At a first glance, public relations and human resources seem like vastly different fields. PR handles the company’s image in the media and the public eye, while HR hires, fires, trains, and deals with grievances. Whatever could they have in common?
Yet there are several ways the two fields partner together to grow a business and build key relationships. So what exactly are the vital roles that public relations play in human resources?
Every company has a story, and though not every story is worth telling as is, PR experts know how to make any story interesting. This may require leaving out a few unimportant details and playing up other minor parts of how events unfolded, but at the end, it draws a crowd. By having a story worth telling, many companies attract employees who want to play characters in the tale.
This is why brands publish their story in the history or about me section of their website. It shows employees not just where the company has been, but its potential for moving forward, and how they may grow with the brand. When stories are as phenomenal as Facebook’s, Microsoft’s, and Apple’s then the attraction to the company is even greater.
Employer of Choice
Telling stories can help companies become employers of choice. Employers of choice attract the best of the best in their industry, and this helps propel the company forward and ahead of competitors. Not every exceptional company today was founded on greatness. Often, it was the hard work and creativity of later employees that pushed the company full speed ahead.
Employers of choice can also count on a lot of good press from not just their employees, but media companies, and often without paying a dime for it. When companies are doing great things in their own right, big publishing companies are only too happy to cover their story.
One of the key roles of human resources management is training employees from the lowest level to the highest. Clearly, no human resource manager is an expert in all areas in a company to train each individual on their own, so often they partner with other experts to do the training.
So, public relations specialists often work with the human resources department to train executives in business communication, networking, and most importantly, crisis management, and media relations. This helps executives learn on-camera skills, preventing them from saying the wrong thing when nervous, and recovering smoothly from slips of the tongue.
Many companies focus their PR and marketing efforts outside the organization and forget their greatest champions and brand ambassadors already work for them. Public relations now increasingly teams up with HR to restructure organizational cultures and communication to be inclusive.
These companies value employee input more and have all the information they need to make decisions at the top, based on all the inner workings of what goes on in the middle and at the bottom. It also builds employee loyalty and reduces turnover by giving employees a voice in the company and a stake in its achievements and failures.
There are many ways public relations and human resources partner together to tackle big issues inside and outside the organization. This is because both fields understand the importance of a good image, great relationships, and clear communication.