Public Relations (P.R.) has many definitions because it is a social science subject. The social science gives you the liberty to use your choice of words but the perception does not change .That is to say that we can use our own words that will be directed to one main fact.
Scot M. Cutlip and Allen H. Centre in the fifth edition of their book, Effective Public Relation defines P.R as “planned effort to influence opinion through good character and responsible performance based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication.” Again the British Institute of Public Relations defined P.R practice as “the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and it publics. Public Relations are about reputation - the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.
Public relation has a couple of aims but the ultimate aim of P.R is goodwill, which is that situation of total confidence in the organization. The goodwill will help the organization to win trust and confidence from its publics so that they will want to be part of the organization and to do business with them. The goodwill can only be achieved when the other basic aims have been applied effectively. The aim that I want to talk about is: to encourage a two way communication process because P.R is a two way affair.
Once PR talks about an organization and its public both internally and externally, it means there are two parties. When two parties exist one important thing we can talk about is communication and feedback.
In this era of competition, the organization should communicate with its publics to get to know them and their needs. You can only know what your publics want by communicating with them and getting feedback from them.. This is the two way communication process, it is very important because it will make your publics know that you care about them and their needs. When they feel secured and special, it will make them stay with you and not to look else where for their needs. For example if I do business with Unique Trust Financial Services and they let me know what is going on in the organization as well communicate with me to know my needs then provide them to me, I do not think I will leave them. I will be satisfied, feel special and they will have my respect and trust .I will have confident in them and even tell others about it.
If the two way communication is encouraged, it brings mutual understanding because there is interaction between the two parties involved .The publics on which the success or failure of the organisation depends get the attention of the organization. Here failure becomes difficult because the organization listen to the needs of its publics and acts accordingly. This will go a long way to bring a mutual understanding between the organization and it publics.
In conclusion, if a two way communication process is encouraged and done effectively, it will ultimately, together with the other basic aims help to promote the positive and favorable image which leads to goodwill of the organization for people to have total trust and confidence and accept it.
GHANA BROADCASTING CORPORATION