Publics in Public Relation
Public relation according to definition given by the chartered institute of public relation (CIPR UK); defined it as the planned and sustained effort to established and maintain a good will and mutual understanding between organization and its relevant publics.
Carefully re-examining this definition makes you to understand that organizations or individuals must carefully deal with their publics in order to maintain goodwill and mutual understanding with them.
Your effort/actions must be planned and sustained. Having a good relationship with your publics will definitely help you to be relevant and to remain in business and flourish and also enables you to experience little or no barriers or restrictions as you pass further information across to them with respect to the objectives you want to achieve.
For avoidance of doubt, publics can be defined as the individuals, groups and coperate entities that you need to communicate with in order to achieve your set objectives. It must be understood that it is not reasonable to assume that everyone you need to talk to are the same. They all differ in intentions, objectives and influence and also in their social economic background. You therefore need to appreciate these differences if you are to communicate effectively and efficiently with them.
According to Grunig, he identified the following as some of the classification of publics.
1. Latent public
Members of this group maybe affected by your operations but are not aware of how you affect them.
However, it is not advisable that you ignore them in your communication process
because they might carry implication to your operations or activities.
2. Aware public
Members in this group are fully aware of how your operations affect them but may lack the motivation to demonstrate this awareness.
3. Active public
Those who are in this group are not only aware of how your operations affect them but make a deliberate effort to demonstrate it.
However, this group can be divided into 3 inter-groups; they are
a. Hot issue group
Members of this group only become interested in your activities only when issues concerning your operation are in the front barrier of public discus and become un-interested when the same issues are no more front barrier discus.
b. Single issue public
Members of this group are only interested in the aspect of your operations that is directly of concern to them and may affect them. e.g. Human Right, environmental pollution, impact on security, plumbing, efficiency of specialized operating system in information technology, quality of goods, salvation, automobile fuel efficiency, passing of F.O.I bill
c. All issue group
Members here are interested in all aspect of your operations. This group should never be put aside, instead they should be seen as a critical group to relate with.
4. Apathetic public
Members of this group decide to remain indifferent about your operations. Examining them and finding ways to engage them constructively can pay off for you either on the short run or long run.
Furthermore, irrespective of your operations or activities as an individual, group or a business entity the following people may be among the publics you will need to communicate with.
1. The media
2. Security agencies
6. Single parent
7. Education and training institute
8. Financial institution
9. Option leaders
10. Traditional leaders
14. Trade union
16. Foreign investors
18. Medical practitioners
19. Professional bodies
23. Religious bodies
24. Homosexual and likes
25. Community leaders
27. Multilateral organizations
30. Embassy and high commission
31. School administrators
33. Regulatory agencies
34. Board members
35. People with HIV/AIDS
36. Pressure groups
37. charity organization
40. Financial ad visors
41. Relevant government agencies
49. International and local rating agencies
50. Market women
In public relation, the publics are a very critical segment of our operation; we can achieve little or nothing without engaging them in our operations. The relevant publics in your activities can help you to achieve effectiveness, efficiency, consistency and continuity in your respective program of interest. Maintaining goodwill, mutual and beneficiary understanding with them is vital.