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Public Relations Theory and Practices


With businesses focusing on generating profits; it is acknowledged that social

problems that companies create, such as pollution, resource depletion, violations of
workers rights and excessive power of large corporations, have significantly
influenced society.

With increased media attention, pressure from non-governmental organizations, and

rapid global information sharing, there is a surging demand to involve into Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) at various level like conducting sustainable business
practices and doing social welfare activities.

The underlying principle of CSR is Giving Back to Society. It is regarded as a way by

which the companies are integrating their social, environmental & economic concerns
in their culture, values & operations to improve the well-being of the society.

Hospitality business is one such industry which consumes water, energy, food, paper,
linen, laundry, consumables, stationery cleaning materials and other resources and
generates air, water, soil & noise pollution thus impacting on local communities
through their occupation of space, use of infrastructures and relationships with local
business, communities & government.

The hospitality industry focuses mainly on the customer satisfaction and the services
provided to them and supports job creation, improvements to infrastructures and
cultural understanding but in doing so; it also imposes a large number of negative
impacts on the economic, natural and social environments, including air and noise
pollution, biodiversity loss or waste generation.

We will prepare a CSR plan for Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. which is a part
of the Leisure and Hospitality sector and has more than 100,000 customers with over
40 resorts in India and abroad. To provide various holiday needs & experiences,
reliable services and customer satisfaction it involves various operations from house-
keeping to food & beverage, holiday activities while utilizing various natural resources,
local employment, creating noise-air-water pollution and food wastage.

For responsible and sustainable business practices; it is important to formulate

organizational procedure and CSR policy across resorts for being responsible towards
its business processes, engaging in responsible relations with employees, customers
and the community.
Following is the CSR plan for Club Mahindra:

Developing a CSR department & Policy

The objective of CSR committee should be to define the strategy, philosophies, vision,
mission and funding for CSR department. It will identify the causes or social initiatives
that complement the corporate mandate. It will then identify needs of various
stakeholders, recommend initiatives and use in-house expertise available to meet
stakeholder expectations. It should define processes and reporting framework to
measure outcomes and monitor progress

CSR Policy is to enable maximum impact of CSR and ensure increased commitment
levels in organization to operate economically, socially and environmentally
responsible manner while keeping interests of all stakeholders including employees,
public, customers, investors, media and regulators.

Scope of CSR: One such scope that company can undertake is to contribute towards
education, healthcare needs and training of youth for the local communities in the
areas of operation.

Creating Funds/Budget to undertake CSR Activities: Club Mahindra should set

aside about 1% or 2% of net profits every year to undertake CSR Activities. It can also
create a corpus from contributions made by various trusts or individuals to support this

Allocation of Resources and focus areas of CSR activity:

The CSR team should select and training implementation partners, bridge the
resourcing gaps by training and sensitizing partners before project implementation

Create a CSR committee who will manage the funds allocated for CSR activity which
meets the needs of local communities including:

a) Education for under privileged children

b) Impart special education and employability by enhancing vocational skills
amongst women, elderly and the differently abled people.
c) Eradicate hunger, promote preventive healthcare, provide safe drinking water
and sanitation facilities.
d) Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora
and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conservation of natural resources and
maintaining quality of soil, air and water etc.

The company can also contribute to various State and Government schemes.

Implementation of CSR Activity:

The companys CSR Department along identification of employees who would

voluntarily contribute to CSR activities. The members for the CSR committee who
should create, recommend, implement and monitor the CSR Activity of the company
to ensure there is focus and impact of CSR initiatives.

Some of the activities it can undertake are as follows:

All the litter strewn by tourists and guests was collected and handed over to the
concerned authorities for disposal. The team will also plant trees to curb
landslides and soil erosion.
Conduct Camp facility of free eye or Health checkup. Volunteers along with
core CSR members can conduct Rally of four wheelers and two wheelers
carrying placards to spread the message of check-up camp.
The team also spend time with school children and impart importance of
education, environment. Together with CSR team and children plant trees in
School premises and vicinity. Information and awareness about the global
warming and its causes was can be provided.
It can also provide Talent Scholarships to support education of students to
enthuse and reward excellence in academics.
The CSR members in the vicinity of the resort to create awareness amongst
the people and educate them about prevention of this diseases incurring from
lack of proper sanitation practices. Use the CSR Funds to build toilets for rural
Undertake adequate training for women to make jute bags which could be used
for their resorts and other hotels and in supermarkets nearby to add to their
income and develop this initiative into a small-scale business thus supporting
income-generation and livelihood enhancements.
Awareness drives can be conducted for the employees at resorts about climate
change, environment and biodiversity. Training programs for segregation of
waste should be implemented at several resort locations.

