The Expanding Role of PR Representing Government Agencies
Between social media and the prevalence of the Presidential campaign, the role of public relations is on the rise, especially when it comes to departments and agencies of the government, whether local, state or federal. Towns and cities all over the country are either adding a PR person to their staff or increasing the number of staff in their PR departments to make sure they develop good and open conversations with their constituents.
Usually in government positions, PR representatives are either called communications specialists or in a public affairs function, this designation was set because of limitations as to PR in certain agencies. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. What is happening more and more is the hiring of true PR people to get the good word out about efforts from within the community or what that agency is doing currently.
It might be about a new non-profit effort, a community service day, or something one of the local police officers does on his days off to support youth. It might seem unrelated to the organization in most ways, but that is not a problem for a good PR specialist.
Getting the good news out builds trust and connection between the entity and the people within the community or organization. That makes for a happier group in good times, and during those times when something goes haywire, it allows for faster healing, more trust in the information being disseminated, and less anger or upset from individuals.
When it comes to a grander scale such as the Presidential campaigns, PR experts abound. It helps if you have a candidate who is PR savvy.
Donald Trump has proven this point well. All his years in business and reality television taught him lessons on how to deal with press and PR. That put him ahead of the game in the early days of the 2016 campaign, especially when it came to social media.Where Trump was well-established, particularly on Twitter, some of the contenders, like Jeb Bush, never bothered to set up such accounts.
Moving forward, agencies and individuals should plan on a strong PR presence, it won’t work against them, and if the community is already used to the good impact of a PR person, they are less likely to gripe about the funds paid for that same PR person if a crisis arises.