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Explain Public Relations and major functions of public relations.

We commonly see a great story on an organisation in newspapers even though the organisation may have experienced lawsuits recently. This is the effort from the organisation to create a positive image about itself in the market. The organisation has used part of its promotion budget to create positive image.
Public Relations is referred to as managing communications by an organisation between itself and its publics. An organisation is not only concerned about its customers, business partners, dealers and suppliers but also the public at large. Public Relations involves various programs to disseminate information that an organisation wants the public to know. The public consists of customers, employees, stakeholders, intermediaries and general public at large. Some organisations don’t take advantage of this promotion tool considering it as a minor element. But most of the major successful organisations use Public Relations to build and maintain successful relations with the public.

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Explain Marketing Public Relations. What are common Public Relation tools?

Marketing Public Relations (MPR) –
In the past Public Relations was not considered as part of marketing function. PR supported the organisation in maintaining its reputation and good attitude with the publics. It was not much concerned about the public’s viewpoint. We can say that PR is not dependent on Marketing but Marketing is incomplete without PR. This concept gave rise to Marketing Public Relations (MPR) to support corporate or product promotion as well as image making. MPR serves the marketing department by helping it achieve the marketing goals.

Marketing Public Relations not only does publicity but also assists in many different tasks. Professor Kotler gives the list of these tasks –

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What are the major decisions in “Marketing Public Relations ?

The management has to work on the Marketing Public Relations through proper planning to get effective results. The management must have clear idea on the objective it wants to achieve, finalise the public relations message and tools, implementing the plan and evaluation.

1) Marketing objectives – The organisation can be greatly benefitted by MPR before the launch of a product, service, organisation, personality, etc. Even before the advertisement or other promotion tools are utilised in the target market, MPR can create lot of excitement about a product, etc. in the market place. It can be an editorial in a leading newspaper that will boost the dealers, shareholders, salesforce, business partners, and public at large. The announcement through PR campaign of a launch of a new product creates lot of awareness in the market place. For example, Reliance Jio created lot of news through its MPR campaign of cheapest call and internet service provider through its mobile SIM in the India. As a result of this, major international players in the Indian market were forced to change their plans and strategies.

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Explain Direct Marketing, its advantages and disadvantages.

Direct Marketing involves communicating directly with buyers about their products via different channels. The individual buyer is the target in direct marketing and not the masses. Examples: direct mail, e-mail, apps, telephone calls (telemarketing), catalogues, fliers, promotional letters, etc.The goal is to generate sales or leads for sales representatives to pursue. If the customer is interested, he/ she can directly contact the concerned department or person on the telephone number of address given with the message. Direct marketing allows a business to engage in one-way communication with its customers. It helps organisations inform the prospective buyers about product announcements, special promotions, etc.

People in today’s times prefer at-home shopping rather than travelling to different outlets. Marketers take this opportunity to reach out to the customer directly with all the information about the product, special promotions, etc. in order to generate sales. The marketer’s ensure that customers have easy access to them via toll-free numbers, chat tools, email, etc. at any time of day or night throughout the week to justify their credibility and commitment towards customers.

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What are major Direct Marketing tools or channels?

There are many tools at a marketer’s disposal for contacting the prospective buyers through Direct Marketing. We will discuss the major tools-

1) Direct mail – It is referred to a message sent to the prospective buyers through mail. It can be an announcement, offer, reminder, products (pre-approved credit cards, etc.), etc. It advertises the organisation, and its product and services. Marketers need to shortlist the buyers carefully and send the messages accordingly. Most of the organisations get the benefit of lower rates when the mails are sent in bulk. The organisations get the details of buyers when they visit store.

For example, some retailers ask the buyers to fill small form to get membership at minimal costs. This way the organisation gets the contact details as well as the preferences of the buyer. The online shopping sites track the visitor’s site visits for certain products. Then mostly a reminder message is sent to the visitor. For example, “you were interested in an x product. Now it’s available at a discounted rate.”

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