With CSR, Club Mahindra can play a major role in fulfilling social responsibilities,
create good will in the areas it operates, create a responsible brand and hence more
customer loyalty, generate more business yet generate a win-win situation for entire


The following methods of PR Campaign can be adopted to achieve the goals:

Analysing the Situation

Banking industry has undergone a revolution in past few decades. It used to be simpler
operations largely involving maintaining accounts and loans of the customers. Banks
could then rely on a loyal customer base as it involved more personal interaction of
bank employees with their customers.
However, with growing technology and services like ATMs and online banking, many
customer no longer need to visit branch for their day-to-day banking transactions and
hence little human interaction. Also, competition wasnt as fierce as today with number
of new-age banks entering into the market. This also brought in various products and
services to stand out to their existing and new target customers irrespective of the size
of bank. The result is not many customers are able to identify differentiating factors
between banks. Thus, the need for marketing and public relations is far more important
today than ever.

One such case in point we would be considering is a nationalised Bank Bank of

Baroda (BOB)

Analysing the Organisation

BOB; despite being into business for decades with presence domestically and
internationally; it has been losing customer base, brand value and it has done little to
compared to its competition to invest in marketing and public relations to promote their
offerings and retain the corporate brand image. PR activity is an ongoing process and
needs to be aligned to ever changing market needs.

Need for PR Campaign & Goal

So, we will plan a PR Campaign for Bank of Baroda (BOB) with an objective to
enhance its brand identity and image necessary to remain competitive.

To begin with we will list the objectives expected as an outcome of PR Campaign,

decide a budget to invest in PR and identify ways to undertake PR activities to achieve
our goals and create maximum impact in the marketplace and thus remain

The role of PR in BOBs brand building activity will be focused with objective of building
confidence, communicate product and service differentiators, raise visibility and finally
increase customer base. We must design and deliver the messages to target audience
which should be consistent and convincing.

One of the key objectives of PR campaign will be to differentiate the BOBs brand from
the competition. We will first determine what are its strengths compared to its
competition and why a customer would choose BOB over other options in the market.

Currently, amongst customers there is a great amount of confusion and clarity about
the products and services introduced and key differentiators that their bank is offering.

Planning PR campaign of action to achieve the goal

To begin with we will assess the existing situation, past performance of the bank and
results of PR activities undertaken by the bank. We will also identify their target
customer base, estimate the financial and HR resources that are available to execute
a PR Campaign.
Once we assess we would then plan the PR program for BOB needs to enhance its
image and brand visibility, clearly convey differentiators of its products and services
and remain competitive we will consider variety of PR activities to meet the goal.

Analyzing the target audience So as to create a successful PR campaign it

is essential to understand the needs, wants and expectations of clients &
employees; existing issues & their level of relationship with its bank BOB
Establishing goals and objectives of PR Campaign - Attention to details with
acceptance of the message within the organization to develop a clear, specific
and measurable campaign
Designing of Effective communication strategy that would be evaluated for
campaign including face-to-face communication, controlled media, news
media, advertisement and promotional media.
Formulating Action and Response Strategy Based on the reach and goal
of PR Campaign, communication strategy adopted, it is essential to develop a
budget, time schedule, identify actions to meet the planned PR Campaign

Creating Effective Internal PR Campaign:

Considering that the employees are greatest assets of its business they can play an
important role in enhancing BOBs brand reputation. So any good news like good
financial results about the bank should be conveyed directly to internal stakeholders
than from outside media so as to boost confidence.

Encourage employees to spread good news, products and services, awards

received by the bank within their network of friends and family.
Select employees can use social media to respond to concerns of clients in
open forum which could ultimately enhance BOBs brand reputation
Have a uniform for the employees which conveys a professional brand image
of the bank, create quality stationary that would be used internally by
Create employee engagement programs that will influence their willingness to
learn and perform at work
The employees should be trained to communicate effectively with the
customers and the external public which would enhance the image of the
organization and achieve better customer satisfaction.

