Chapter 4 Summary: Dept’s and Firms

30 03 2009

Most organizations have public relations departments.  Such departments can also be called corporate communications.  Organizations, depending on their culture and the wishes of top management, structure the public relations function in various ways.  Public relations professionals often serve at the tactical and technical level, but others are counselors to the top executive and have a role in policy making.  In management theory, public relations is a staff function rather than a line function.

Public relations firms come in all sizes and are found world wide, providing a variety of services.  In recent decades, many public relations firms have either merged with advertising agencies or become subsidiaries of diversified holding companies.  Advantages of using outside firms include versatility and extensive resources, among other considerations; but they can also lack the full time commitment if an in house department, need a lot of direction, and are often more expensive.  Revenues primarily come from charging a basic hourly fee, plus out of pocket expenses.

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