PR : strengths & weakness

PR :
strengths & weakness
Dr. Inas A.Hamid
The major strengths of PR
Cost effective
Difficult to
Advice on
• Difficult to reach: means that PR targets important stakeholders
and difficult to reach audiences such as opinion leaders and
investors. Many of them are not interested in advertising or
direct mailing, and even avoid it. On the other hand, they are
often interested in news and may be reached indirectly by the
media exposure generated through PR activity.
• PR professionals can advise companies on important trends and
on the consequences of corporate activities on marketing
• PR can present the company as a good citizen and as such
contributes to the corporate image and reputation.
• PR offers the opportunity of more message flexibility.
• PR plays an important role in guiding the company
through crisis without too much damage to its
• Often, advertising is strictly regulated by governments.
PR offers the opportunity of more message flexibility.
• PR is often relatively cost-effective because the media
coverage generated is free, and this enables the
company to reach a variety of audiences and a large
number of people at a fraction of the cost that would
have been required in an advertising campaign.
• PR is considered to be more objective and therefore
more believable in the perception of the target groups,
news is also generally more exciting, or is presented as
The major weakness of PR
Lack of
Journalists as
hard to
– The major weakness of PR is the lack of control over
the content of the press coverage of news release.
Evidently, the media have other priorities and other
sources, and the published story may be quite
different from the information disseminated by the PR
– Journalists act as gatekeeper: if a story is perceived as
having not enough “news value” it may be not
published, especially in period in which there is other
important news to cover.
– The effectiveness of PR is hard to measure. Often,
exposure measures are used, but they hardly say
anything about the long-term effect of PR efforts on
company goodwill or sales.
Case Study:
• Three Japanese Toshiba engineers visiting a subsidiary in the USA were killed
and two were seriously injured when a truck accidentally drove into the
restaurant where they were having dinner. Toshiba US responded quickly,
formed a crisis management team and identified a crisis response leader.
Information was released to employees and to the media as quickly as possible,
the spokesman immediately expressed company concern for the victims and
their families and for plant employees. He did not speculate about the causes of
the accident. The company president was appropriately visible and involved. It
was decided to invite every one in the Japanese families who wanted to come to
the USA. According to Japanese traditions, on their arrival they received flowers.
A day-long trip was organized to show the group how their relatives lived and
where they died. They were allowed to collect the personal possessions of the
victims in their rooms which had been intentionally left untouched. A meeting
was held with the lawyers investigating the cause of the accident. Internal
communication was quick and overt by means of bulletin bard messages,
following the principle “the more you try to hide, the worse things get”. The only
false note in this well-organised and culturally fine-tuned crisis communications
effort was the fact that the truck driver did not assume any responsibility for the
accident, something that is, according to Japanese culture, incomprehensible.

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