Using the example of one specific organization of your choice, establish the role a Public relations officer plays within the organization. Illustrate your answer with specific examples.
A public relations officer also known as Media Specialist is the spokesperson of a company or any organization. His role is to convey the policies and interests of the organization to the public through various forms of media. Public relations are a vital part of maintaining the organization’s image and of communicating its message to its customers, investors and the general public. The functions and key tasks of public relations specialist can be varied as shall be shown in this essay. The role of a public relation officer in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) will be detailed in the coming paragraphs.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) was established on 19 January 2001 as a successor organization to the then Department of Taxes and the Department of Customs and Excise following the promulgation of the Revenue Authority Act on February 11, 2000. It is responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for revenue on behalf of the State through the Ministry of Finance. They also facilitate trade and travel by ensuring smooth movement of goods and people through inland and border ports of entry/exit. Advise Government on fiscal and economic matters. This includes revenue forecasting, participation in national budget process and revision of Acts. Among their stakeholders are the government, Ministry of Finance and other ministries such as Transport and communication, Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture. By dealing with the public in most day to day activities, it is crucial for the Public Relations officer to preserve a positive perception of the company as shall be shown in various activities that the PR officer does. Among his responsibilities, is Public Image Strategy, Outreach events, media relations, social media and handling crisis.
A public relations officer in Zimra is also called Corporate Communication Officer and work with top executives in the organization to craft an overview of how the company wants to be perceived, and how it is going to project a positive image. This can involve focusing in on exactly the right message, and then deciding on the broad outlines of a campaign to disseminate that message. The organization has an intranet on which the PR personnel communicate with internal clients discouraging acts of corruption and uplifting the spirits of the employees with what they term, Inspirational Messages. An example is of an inspirational message of 8 October 2012, tittle, Don’t rest on the ladder, and had the following message, “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.” ~Thomas Henry. With every stage that we are at, let us not take it as a resting stage and also not the limit. Our ladder has infinite rungs and we should climb up every rung without thinking of the limit. In our work throughout the week, let us focus on climbing the ladder without resting, but let us scramble through every stage with strength and hope.” Quoted on www.zimraintranet.co.zw . Such messages inspire and motivate the employees.
Apart from the intranet the PR officer has also formulated various structures to communicate with the public. An example of such vehicle of communication is the website, www.zimra.co.zw, where there is information about its operations and various issues that may be of interest to the public. On that website detailed information about the organization is explained. Apart from the website, the organization has joined the contemporary means of communication popularly called, “chat forums” such as face book and twitter or social media. Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004, owned and operated by Facebook. As of September...
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