Chancellor’s Office, Public Relations and International Affairs
Head of the Office of the President, Public Relations and International Affairs
Public Relations (PR) is defined as the art of communication to inform the audience, raise their awareness and prepare the groundwork to receive their expectations and wishes in order to move forward in those directions. In other words, public relations is the art of being enthusiastic to people. PR focuses all its efforts on regulating the relationship between the organization and people, and relying on ethical principles and professional mission, it skillfully attempts to apply the organization's goals and program, in the form of a plan to realize and maintain the interests of the organization and people. Public Relations' duties and responsibilities are to communicate properly and reasonably with people, to inform them clearly and concisely as well as to receive their expectations and wishes through a range of methods and techniques.
Public Relations in Higher Education Institutions
In today's world, to achieving their goals, organizations acknowledge recognition, mutual understanding and communication as fundamental principles of management.
This type of communication, referred to as public relations, is one of the most vital determinants of the future of any organization and group. Accordingly, public relations departments are considered as powerful elements in assessing, strengthening and advancing organizations' programs and missions.
PRs play diverse roles in different places and conditions. However, two distinct roles in intra-organizational and inter-organizational communication are noticeable.
The art of PRs is the ability to identify the potentials of the external environment, to link them to the capabilities within the organization, to facilitate the execution of internal organization orders, and, ultimately, to establish the organization's relationship with the outside environment. In this regard, the first step would be to understand the environment and the organization, i.e. to identify and examine its internal and external strengths and weaknesses.
The promotion of educational and research aspects is considered as the chief organizational objective of universities. A university is composed of three types of academia, including faculty members, students, and staff. University management’s responsibility is ensuring coordination among these three groups. To fulfill this responsibility, special tools and mechanisms are required. One of these mechanisms is the university's Public Relations department. Without efficient public relations, ensuring coordination and agreement in universities is impossible. Accordingly, this fundamental function of PR department is of highly significance to the scientific, cultural and research advancement of universities. So, it seems essential to reinforce PR department in order to strengthen the emotional relationships between university administrators, on the one hand, and the faculty, students and staff, on the other.
Moreover, PR, as the most important management mechanism of universities, plays an important role in coordinating, informing and shaping culture. Particular attention, then, is required to be paid to public relations as an institution that can systematically, purposefully and tactfully function in line with reinforcing interaction and understanding among different parts of the university.
Public Relations Department of Jahrom University
In line with the university's goals and in keeping with the macro management mission in developing the university, the Public Relations Department of Jahrom University has fully concentrated its efforts on certain goals – namely, maintaining the university's place and status, defending its aims and activities, enlightening public opinion with regards to the university's performance, and recognizing the addressees’ needs. The PR department also seeks to make university accountable and responsive to society as well as to cultivate friendship, empathy and mutual understanding with internal and external addressees.
A: Goals of PR
The goals and objectives of the Public Relations Department of Jahrom University are defined as the following.
1) Policy making, planning and applying appropriate methods in order to reflect the goals, activities, programs and status of Jahrom University;
2) Reinforcing as much possible the mutual understanding among the staff and providing the groundwork for creating better collaboration among the university staff and university officials;
3) Gathering, summarizing and analyzing the addressees' and the Medias' suggestions and view point about the university’s activities, and conveying them to the authorities;
4) Observing the codes of professional ethics and highlighting the sacred Islamic Sharia in dealing with the addressees;
5) Designing and developing an electronic public relations system for the purpose of shaping and managing public opinion;
6) Establishing communication with public relations units of other state and private executive organizations with the purpose of introducing and promoting the university;
7) Developing the university's connections with industry and society;
8) Improving and developing the university's international collaborations with international elite universities, particularly in neighboring countries as well as in Islamic countries.
B: Public Relations Duties:
According to the above mentioned goals, the most important duties and responsibilities of PR are:
1) Promoting and introducing Jahrom University as a constructive and responsible social institution with reference to scientific and technological issues in Fars province;
2) Using the various capabilities of the Media to communicate university's objectives;
3) Further expansion of the university's inter-organizational communications;
4) Continuous development of the information of the Public Relations Department;
5) Taking part in organizing cultural events at the university, such as festivals, conferences and workshops.
C: Public Relations Activities
The numerous activities of the PR can be classified into a number of categories.
1) Informing and communicating with the Media;
2) The establishment of the Public Relations Strategic Council;
3) The establishment of the Public Relations Committee for Publications;
4) Electronic Public Relations;
5) Formalities and occasions;
6) Supervision, planning and assessment;
7) Taking part in making documentaries;
8) Empowerment activities;
9) Research and polling;
11) Advertisements and Publications;
12) Assigning connections for all university sections to spread the news;
13) Utilizing students' capacities and capabilities.