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Attractive, distinctive, memorable company logos become strong corporate commumcations tools.

• Investor relations. Maintaining relationships with .shareholders and others in the financial community.

• Development. Public relations with domms or members of non-profit organizations to gain financial or volunteer support.

Public relations is used to promote products, people, places, ideas, activities, organizations and even nations. Trade associations have used public relations to rebuild interest in declining commodities such as eggs, apples, milk and potatoes. Even nations have used public relations to attract more tourists, foreign investment and international support. Companies can use PR to manage their way out of crisis, as in the case of Johnson & Johnson's masterly use of public relations to save Tylenol from extinction after its product-tamper ing scare.

Public relations can have a strong impact on public awareness at a much Lower cost than advertising. The company does not pay for the space or time in the media. Rather, it pays for a staff to develop and circulate information and to manage events. If the company develops an interesting story, it could be picked up by several different media, having the same effect as advertising that would cost a lot more money. And it would have more credibility than advertising.

Despite its potential strengths, public relations, like sales promotions, is often described as a marketing stepchild because of its limited and scattered use. The public relations department is usually located at corporate headquarters. Its staff is so busy dealing with various publics - stockholders, employees, legislators, city officials - that public relations programmes to support product marketing objectives may be ignored. Moreover, marketing managers and public relations practitioners do not always talk the same language. Many public relations practitioners see their job as simply communicating. In contrast, marketing managers tend to he much more interested in how advertising and public relations affect sales and profits.

This situation is changing, however. Many companies now want their public relations departments to manage all their activities with a view to marketing the company and improving the bottom line. Some companies are setting up special units to support corporate and product promotion and image making directly.

Many companies hire marketing public relations firms to handle their PR programmes or to assist the company public relations team. Major corporations and multinational firms are also placing greater emphasis on analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of their PR activities to provide a basis for forward planning of communication strategies.

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