Some argue that the public relations field ran its course and others insist PR continues to grow – yet PR is here to stay, and this is simply the new model of PR.
Public relations experts teach many brands and public figures how to remain relevant in their fields through adaptation to change – a lesson these experts learned themselves. To grow, PR absorbed many other professions such as marketing, journalism, events planning, and political lobbying. Now, human resources management is next in line.
Kelly Ripa’s Strike
Communication is an important part of conducting business; especially in the entertainment business where key employees become the face of particular brands. Disney and ABC executives learned this the hard way after blindsiding Kelly Ripa with the news that her co-host of four years, Michael Strahan, planned to leave the show to joinGood Morning America.
Kelly responded by going on strike. She skipped several days of work and scheduled personal time off. In doing so, she reminded the company of the need to work with her in a partnership to get the results they need. Equal partnerships aren’t built by saving bad news for the last minute.
Ripa’s reaction to the alleged disrespect from her superiors should remind companies of the importance of sharing information with key stakeholders. This means keeping the board up-to-date, sharing information with managers, and ensuring employees also know what’s going on in the company.
Waiting until the last minute to share key information tells the receiver they were not important enough to be kept “in the loop.” This can lead to not just scheduled strikes in defiance, but resignation of key personnel, as well as shareholders and clients pulling out of the business.
Bridging the Gap between PR and HRM
In the past, managers and the human resources team handled internal communication. At that time, most companies only shared the necessary tidbits and no more. Top management hoarded most of the information, and other employees knew very little of what was really going on.
But as individualism takes further hold in modern culture, companies must work harder to make employees feel as though they share a vested interest in the brand. Companies must treat employees as key players in the grand scheme of things. To do this, companies must craft messages that create the desired response.
This is where public relations experts can work with the human resources department to turn matter-of-fact announcements into messages that build a sense of teamwork. This requires not just words, but also actions from management and the company as a whole.
Experts must remember that PR communicates with the media, but also relates to audiences the brand needs to work with for the sake of business. This means placing just as much importance on crafting messages for the board, investors, and office peers, as for journalists, consumers, and the general public.