The different roles in Public Relations

Unknown

To people who don’t really know much about PR, don’t really understand the depth in the vocation, and how many different roles there are. It’s not just a quick tweet or a press release, it is much much more than that!

Glen Broom and David Dozier identified that there are two dominant job roles in Public Relations:

1. The Communication Technician

The communication technician is not involved in making organisational decisions detrimental to the business but carries out Public Relations programmes such as writing press releases, editing house publications and designing web pages. Known in every day terms as a Public Relations Executive/Practitioner. This role is not heavily involved with the research or evaluating stages, but more concerned with the implementation.

2. The Communication Manager

The communication manager plans and manages Public Relations programmes, counsels management, makes policy decisions and so on. Basically this role is the decision maker, they will delegate jobs to the communication technician to carry out etc.

Within the second category, there are three main types of managerial roles:

1. The Expert Prescriber

The expert prescriber identifies Public Relations problems through research, develops programmes and implements them. This practitioner acts as a specialist on communication issues but to a large extent, independently of senior management.

2. The Communication Facilitator

This, to me, is considered one of the most important roles within PR, as the communication facilitator acts as a go-between ensuring that two-way communication is evident between an organisation and its consumers/customers. This role acts as a liaison, interpreter and a mediator.

3. The Problem-solving Process Facilitator

This is another integral role in PR, this person helps others in the organisation to solve their PR problems, this person acts as an adviser on the planning and implementation of programmes. This role is usually fulfilled by specialist consultancies.

Dozier also identified two middle-level roles that are carried out between the manager and the technician roles in a business:

1. Media Relations Role

This is a two-way function where the person carrying out this role keeps the media informed, and informs the organisation of the needs and concerns of the media. In other words it involves working with the media for the purpose of informing the public of the organisation’s missions, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner. This usually means coordinating directly with journalists who produce features in the mass media. The main goal of this job role is to maximise positive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly through advertising.

2. Communication and Liaison Role

This role is incredibly important in terms of the organisation’s reputation at events and meetings etc. This is a higher-level public relations role representing the organisation, and positively creating opportunities for management to communicate with internal and external publics. This role is all about building networks and relationships with beneficial people.

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