THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Welcome to The Public Relations Department
Joseph M. Munyaka HOD
(MBA (jkuat),Bed (arts) Kenyatta university, (Amkim)
The department is in charge of managing and improving the image and reputation of our institution. As the Public relations Officer, my work involves gaining understanding and support for our stakeholders as well as influencing opinions and perceptions. In the educational sector, just like other organizations, public relations officers are required for the sake of day to day activities and smooth running of the institutions. The major roles of the PRO is managing the public perception of the institution and creating a favorable image by doing the following:
1. Maintaining community relations
The department have a duty of creating good relationship between the institution and the community around. This mainly aims at maintaining harmony and peace with the neighborhood thereby promoting understanding and favorable relation with the public at large.
2. Improving internal relations
Internal public relations are the activities done within the institution to maintain good rapport and smoothen communication. This is achieved by doing the following:
• Improving sense of cohesion among the members of staff both teaching and support staff.
• Providing positive information regarding our institution’s ability to provide challenging and meaningful tasks.
• Giving clear communication about our institution’s intentions
3. Positive relations with the alumni
nowadays, an institute maintains special alumni relations and ties. As a Department, we are in the process of creating cells through which we shall keep in constant contact with our trainees who have graduated and are doing marvelous jobs in the industry. This is aimed at assisting the current trainees get industrial placements to the upcoming batches through their contacts. Also alumni play crucial role as they have their own interests in their Alma matters.
4. Expanding the number of applicants in our institution.
The public relation department has the duty of advertising the institution in order to increase the number of applicants hence growing of the institution. This is done through use of social media sites, blogs, radios, newspapers and broadcast of our institute’s activities among others. The sum total of all these media presence is to make Thika Technical Training Institute better known hence expanding our population as it will attract more applicants.
5. Educational public assistance
As a department, we endeavor to also assist our trainees and work with their parents, guardians and various groups with an aim of improving the progress of our institution. The department has a responsibility of distributing news letters containing information about campus events, building and maintaining ties with the alumni, lecturers, staff and students.
6. Crisis management
Just like any other organization, the education institutes also have their ups and downs which they need to cover up. This is done by the public relations department through crisis management hence maintaining good image of the institution.
Higher education institutions are becoming increasingly aggressive in their marketing activities to convey an image that is favorable in all aspects beneficial to the public, prospective students, employers, funders among others. It is therefore the responsibility of the public relations department to advertise positively and make the institution known worldwide.
8. Organizing large scale events and holding public meetings.
The public relations department in the institutions is in charge of organizing meetings with different stakeholders. During the meetings, achievements of the institutions are made clear to the public... These events may include: cultural events, donation drives, meetings, launches, fashion shows, sport events, organizing company’s ‘open days’ for visitors, customers, and investors, organizing business exhibitions among others.
9. Creating and maintaining positive image
Public relations department plays a crucial role in maintaining positive image of the institution. The department does this through: press conferences regarding any new developments in the institution, press release concerning the activities, branding of the institution, maintaining contacts with the people who benefits the institution in any way, for example: the media people, government Agencies, industry and the alumni.
10. Advertising The Institution
People usually trust public relation agency more than the advertising agency as they know the latter has been paid to glorify a client. The role of a public relations department therefore includes highlighting the positive image about the institution, including the history of the institute, courses offered and the achievements of the students and the faculties .
There is need for all educational institutions to create a public relations department as it will help in smoothening progress of the institution, maintain good relations, advertising the institution as well as managing reputations.
Therefore public relations officers ought to be regarded as a pre-requisite for the effective functioning of educational institutions..