant to accomplish objectives. In order to understand the difference between various departments within an organization, it would be appropriate to conduct an interview in a stable workplace.

In the context of a workplace, an interview is a formal conversation between two or more individuals aimed at acquiring first hand information from experts (Hargie & Millar, 2010). An interview exercise entails the process of asking questions and sourcing for appropriate answers needed to answer questions. In the process, an interviewer formulates closed or open ended questions directed towards the interviewee.  During the interview, an interviewer answers the stipulated questions based on the responses given by the interviewee. Interviews enable acquisition of information which could not be sourced from theoretical sources. In addition, direct interviews facilitate acquisition of qualitative information like an employee’s attitude towards a subject under consideration (Hargie & Millar, 2010). Availability of such qualitative information enables deeper understanding of the subject matter. In this context, this essay consist an interview meant to establish a clear difference between the marketing and the public relations departments within an organization. Due to the nature of responsibilities handled by these two functional departments, it might be hard to develop a clear boundary demarcating the exclusive responsibilities of each of these two departments. In this juncture, an interview will provide more understanding on the difference between the marketing and the public relations department. Marketing responsibilities are more explicit and can be understood from theoretical information. In this regard, I will conduct an interview aimed at acquiring information concerning the job structure of the public relations department.

I conducted an interview to the public relations manager of Cosmos Healthcare center. Selection of the senior interviewee is appropriate and objective since the public relations manager stands at the top of the public relations department in the health facility. I considered all the professional aspects of an interview including informed consent from the facility’s management and the interviewee. Prior to the exercise, I had prepared the necessary questions, which required answers. During the process, I conducted a two hours interview in the manager’s office. I acquired as much information as possible regarding the nature and depth of the questions contained in the interview paper. Upon completion of the interview, I had a comprehensive body of information regarding the characteristic responsibility of the public relations department within a health facility. The next part contains questions and answers I gathered throughout the process.

What are the responsibilities of your position in the department?

As the public relations manager, I am responsible for all the management activities of this essential department in the health facility. Some of my key duties include creating work teams, setting goals for the various teams, coordination employees’ efforts and addressing the human resource requirements of the department. In addition, I am the facility’s public figure during press conferences and other public functions. In this case, I conduct the conventional managerial functions as well as represent the health center on public platforms.

What are the main job functions of public relations department at the public platform?

One function for this department is media representation. This involves the processes of developing and decimating information to the media channels. Media information may be written or video press releases. Therefore, the public relations department is responsible for proving information in written and video coverage (Plessis, 2008). As the public relations manager, my duty is to ensure proper media representation of Cosmos.

The other key function of the public relations office within the health care facility is crisis communication. As a public relations manager, I have a duty to ensure maintenance and improvement of the facility’s reputation. Protection of reputation involves designating and training professional individuals meant to answer press questions (Plessis, 2008). During a crisis, the chief objective is to formulate an optimal message to both the internal and the external audiences. Examples of crisis messages may include the death of a patient, among other inconvenience situations. In this case, the public relations department develops the intended message and formulates appropriate channels of communicating the crisis to the audiences.

The last key responsibility of public relations department is establishing a healthy stakeholders’ relationship. The chief stakeholders within the facility include patients, local authorities, the local community, and the shareholders. In this context, the public relations officers participates in stakeholders meetings by preparing the intended communication documents like speeches and newsletters.

With respect to crisis communication, how does the department respond to criticism?

I acknowledge that criticism is inevitable in the healthcare industry. Therefore, every healthcare institution requires a mechanism for responding to any kind of criticism from involved stakeholders (Jacquie, 2007). As the head of public relations at the facility, I find myself at the center of responding to public criticism. Grievances contained in a criticism may result from operations of any other department within the facility. In this case, I will need to evaluate the nature of the problem from the perspective of the involved department. After appraising the situation, I will employ entire problem solving skills in sending back a message directed towards addressing the aggrieved.

Does the public relations department assist management in the facility’s brand development?

Just like any other department within this organization, the public relations participate in building the center’s name through brand development. In an ideal context, the task of brand creation and development belongs to the marketing department (Jacquie, 2007). However, most of the audiences to the brand development messages comprises of the facility’s key stakeholders. In this case, the marketing department requires my efforts as the public relations officers during communication of brand messages to the public. Detailed assistance includes formulating bad news messages intended to console the public for withdrawal of a diminishing brand from the market. Therefore, the public relations office participates in brand development through preparation of relevant marketing articles.

How does public relations office participate in attracting new clients?

As I said earlier, the public relations and the marketing department works jointly in ensuring responsiveness to clients’ needs and brand development. This means that marketing relations to potential clients falls under the responsibilities of these two departments. The marketing department may provide information concerning the cost of clinical services offered within the facility (Plessis, 2008). However, the public relations department introduces potential clients to the depth and breadth of services offered. Receptionists, who are members of the public relations department acquaints potential clients with information regarding the nature of services offered. Therefore, the public relations officers establish contact with potential clients before referring them to the marketing department.

Which channels does the department use to contact potential clients?

The public relations office incorporates communication channels used in marketing like mass media and periodical publications. In the recent past, this department is starting to embraces the role of social media in its public relations practices. Under my command, the public relations department is considering reducing reliance on mainstream channels of communication like publications. Social media like blogging facilitates dissemination of to target clients in an economical and timely manner. In this regard, public relations officers participate in formulation of messages and marketing articles through the social media channel.

Does public relations department participates in budget development?

Yes. Public relations department has periodic expenditures just like the other departments in the organization. In this context, the marketing department prepares budgets based on their projected expenditure for marketing practices. On the other hand, public relations department needs allocation of resources meant to facilitate execution of duties like health campaigns to stakeholders (Jacquie, 2007). Recently, the department successfully executed a family planning campaign to its clients. During the process, the department organized for public meetings. In this case, the financial resources used during the meetings came from budget allocation from the budget committee. This means that my department had outlined expected projects in the current financial year, hence received resource allocation for those projects. Therefore, the public relations office participates in creating annual budget for the healthcare center.

At this juncture, the answers provided by the department’s manager gives an insight on the difference between public relations office and other departments within the subject healthcare facility. From the responses, one can understand that public relations work closely with the marketing department in relating to stakeholders like government institutions and patients (Plessis, 2008). The department participates in preparation of marketing articles and in communicating desired messages to the public. In this context, the interview proved resourceful in supplementing first hand information concerning the duties of public relations department in a healthcare institution.

Reference List

Hargie, O & Millar, R. (2010). Professional Interviewing. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Jacquie, L. (2007). Public Relations: Concepts, Practice and Critique. New York: SAGE Publishing.

Plessis, D. F. (2008). Introduction to Public Relations and Advertising. Pittsburg: Juta and Company Ltd.

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