Functions of Public Relations

Essay by krikaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2008

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The purpose of this paper is to exam the organizational and societal functions of PR for Wal-Mart and identify an issue that has implications on both areas and explain how it could be better addressed. Theoretically, there are two ways to describe an organization. One is in terms of its organization functions such as media relations, and employee relations or community relations. The other is a societal theoretical approach for the organization in ways such as communications management, social responsibility and publicity. As with every theory, there is always a gray area where both seem to fit into both categories, as some authors categorize them in different positions or alternatively have them listed in both categories.

Using an organizational approach helps Wal-Mart and its public to adapt mutually. It is important to understand that public relations are not only about telling the organization's story but also to understand the attitudes and concerns of consumers, employees and other groups.

To improve communication, public relations specialists establish and maintain cooperative relationships with representatives in the community, consumer, employees, and public interest groups.

Using a societal approach in a public relations department is the preparation of material, written or spoken, design to influence the public or other groups in promoting the interests of the company is important. The societal approach is mainly the company's communications and relationships with its various publics.

Dorgan (2003) suggests that Wal-Mart has know for sometime of a massive companywide problem of fair labor standards violations but did not take sufficient steps to address the problem. An internal Wal-Mart audit during a week of time in 2000 records from 25,000 employees had alerted Wal-Mart officials to potential violations. The audit found 60,767 missed breaks and 15,705 lost meal times. The audit also alerted Wal-Mart executives of 1,371 cases where...