Those PR Hot Shots in Government Have a Huge Job

April 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm (Comm 2322 Topics of the Week)

I shared with you all on Tuesday about how the government distributes information to the U.S. citizens, and I would like to elaborate to the students of COMM 2322 of how important public relations is within the government.

There are three scopes in which the government distributes information. They are the governmental agencies, the congressional efforts, and the white house efforts. There are around 10,000-12,000 governmental employees who deal with public affairs. This may seem like a large number however this is a normal percentage of any company. The government just happens to be the U.S. number one employer so the number seems so large.

The PR professionals who work within the government are called public affairs officers or POAs. These POAs answer press and public inquiries, write news releases, work on news letters, prepare speeches for top officials and oversee the production of brochures and plan special events. Top level Public Affairs Officers will sometimes even counsel top management about communications strategies and handle crisis situations.

Public image is important the executive staff, especially the President. This is the reason why each public appearance is carefully created to make the President appear healthy and lively in a favorable way. This also helps keep up his ratings, which is always beneficial when he is introducing new legislation ideas.

State information services provide information to each individual state. POAs work within the Department of Tourism to liven up economic activity within any particular state. They also work in the Department of Health in spreading the word about the flu season, or other types of health threats.

City information services are focused on a specific city to distribute news within an information specialist. They help to promote new businesses, new jobs, and deal directly with the mayor.

Although the government is extremely efficient in their efforts to distribute information, there are many criticism that are valid when looking at where the tax money is being spent, and the phony larger than life press releases that reporters receive on behalf of these POAs.

For my entire presentation on chapter 18, check out my Comm 2322 Powerpoint presentation.

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