Many Australian companies and Not For Profit (NFP) organisation have highly structured and well managed issues management and public relations functions within their organisations.

Those who don’t or who are having difficulty with their communications, should seriously consider a properly structured and strategically focussed program that will have a serious positive impact on their stakeholder engagement.

Well planned public relations - with properly defined objectives that are tied to the firm's business or marketing plan - can provide additional reinforcement to a company’s position in the market place.

Strategic issues management and consistent roll out of public relations activity can provide a number of benefits:

  •      support a company’s overall marketing effort;
  •      raise profile and spruce up a company’s image; 
  •      protect and enhance your reputation; 
  •      bestow leadership – over time;
  •      can give a competitive edge; and
  •      help manage stakeholder relationships

An effective public relations plan (including stakeholder and issues management planning) identifies the strategic position and rolls out continuing and consistent information to achieve a company’s communications objectives.

This may include stories based on tangible matters such as current events and issues into which an industry may have an input,  (based on professional expertise and specialisations), an article marking legal and corporate milestones, social matters,  service innovations and matters of human interest, regulation and others.

It also involves properly managing and interacting with key stakeholders including government, opposition, media, customers, community, retailers and others.

The first steps in this process is to:

  • work with companies to develop a strategic communications plan to drive appropriate stakeholder, issues management, media and other public relations activity; and
  • talk with a company’s executives  to identify events, activities, milestones and developments that can be conveyed as information through the media, social media, to government and so on.

While media relations on an ad hoc basis will often deliver some variable success, it is unlikely to drive through in full measure, the benefits identified above.