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The Public Relations Function is similarly complex. Below is a
sample of activities falling under the Public Relations umbrella.


Let me also emphasize a frequently overlooked reality. Many
agencies, especially public or governmental agencies, argue they do not support
public relations and do not think investing time and resources in this area is
important or appropriate. Unfortunately, they miss the point that public
relations is not an optional activity. Every agency does relate to its public
and does have public relationships, including perceptions, attitudes, and
perspectives. Agency staff continuously relate to the public; and those
relationships always matter. The option is to thoughtfully manage the interface
with the public or to let it just happen.
Given the alternatives, intentional public relations is more than important, it
is essential. With this in mind, consider these public relations sub-functions
along with considering the potential implications of doing nothing to actively
manage them.


·
Management
of the Leadership Team was introduced and discussed earlier so is not
elaborated on here. Suffice it to say it is perhaps the most significant Public
Relations sub-function with which SSI needs to be concerned.


·
Marketing
and promotional activities also relate to an earlier discussion. When
discussing the Helping Triangle, we noted the developmental process should
proceed clockwise from point “C” – the agency – to point “A” – potential
clients. In addition to other marketing and promotional initiatives, the Public
Relations Function supports the effectiveness of SSI with identifying potential
clients and appropriately involving them with SSI services.


·
Develop
and maintain an effective Internet presence for SSI. This is an essential
aspect of any successful, contemporary human services agency. Purposes include
providing information to the public about SSI and its services and staff.
Additionally, the website provides contact information so site visitors can
communicate with the agency and staff members by phone or by email. The site
also provides educational materials, ways for visitors to sign up for SSI
training or other events, and links to other human services agencies and family
resources. Many SSI policies and procedures are reproduced on the website so
people can learn more about SSI and how it manages processes and areas of
interest.


·
Develop
and maintain productive relationships with the media, including management of
SSI related news events, coverage of SSI activities and developments, and broader
communication with the public.


·
Prepare and provide formal and informal
presentations regarding SSI activities and operations aimed at increasing
community awareness of agency values and goals.


There are numerous other sub-functions within the Public Relations
secondary function such as event planning, crisis planning, advertising, and
overseeing all SSI interaction with the public. SSI has an extensive,
incorporating environment needing thoughtful and constant attention. This
responsibility is delegated to the Public Relations Function and its
sub-functions. Assuring these responsibilities are managed efficiently and
effectively is a critical aspect of SSI success.