Public relations (PR) can be defined as a tactical process of communication that is aimed at building valuable relationships between different organizations and the public (Lehmann, 2019). Through public relations, a company can disseminate information regarding its services, products, and the overall company image to various stakeholders and the community. The main aim of a public relations program is to paint a good picture of the organization to the public. Public relations can be carried out either proactively or reactively to mitigate the effects of an adverse incident that may have painted a company in a bad light. The fruits of an effective PR program include high customer attraction and retention, high potential of appealing to experienced employees and reduced worker turnover.
Public relations are, however, not meant for the general public only. Small businesses and small family-owned businesses must practice internal public relations. Importance of internal public relations on the management of small family and non-family owned businesses is drawn from the gains that can be realized when effective internal public relations programs are executed (Luttrell & Capizzo, 2018). There are many ways in which internal PR can be carried out, including the development of a culture of sharing information in the workplace and organizing events where vital information can be conveyed. Organizing meetings is perhaps the most straightforward way in which internal communication can be realized in small businesses that are family-owned or otherwise.
Many benefits come with thriving public relations within a business, regardless of the industry. Public relations have the potential to improve communication of goals, expectations, and the roles of employees, especially in a family-owned small business. In family-owned businesses, conflicts may arise because of the complexities arising from the fact that staff members are related. As such, it is only via effective communication that a staff member can know his or her responsibilities and what the business expects from that staff member. This way, every staff member will concentrate on his area of expertise.
Information about the workplace dress code and working hours can also be relayed in the right way via internal public relations. It is important to note that human resource is the most critical resource of small businesses, which implies that it is beneficial to maximize human resource output. On the other hand, the production of human resources can be maximized if the staffs are working in harmony with each other. Small businesses have a challenge in employee retention. Family-owned businesses also face the challenge of high non-family employee turnover. Both of these challenges can be solved by the use of an effective internal PR, where there is a transparency of information to all staff members. Meetings can be organized to educate employees on how to talk about the company in a positive way to clients and potential employees. By doing this, members of staff will play a massive role in attracting clients and potential employees
In conclusion, public relations are very important for small businesses whether family-owned or non family owned. The benefits of adopting a public relations program far outweigh the costs.
Lehmann, W. (2019). The Public Relations Writer’s Handbook.
Luttrell, R. M., & Capizzo, L. W. (2018). Public relations campaigns: An integrated approach. SAGE Publications.