Functions of Public Relations
Public relations are a method in which communication can build between an organization and society and maintain a positive image. Public relations are important for any organization to launch its status and produce an image to its target market [ (Seitel, 2007) ]. Public relations have several functions; organizational and societal. This paper will discuss the organizational and societal functions of public relations, identify an organization that would have both organizational and societal functions, and explain how both organizational and societal functions can be addressed to an audience. Costco is a membership warehouse, dedicated to bringing members the best prices on quality merchandise. Costco has hundreds of locations worldwide and provides a wide variation of merchandise. Costco opened its first location in 1976 in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego, under the name of Price Club. Initially, Price Club was only serving small business, until the organization discovered that they could achieve increased revenue by serving the non-business members. With this change, the organization exploded. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse was established in Seattle, Washington. In the first six years, Costco grew its revenue from $0 to $3 billion in sales. It was in 1993, when Costco and Price club merged to PriceCostco, the organization had 206 locations and generating in $16 billion in annual sales [ (Costco Wholesale Warehouse, 1998-2012) ]. The organization’s philosophy has been kept simple. “Keep costs down and pass the saving onto the members.” The organization had resumed its name Costco in 1997 and in recent fiscal year has exceeded $99.1 billion in revenue [ (Costco Wholesale Warehouse, 1998-2012) ]. Costco has three different types of membership: Executive, Business, and Gold Star. According to the Costco website, executive members can earn 2% of annual rewards or up to $750 per year, on most Costco purchase. Business members are available to business owners and managers and allow purchases of products for business, personal, and resale. Last, gold star members are available to individuals to purchase for personal use only [ (Costco Wholesale Corporation, 1998-2012) ].
Organizational functions of public relations are actions that benefit the organization [ (Wicks, 1999-2012) ]. Organizational functions include communications, management, investor relations, community relations, and employee relations. These functions follow specific procedures that combine the different departments within the organization. The organizational functions can be also used to develop a successful workforce, to boost the organization and provide status in the marketplace. Of all the organizational functions within public relations, the most important is employee relations and human resources management. The human resources management department is involved with the employees to ensure productivity, development, motivation, and ensuring results in the workforce for organizational success. Another important function is managing customer relations or customer service. Organizations that use this approach can develop a strong relationship with the customer to learn about the customer and the customers wants, can learn more about the customers and what the customers desire The organization and its customers will be able to have a good relationship and be able to profit from one another through proper management of customer relations [ (Wilcox & Cameron, 2009) ].
Employee and customer relations are important organizational functions of public relations because both categories involve providing using information to society. Employee relations are responsible for providing useful and important information with the organization, whereas customer relations are responsible for distributing information regarding the organization and its products and services. Both...