A girl in the magical world of PR!

Are you PR professional? a PR student thinking "how on earth am I gonna make it in this industry?"Whatever you are you might find something interesting here...! This blog will be updated in a weekly basis with all the PR issues that interest us! (In simple words! Otherwise go read a book!) Welcome!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NGOs and Public Relations- Friends or foe?

                                "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer"
                                                    Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
NGOs often use PR as a tool for fundraising, attracting volunteers and for informing the public about their accomplishments.  At the same time PR companies collaborate with NGO’s in order to promote a good cause and maintain a good reputation. This is what you’ve probably heard as CSR ( Corporate social responsibility) . By this we can see that PR and NGO’s  work for its other’s benefit. But unfortunately this relationship can get quite rocky sometimes.  NGO’s can put pressure on an organization in order to force behavior changes. We have seen many stunts, non-violent direct actions and statements that can harm the reputation  of an organization for the sake of  communicating  to the public all the key messages. So PR professionals often consider NGO’s as a threat towards the reputation of an organization. The view, that large corporations consist a menace against environmental, ethical or even sociological issues is wide spread among publics. And since people tend to trust more  the NGO’s than corporations, it is essential that PR people should come up with a special planning in order to prevent conflicts.  NGOs often use PR as a tool for fundraising, attracting volunteers and for informing the public about their accomplishments. 

take a look on what the President and CEO of  Edelman, Richard Edelman has to say about NGOs and their influence on publics.

Let’s say that it’s a case of crisis management but in a more proactive way. Corporations should monitor all the time what is being said about them from activist’s groups and try to respond quickly and effectively. In case of a conflict between the corporation and the NGO the PR team should be prepared to repel the attack but at the same time to show pure interest that will exalt it in the eyes of the public. The establishment of bonds of trust between the two parties will have an equal benefit for both. However the profession of Public Relations is very controversial for the public whereas NGOs are the most trusted organizations. The odds are against PR but with the right planning and constant transparency the conflict can be faded.

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