Public Relations refers to an activity that involves preserving the public image of prestigious individuals, organizations and programs. Baines, Egan and Jefkins (2004) acknowledge that the government and the public services are frequent users of methods applied in public relations in the previous century (p. 4). This paper will therefore present a case study and discuss the increasing role of government relations as applied by the non-profit Public Relations manager. It will also look at the development of relationships and communication between the non-profit organizations and the government personnel and agencies.
Relations with the New York City council The Red Cross and the New York City council may work together in an endeavor to improve the economy of New York and the social life of its inhabitants. In the New York City Council website (2006), council member Inez E. Dickens is recognized as person who has played a vital role in developing the economy of Harlem which is a renowned part of the city. She has been a key figure for 30 years. Since she has been a permanent resident here, she is committed to her duties in improving the way of life of this society.
Dickens is also a recipient of the American Red Cross Achievement Award. Since she also serves on the health committee she can be able to collaborate with the American Red Cross in order to improve the health of not only the community of Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, the Upper West Side and East Side but also New York City as a whole (New York City Council, 2006). She has been responsible for bringing to the center of attention childhood obesity as well as early start of adult diabetes in children, health matters in regards to women and preventative health measures (New York City Council, 2006).
She therefore can fulfill some of the American Red Cross objectives which are the development of educational courses that promote health and safety (American Red Cross, 2010). Dickens also has a record of securing funding for public health programs that include: Hip Hop Stroke/Greater Harlem Health Revival Initiative which was public health collaboration with the Harlem Hospital and Abyssinian Baptist Church as well as other organizations such as the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, Harlem United Community AIDS Center and the Harlem Horizon Art Clinic.
She additionally was able to acquire an amount of one million dollars for a podiatric, public health scheme plus the “Healthy Feet for Healthy Living” project which was financially backed by the New York City Council and managed by the New York College of Podiatric Medicine thus being one of her most significant accomplishments (New York City Council, 2006). With this track record, the American Red Cross can collaborate with her as a council member due to her experience in promoting health in New York and her influence in securing funding for public health projects.
Relations with the New York State government The American Red Cross can also be able to form collaboration with members of the New York State government. Trina Tardone is described as a member of the New York State Assembly and operates as a Communications Director. She has broad experience and success in the fields of media relations, government events and event management with the capacity to develop and adopt strategic marketing programs and campaigns. She is also stated to have the capacity to generate eagerness, trust and teamwork at all stages of private and public organizations (LinkedIn, 2010).
These qualifications and attributes would therefore prove to be useful to the American Red Cross in the effort to promote the image of the organization in the eyes of the citizens of New York. The American Red Cross asserts that the implementation of the social media has enabled the ease of the public expressing their view on how it can become a better organization (American Red Cross, 2010). With Tardone’s area of expertise as a trained creative brainstorm facilitator, she can use her skills to interact with the public of New York and provide feedback.
Through brainstorming, ideas can be suggested in order to aid the American Red Cross in improving its image. Some of these ideas can be boosted by Tardone’s specialty in marketing with a focus on business development, promotional connections, sponsorship development and advertising schemes. Also, marketing can be done through positioning of clients, who in this case are the New York citizens. This exercise would therefore raise the population and reputation in order to promote the economic development of the New York area (LinkedIn, 2010). Relations with the United States government
Boris and Steuerle (2006) observe that the nonprofit organizations have made important contributions to the economy of the United States as employers and service providers. The assets of these organizations characterize a net worth of 5 percent whereby millions of individuals provide volunteer services and therefore the resources of the organization are increased. For organizations like the American Red Cross, the economic role has been excessively concentrated. Baines, Egan and Jefkins (2004) recognize public relations as a lawful way of explaining policy to citizens and other stakeholder groups.
They state that the government may indulge in propaganda, particularly during the time of war, in order to heighten the morale of the civilian populace and also to undermine the motivation of the enemy (p. 379). The United States government can therefore work together with the American Red Cross to further increase the motivation of the American citizens since one of the services it offers is the supporting and consolation of members of the military plus their families (American Red Cross, 2010).
Powell and Steinberg (2006) discover that the partnership between the government and nonprofit organizations is encouraged since a structure of a third party government is formed and it functions as a result of government funding and contracts that are offered to nonprofit service providers. They also find that literature on sociology, political science and public administration exists and the material covered is how specific responsibilities are entrusted to other organizations. In this literature, several of the authors express the importance of exchange relationships between government and generous nonprofit organizations (p.
226). Therefore, the American Red Cross would benefit from the contracts issued by the government and thus be enabled to operate efficiently due to the resources provided by the government. For example, Powell and Steinberg provide a scenario whereby if a nonprofit organization is established on city land then the city bonds would aid it in catering for the capital expenses. Also, donations made directly by the government would be tax deductible thus meaning that the federal government would provide subsidies.
Powell and Steinberg further investigate to find that the NGOs gain a substantial amount of management experience through these interactions with the government. These relations eventually lead to the involvement of the organizations in the political process and would give them a voice when the debate for policy-setting arises (p. 227). This therefore reflects the potential for the American Red Cross to indulge in policy-setting when it comes to medical matters plus the welfare of some of the citizens that are facing difficulties in their lives. Marketing the Nonprofit organization
Kinzey (1999) asserts that the importance of the marketing of nonprofit organizations increases when there is competition for financial and volunteer support, the reputation of nonprofit bodies and the communal expectation of the independent sector. Thus it is suitable for the nonprofit bodies to use marketing principles similar to those of commercial businesses. The first step is to understand the processes used by nonprofit so as to compare to the performance of other businesses. This is accomplished by developing a description of the market and analysis of the competition through broad research.
This process proves to be worth the time and investment hence portraying the ultimate result of the nonprofit’s function. Once this function is understood, then the marketing and public relations done by the personnel responsible for fund-raising would lead to the formulation of a promotional plan instead of dependence on speculation. Conclusion The American Red Cross as a nonprofit organization would be able to rely on local government personnel such as members of the city council of New York who have had experience in politics and also the medical field.
This would enable them to reach as many people as they can and offer them the services required. Also, the ability of this key figure to acquire funds for sponsoring several projects is also a contributing factor to the efficiency of the nonprofit organizations’ service to the citizens of New York. The collaboration with a member of the New York State government who has had a past experience in the field of public relations is an important step that would ensure that the public understands the operations carried out by the American Red Cross and cooperate successfully with members of the organization.
The collaboration between the nonprofit organization and the government is essential since it enables certain operations to be performed such as the establishment of the organization within the city where capital expenses are covered by the city bonds. References American Red Cross (2010). About Us. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from http://www. redcross. org/portal/site/en/menuitem. d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/? vgnextoid=477859f392ce8110VgnVCM10000030f3870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default Baines, P. , Egan, J. & Jefkins, F. W. (2004). Public relations: contemporary issues and techniques. 3rd ed. Burlington: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Boris, E. T. & Steuerle, C. E. (2006). Nonprofits & government: collaboration & conflict. 2nd ed. Washington: The Urban Institute. Kinzey, R. E. (1999). Using Public Relations Strategies to Promote Your Nonprofit Organization. New York: Routledge. LinkedIn (2010). Trina Tardone. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from http://www. linkedin. com/pub/trina-tardone/7/398/546 The New York City Council (2006). Inez E. Dickens. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from http://council. nyc. gov/d9/html/members/home. shtml Powell, W. W. & Steinberg, R. (2006). The nonprofit sector: a research handbook. 2nd ed. Connecticut: Yale University Press.