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Functions of Public Relations - Essay Example

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Public relations (PR) has been explicitly defined the Public Relations Society of America as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” …
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June 3, Functions of Public Relations Explanation of the Organizational and Societal Functions of Public Relations Public relations (PR) has been explicitly defined the Public Relations Society of America as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” (What is Public Relations? par. 2). From the definition alone, it could be deduced that PR undertakes functions that fulfill the goals of both the organization and those of the interests of society. Molis emphasized that the organizational functions of PR focus on “communicating openly (which) can increase employee engagement and shareholder satisfaction by uniting the organization in pursuit of collective goals through a shared identity” (Molis par. 2). Concurrently, societal functions involves balancing social responsibility and community relations (Societal Functions of Public Relations) where organizations allegedly engage in activities that also serve the best interests of the general public. Identification of an Issue within Westgate Resorts that would have both Organizational and Societal Implications Westgate Resorts was reported to be incorporated in 1970 and initially owned by David Siegel. With Central Florida Investments (CFI) as the parent company, the organization has allegedly grown to be “the largest privately-owned timeshare company in the world employing over 10,000 around the United States” (Our History par. 2). The current issues that clients and the general public are provided with, regarding Westgate Resorts, include the documentary film entitled “The Queen of Versailles” that allegedly narrated the controversial lifestyle of David Siegel and family. This could be considered a relevant issue since the film reportedly influenced the way other stakeholders perceived the organization. In an interview with David Siegel’s wife, Jackie, it was revealed that “as far as it portrayed my husband's company, it made it look like he was going out of business. It was a tough time when banks stopped financing everyone in general. He happened to make a business decision to sell one resort out of 28” (Boedeker par. 5). As such, through PR that communicated the documentary film, the continued operations of Westgate Resort’s in a positive light have been significantly hampered. As indicated, the news that the owner could be having financial problems have negative impact on the organization’s investors which apparently sent organizational implications of inability to manage the organization’s resources and assets effectively. Likewise, the societal implications of the issue include projecting a negative corporate image, especially pertaining to David Siegel’s being debt-ridden. As revealed by his wife during the interview, “he'll be debt-free in a year and a half. He says he'll never be a slave to the banks again. He learned a lesson” (Boedeker par. 11). As indicated, the issue could have adversely affected the potential clients, who could have been hesitant to purchase time shares of Westgate after such an issue. Explanation on how to address both the Organizational and Societal audiences of Westgate Resorts To address the organizational implications of the issue, David Siegel should disseminate a formal inter-organizational correspondence to explain the facts and to straighten out any controversial concerns that could have put the organization in a bad light. In Boslet’s review, it was specifically disclosed that “David Siegel’s narrative throughout the film is more focused, with him stressing over his financial problems from beginning to end” (par. 5). The information sent in the documentary film could have potentially warded off clients, investors, and even employees who could have felt endangered of their job security. Likewise, to address the negative corporate image that has likewise been projected to the society, it is the obligation of both, David Siegel and CFI to issue public statements to clear the issue, to straighten out facts, and to disclose the organization’s financial statements which would prove that any financial difficulties that could have been reported would not drastically affect the current and future operations of Westgate Resorts. From the official press releases and news articles featured in the official website of Westgate Resorts, it could be observed that the organization is applying a strategy that focuses on the strengths and core competencies of the organization. For instance, the latest news feature dated April 25, 2013 revealed that “President and CEO David Siegel has been named to the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame by the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management in recognition for his long-standing "service and commitment to the local hospitality industry"” (Westgate Resorts Founder David Siegel Named to Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame for 2013 par. 1). Official press releases such as this would slowly counter the negative impact that the past issue has generated and is aimed at regaining the confidence of crucial stakeholders to the high quality of services and trust that is expected from Westgates Resorts. Works Cited Boedeker, Hal. "Jackie Siegel: Versailles will be done in 3 years." 20 April 2013. Orlando Sentinel. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-04-20/features/os-jackie-siegel-updates-movie-20130420_1_jackie-siegel-orlando-based-westgate-resorts-david-siegel. 11 May 2013. Boslet, Mike. "Not a Pretty Picture." August 2012. Orlando Magazine. http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Orlando-Magazine/August-2012/Not-a-Pretty-Picture/. 11 May 2013. Molis, J. "Difference Between Organizational & Social Functions of PR." 2013. Chron Small Business. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/difference-between-organizational-social-functions-pr-39923.html. 11 May 2013. "Our History." 2013. Westgate Resorts. http://westgateresorts.com/about/history/. 11 May 2013. "Societal Functions of Public Relations." October 2008. PublicRelationsBlogger. http://publicrelationsblogger.com/2008/10/societal-functions-of-public-relations.html. 11 May 2013. "Westgate Resorts Founder David Siegel Named to Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame for 2013." 25 April 2013. Westgate Resorts. http://westgateresorts.com/news/westgate-resorts-founder-david-siegel-named-to-central-florida-hospitality-hall-of-fame. 11 May 2013. "What is Public Relations?" 2013. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined. 11 May 2013. Read More
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