The side-effects of entrepreneurial decision making - increasing unemployment, for instance, or pollution - increasingly expose corporations to the public gaze, with management in the limelight. Facing Public Interest opens up new vistas on business policy and corporate communications facing public interest.
The relationship between private enterprise and public interest is subjected to an ethical examination, highlighting the role of the general public as a locus of morality for business and the guiding concept of a corporate dialogue between management and the concerned public.
Instructive case studies are also presented. The volume not only proposes corporate dialogue: it puts into practice. Business leaders, representatives of citizens' groups, public affairs consultants, and academics discuss the topics thoroughly and thoughtfully in the best contributions to the seventh conference on the European Business Ethics Network, held at the University of St. Gallen in September Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:.
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Facing Public Interest: The Ethical Challenge to Business Policy and Corporate Communications
Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. Extra Content. Part I: Facing public interest: horizons of ethical challenge on business. Part II: Business in response to a concerned public: ethical foundations. Part III: Business in response to a concerned public: corporate policies and guidelines. Part IV: Corporate dialogue and public relations: critical issues.
A tour of a company's facilities may help generate interest among the financial community.
Mailings and ongoing communications can help a company achieve visibility among potential investors and financial analysts. Annual reports and stockholder meetings are the two most important public relations tools for maintaining good investor relations. Some companies hold regional or quarterly meetings in addition to the usual annual meeting. Other companies reach more stockholders by moving the location of their annual meeting from city to city.
Annual reports can be complemented by quarterly reports and dividend check inserts.
Companies that wish to provide additional communications with stockholders may send them a newsletter or company magazine. Personal letters to new stockholders and a quick response to inquiries insure an additional measure of good will. A comprehensive, ongoing community relations program can help virtually any organization achieve visibility as a good community citizen and gain the good will of the community in which it operates.
Banks, utilities, radio and television stations, and major retailers are some of the types of organizations most likely to have ongoing programs that might include supporting urban renewal, performing arts programs, social and educational programs, children's programs, community organizations, and construction projects. On a more limited scale, small businesses may achieve community visibility by sponsoring local sports teams or other events.
Support may be financial or take the form of employee participation. Organizations have the opportunity to improve good will and demonstrate a commitment to their communities when they open new offices, expand facilities, and open new factories. One company increased community awareness of its presence by converting a vacant building into a permanent meeting place.
Another company built its new headquarters in an abandoned high school that it renovated.
GOALS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
One of the more sensitive areas of community relations involves plant closings. A well-planned public relations campaign, combined with appropriate actions, can alleviate the tensions that such closings cause. Some elements of such a campaign might include offering special programs to laid-off workers, informing employees directly about proposed closings, and controlling rumors through candid and direct communications to the community and employees. Organizations conduct a variety of special programs to improve community relations, including providing employee volunteers to work on community projects, sponsoring educational and literacy programs, staging open houses and conducting plant tours, celebrating anniversaries, and mounting special exhibits.
Organizations are recognized as good community citizens when they support programs that improve the quality of life in their community, including crime prevention, employment, environmental programs, clean-up and beautification, recycling, and restoration. Public relations practitioners become heavily involved in crisis communications whenever there is a major accident or natural disaster affecting an organization and its community. Other types of crises involve bankruptcy, product failures, and management wrongdoing.
In some cases, crises call for an organization to become involved in helping potential victims; in other cases, the crisis may require rebuilding an organization's image. In any case, experts recommend that business owners prepare a plan in advance to deal with potential crises in an honest and forthright manner. The main objective of such a plan is to provide accurate information quickly in order to reduce uncertainty. After the San Francisco earthquake of , for example, the Bank of America utilized its public relations department to quickly establish communications with customers, the financial community, the media, and offices in 45 countries to assure them the bank was still operating.
Public relations in the political arena covers a wide range of activities, including staging debates, holding seminars for government leaders, influencing proposed legislation, and testifying before a congressional committee. Political candidates engage in public relations, as do government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Trade associations and other types of organizations attempt to block unfavorable legislation and support favorable legislation in a number of ways. The liquor industry in California helped defeat a proposed tax increase by taking charge of the debate early, winning endorsements, recruiting spokespersons, and cultivating grassroots support.
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- Facing public interest : the ethical challenge to business policy and corporate communications.
A speakers bureau trained some industry volunteers, and key messages were communicated to the public through printed materials and radio and television commercials. Organizations attempt to generate good will and position themselves as responsible citizens through a variety of programs conducted in the public interest. Some examples are environmental programs including water and energy conservation and antipollution programs. Health and medical programs are sponsored by a wide range of nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers, and other businesses and industries.
Other programs offer political education, leadership and self-improvement, recreational activities, contests, and safety instruction. Organizations have undertaken a variety of programs to educate consumers, building good will and helping avoid misunderstandings in the process. Opportunities for educating consumers might include sponsoring television and radio programs, producing manuals and other printed materials, producing materials for classroom use, and releasing the results of surveys.
In addition to focusing on specific issues or industries, educational programs may seek to inform consumers about economic matters and business in general. Other types of programs that fall under the umbrella of public relations include corporate identity programs, ranging from name changes and new trademarks to changing a company's overall image.
Special events may be held to call attention to an organization and focus the public's good will. These include anniversary celebrations, events related to trade shows, special exhibits, or fairs and festivals. Speakers bureaus and celebrity spokespersons are effective public relations tools for communicating an organization's point of view.
Speakers bureaus may be organized by a trade association or an individual company. The face-to-face communication that speakers can deliver is often more effective than messages carried by printed materials, especially when the target audience is small and clearly defined. Like other types of organizations, small businesses can benefit from public relations in terms of their relationships with customers, employees, investors, suppliers, or other interested members of the community. Since small business owners are the most visible representatives of their own companies, they frequently handle many of the public relations functions in person.
If the activity is principally associated with public appearances and participation in public events, the owner's natural abilities will be to the fore. But if a campaign needs to be launched, and funds are available, professional help may well be needed. Effective PR professionals will be, above all, knowledgeable about press relations. For on-going and routine assistance, the small business is well served by engaging the services of an experienced free-lance writer with an extensive journalism background now specializing in helping companies "tell their story.
If a large campaign looms ahead, such consultants are also the ideal contact for selecting the right firm for a major campaign. While communication is the essence of public relations, an effective public relations campaign is based on action as well as words. Whether it is practiced formally or informally, public relations is an essential function for the survival of any organization. Small business owners cannot afford to neglect public relations.
But lavish parties and gifts are not necessary—it is possible to vastly improve a small business's image within its community while also controlling public relations expenditures.
The Importance of Ethics in Public Administration
Sponsoring a local softball team, speaking at a chamber of commerce meeting, and volunteering at a neighborhood clean-up are among the wide variety of public relations activities readily available to small businesses. Harrison, Sheena. Nucifora, Alf. Treadwell, Donald, and Jill B. Public Relations Writing: Principles in Practice. Sage Publications, Newsom, Doug, and Jim Haynes.