The Missing Essential in Public Communication
2. How organizations say they communicate
· 2 · how organizations say they communicate Public and private sector organizations engage in public communication through a range of practices. As this is not a text on specific disciplinary prac- tices of public communication, these will not be examined in detail. However, a broad overview and general understanding of the ways in which various types of organizations—government, corporate, NGO, institutions, and non-profits—purport to communicate with their publics is necessary in order to identify where and how listening might occur, and then examine those sites to identify the extent to which and how well organizations listen. Research One of the most substantive ways that organizations and industries potentially listen is through research. Research is conducted for a number of reasons and purposes including: • Social research, such as social attitudes studies conducted by govern- ments, institutions, and industry and professional organizations to identify citizens’ awareness, perceptions, concerns, and interests in relation to various issues. These can range from satisfaction with public 74 organizational listening transport and health services to controversial topics such as migration. An example is the British Social Attitudes Survey, which has been conducted annually since 1983; • Market research, which is designed to support marketing through iden- tification of customer needs and preferences in relation to products and services and often informs the development of new products and services; • Customer satisfaction studies, which specifically examine levels of cus- tomer satisfaction with existing products and services; • Employee satisfaction studies, which canvass the views of employees on matters such as...
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