There are quite a few different theories in public relations, all of which are valuable tools when analyzing the success or failure of a companies PR strategy. One of these theories in called the Relationship Management Theory, and is a concept I believe would be hugely beneficial for more executives in the corporate world to understand.
The Relationship Management Theory states that public relations is viewed as “the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends” (Ledinghman). In other words, it focuses on the importance of building and maintaining ongoing relationships with your internal and external public.
Whether a company is just starting out or if they have been around for decades, there is a growing trend that consumers want to buy from companies they feel value them. If there is an issue that arises, your customer wants to know that their concerns will be heard. Businesses should not wait to start communicating with their public when there is something wrong, but rather they should start building relationships with their public from the very beginning. It will build a higher trust level and more sense of brand loyalty.
With social media, there is so many opportunities for not only a companies PR team to see what their public is saying about them, but also the chance for top executives to interact with their consumers. This relationship that they are creating can help not only identify issues, and potential crisis’s, but also shine a light on what the company is doing well and the aspects of the business that customers find successful.
Ledingham, John A. 2003. Explicating Relationship Management as a General Theory of Public Relations. Volume 15(2). 181-198. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232982036_Explicating_Relationship_Management_as_a_General_Theory_of_Public_Relations