This chapter highlighted the role of public relations for the organisation, the individual, targeted publics and the environment.  With the introductory paragraph, “communities and stakeholders have high expectations of organisations” (Mehta and Xavier, 2009, p. 191), emphasising the important role publics play in the success or failure of an organisation, it only seems plausible that reputation management and effective communication is a focus point of public relations.

However, in order for public relations practitioners to achieve the desired goals of an organisation, and manage effective relationships and reputation with targeted publics, it is necessary to use a guiding theory (Mehta and Xavier, 2009).

The main focus of public relations is to achieve the desired goals of organisations, and respond and adjust to internal and external change pressures (Mehta and Xavier, 2009). Unfortunately an organisation consists of multiple interconnecting subsystems. This brings the system theory of management into play.

“Systems theory provides a framework through which to view organisations and their relationships with the environment.” (Mehta and Xavier, 2009, p.193). According to Modaff, Delvine and Butler, the systems theory takes a holistic view of an organisation, monitoring input from outside the organisation, whilst noting that a “change to one part affects the whole system” (Mehta and Xavier, 2009, 194).

So with this in mind, what exactly does the role of public relations entail? Personally I am overwhelmed but also excited by the multiple roles and different facets of public relations explored in this chapter. In a nutshell (please note my ignorance and lack of experience), I would describe PR as the connecting link that binds an organisation together. Through effective management of communication and reputation, a public relations practitioner can work with other departmental professionals, to strive to achieve organisational goals and objectives. With management playing a vital role in this process it only seems fair that a practitioner plans, organises, leads and controls (Wood, Zeffane, Fromholtz, Wiesner, Creed, Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn 2006).

Therefore practitioners have a diverse role yet very important role within an organisation. It is the connecting link that holds everything together.


–          Image obtained, 13/10/2010, from

–          Mehta, A. & Xavier, R. (2009). Public Relations Management in Organisations. In J. Chia & G. Synnott (eds), An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

–          Wood, J, Zeffane, R, Fromholtz, M, Wiesner, R, Creed, A, Schermerhorn, J, Hunt, J & Osborn, R, 2006, Organisational Behaviour Core Concepts and Applications, John Wiley and Sons Australia, Milton, QLD.


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