Tactics for Creating Effective External PR Campaign

Considering BOB operates domestically and internationally and caters to clients from
all strata of economic background; it could use the following tactics for effective PR

Media Relations:
Using press, television for advertisements to create a better brand recall
Publishing a monthly newsletter which not only updates on the new products
and services of bank but also has educating customer section which simplifies
banking terms, investment plans, benefits of using particular product and
Special Events:
Conducting special photography or painting contests for customers and
rewarding them can create a better connect between BOB and its customers
It could undertake sponsorship of sport or social events which many of its
customers and potential customers associate such as cricket, medical camps,
music festivals etc.
Community Relations and Philanthropy :
Improving lives of people by providing basic sanitation, education and training
to create employment opportunities which will enhance the image of bank just
beyond a service provider into an important contributor to lives of people.

Evaluating the above PR Campaigns effectiveness

To measure the effectiveness of the above tactics a feedback should be undertaken

periodically from each of the target audience & modified if necessary to achieve the
goals set-in earlier. The above methodology and campaign shall help to enhance the
brands identity & image.

Answer 3.
Walmart Stores is a US-based retail giant that operates as a chain of hypermarkets,
discount department stores and grocery stores. Walmart India is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc and is one of world's leading retailer. In India it
operates in the name of Best Price stores and it owns 21 Best Price Modern
Wholesale stores in 9 States across India offering nearly 5,000 items in a Cash &
Carry wholesale format and has integrated omni-channel in all stores. The first Best
Price store opened in Amritsar in May 2009.

Answer 3a)
Inaugural of new store will need efforts to create a brand image, building up customer
base, developing a reputation and good-will in the market. These goals can be
achieved by undertaking PR activities as it talks about holistic picture of organization
and also the stakeholders.

Following activities can be undertaken so as to make the inaugural of Walmart

stores successful:

A store opening will involve number of promotional activities to create brand

awareness and attract a sizable number of customer base. The focus should be for
educating the public about the organization, the truth and give more detailed
information to various entities like employees, media, customers, clients, stockholders
and other related parties.

1. Advertising
Developing media relations to enhance the image of the organization.
Various mass media vehicles like local newspapers, radio, magazines etc.
should be used to promote the opening of the new Walmart Store.
Advertisements about the product range, price points and offers on the products
can be given in the Newspapers, which are read by target audience. Magazines
are a very important medium for promotion of products, feature stories and
pictorial publicity which in turn will help develop brand image of Best Price
Stores. We could also use radio which is a very economical mode of publicity
and often heard by many. Another impactful way of advertisement is use of

2. Hoardings: Photographs
It is one of the most effective tools designed to attract the attention of the people
about the Store and its services. Discount and various offers at the store can
be put up in the hoarding advertisement at prominent locations which will create
brand awareness and products offered within the stores.

3. Online Websites/ Intranet:

Social media like the Facebook or twitter can be used to promote and market
the products. Invitations can also be sent on these sites with exciting gifting
options and offers.

The above activities can be undertaken on regular basis to create, retain brand image.

Answer 3b).

The purpose of a campaign is to capture large audience to increase reach of the brand
and its products amongst existing and prospective clients. To attract large audience,
it is important to make it peoples event and hence essential to combine advertisement
and PR activities. The outcome of the campaign will encourage the audience to
understand the benefits of Walmarts products and hence bring the desired results.

We could undertake promotional campaigns combining PR and advertisements via

radio & television, newspapers, magazines and internet can be used.

Since newspapers are read by millions and more over all sections of society it has a
mass reach and can influence the minds of people thus creating an opportunity for
Walmart to create mass yet valuable publicity.

Magazines are published on regular intervals and can be used as an important source
to feature product news and pictures of the store which will create a strong brand
identity and brand recall.
The capability to broadcast and receive radio signals almost anywhere makes this
publicity medium very effective and economical. On the other hand, publicity via
television medium although expensive has capabilities to combine sound, sight motion

Internet/social media allows ability to create the content and share it with the world.
Facebook or other social medias can be used to promote amongst existing and
potential new users and its very influential way of marketing. Moreover; it is very
interactive medium and hence appealing to many. We could create a website with in-
depth explanation about organization, product range, benefits. It can also allow
potential audience to see the pictures of products of their interests, shortlist them. We
could also create email campaigns to target audience.

Although advertisements can give a wider reach to audience via virtual world;
advertisements alone are not enough to convince the target market since it is
important reaching out physically to the audience and convince them about the
benefits of Walmart products. By demonstrating benefits of its products to the target
audience large number of attendees can be gathered. Walmart could arrange a large
event and invite target audience offering special incentives and offers for the attendees
to attract a wider target audience. We could enhance their participation in the event
be offering them special discounts, schemes and gifts. This will attract a large
population just to attend because of available offers.