A company carries out public relations in order to have a good public image concerning its operations, products and services. Due to the current stiff competition in the contemporary business arena, many companies have emulated different strategies in order to out do their competitors in the market. Public Relation (PR) is one of the avenues which firms with a mission to attract new consumers and retain the existing ones should adopt.
Apple Incorporation is a US based company which is renowned for its high quality computers and their accessories. For the company to retain the competitive edge, it is important that it carries out good public relations. This paper seeks to discuss how Apple Inc. uses public relations and how effective this is in establishing rapport with other stake holders such as its customers, other business organizations, the media and its employees.
Some of the ways of carrying out public relations exercises are, establishing communication links between the organization and its customers, internal communication within the company, analyzing how Apple products perform in the market, its customer service, positive relations with investors and good relations with media. One of the benefits of maintaining an effective PR is that it enhances the awareness of the customers regarding the existence of the company products. As a result customers loyalty is generated which leads to more sales and high profits.
Through the diversification of its PR strategies, Apple Incorporation is able to provide information to the public mainly through business reporters. Apple has on its website an online shop where there is a display of the products that it produces so that customers are able to access information on availability, use and application of these products. Some of the products enlisted on the online shop include its range of hardware products such as AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, Apple Battery Charger, Apple TV, iMac, iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, among others.
Some of its software products include Logic Studio, Qucik Time, MobileMe, iTunes, iLife and Aperture among others. With such product diversification, Apple Incorporation has been able to meet the various needs of its customers. In the same way, product information, good and attractive display of the company’s products on the Internet provides information to customers at a glance (Edward, 1945). In turn customers are able to read about the products without having to physically go to the Apple shop outlets.
This helps in time saving on the part of the customer and helps the company to sell itself better and faster. There is also a provision on Apple’s website referred to as Contact Us where customers can contact the company’s technical support, get help on Apple’s online store and retail store, post their feedback and ask questions concerning the efficiency of Apple’s products and services. It is imperative to note that Apple has adopted some of the best ways of doing public relations through establishing good customer relations leading to a good image of the company.
Market research and analysis is one of the most important ways that a company can use to establish good public relations with its publics among whom are its customers and other business organizations. In order to do business a company must be aware of what other companies are producing and how their products are priced and packaged. Apple conducts market analysis in order to get information about markets and customer needs and preferences.
Apple’s market research involves gathering information on customer opinions and the use of statistics to help in coming up with figures concerning numbers so as to establish the level of their customer base and what can be done to improve the quality of their products. In addition, intensive market research enables Apple to know and understand what is needed by customers and how they respond to the company’s products and services. Market information helps Apple to be aware of prices of different hardware and software available in the market and the supply and demand for these competing products.
This information is important in helping Apple to do market segmentation of its products to cater for different people in terms of personality, age, gender and geographic location, among others. It is therefore essential that Apple maintains a well managed market research department so as to be able to gather enough and appropriate market information which can be used to initiate more and effective public relation programs. Apple’s investor relations is part of its public relations exercises.
Due to their contribution in terms of capital and ideas, the company has been able to provide investors with opportunities where they can invest their money. High profits and investors loyalty enjoyed by Apple is based on its goal for market diversification and quality products. In this regard, Apple recognizes the importance of providing financial communication with investors. For instance, the company organizes meetings with investors in order to get information from them on what can be done to improve the company and how investors can contribute in order to make the company achieve its goals.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one way Apple reaches out to the community as part of its investor relations. One of the objectives of initiating CSR programs is to rewards the members of community who are part of the company customer base. Through annual CSR activities the company is also able to advertise it wide range of products. This helps Apple to show its presence in the real world and create a good public interest in the company. Corporate social responsibility helps Apple to achieve its mission and demonstrate what it stands for. Society is one of the publics of Apple.
One of Apple’s objectives is to manufacture environmentally friendly products, for instance, in the year 2009, Apple became the first company to analyze its contribution in the emission of greenhouse gases and the way to reduce this through a program known as Life Cycle Impact. The company gives back to society by sponsoring community projects which helps communities to grow and improve themselves. Consequently, the same community that the company helps may in the long run become customers of the company. Internal Communications is essential in public relations.
Internal communications entails how a company communicates with employees. This includes both formal and informal communication. Apple has a good interaction networks between its management and staff. This is done by providing information on the performance of the company to employees and what is expected of them in order to boost the company’s proceeds. According to Kirkpatrick (1998), meetings held by Apple with its employees helps to enhance its public relations with them and this creates an atmosphere that employees’ contribution to the company is recognized and valued.
In the same way, internal communications help the Apple Company to communicate to its staff its objectives and how to execute plans to achieve these objectives. Communication is done through different ways such as writing down company guidelines and holding meetings (Johnston, 2008). One of the most fundamental ways that Apple has enhanced its public relations is through media relations. Media relations involve working with different media in order to inform the public of a company’s policies, products and services. Different media is used to achieve this for example magazines, newspapers, journals, Internet, television and radio.
Apple has good media relations with journalists who are in a better position to portray the good image of the company on the eyes of the public (Frieberger and Michael, 1984). Working with the media has sometimes been challenging for Apple but the company has done its best to overcome this. Likewise, Apple relies on different media to carry out advertising and promotion, give press releases, make important announcements and inform the public on the company’s performance through financial and business reporters. Conclusion
For a company to develop a good public image, public relations exercises have to be carried out in order to create rapport with its publics. From the above discussion, it is clear that Apple Incorporation has reached its current position by using public relations as one of its strategies to become one of the most reputable companies in computer technology. Customer service, market research, investor relations, internal communications and media relations are fundamental in carrying out public relations. According to my view, companies should emulate modern technologies such as internet in order to reach more customers across the global.
This will ultimately lead to high revenue, more sales, high demand and a significant global economic growth. Reference List Edward, B. 1945. Public Relations. Boston, MA: Bellman Publishing Company Frieberger, P, and Michael, S. 1984 Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, Berkeley, Calif. : Osborne-McGraw-Hill Johnston, J. (2008). Media Relations: Issues and Strategies. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin Academic Kirkpatrick, D. 1998. The Second Coming of Apple. New York: Oxford University Press
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