Public relations in community work: a public relations programme for direct service organisations

Carmichael-Kathan, Averil Margaret (1992) Public relations in community work: a public relations programme for direct service organisations. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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The community work method of social work is a method requiring creativity, application of specialised skills and knowledge, sound planning and administration and a persuasiveness to reach the various sectors of the community in order to accomplish broad based goals. Public relations is an occupation that has a sound body of literature and theory, a code of ethics or conduct, a host of tools and methods and also requires sound planning and administration, bound together with persuasiveness to reach the various publics in order to accomplish goals affecting image, quality of service rendering and marketing of services. The present study was concerned with identifying the commonalities and the differences between the profession of community work and the occupation of public relations in order to enhance the content of community work theory for practical application by community workers. The differences between the two would, in fact, teach content to community work. It was hypothesised that public relations has a necessary function and is an occupation that can be internalised with and applied to community worlk for the effective marketing of organisational services. A model for incorporating public relations into community work was designed and implemented in a direct service welfare organisation with positive results. This design is applicable to other direct service welfare organisations with innovative and flexible management teams. The results of an empirical research study, making use of random sampling and questionnaires, was analysed. The results indicated that public relations and community work were comparable entities with reference to knowledge bases, values, skills, tools, methods, techniques, ethics and programmes. A third group of respondents emerged in this study - community workers practising public relations firmly within the realm of community work. This group advocated the use of marketing and communication strategies in applying the community work method effectively. The primary difference to emerge from the work research was one of emphasis in applying methods and subsequently, community work can learn a great deal from these differences which will enhance service rendering correspondingly. The culmination of this study led to several highly relevant conclusions and recommendations for welfare organisations in a Post-apartheid South Africa. The most worthwhile conclusion was that community work has a great deal to learn from public relations, and that they are combinable entities at every level.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social work, Community work method, Public relations, Commonalities, Differences, Professional development, Knowledge bases, Values, Skills, Tools, Methods, Techniques, Ethics, Programmes, Marketing
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Sociology and Industrial Sociology
Supervisors:Mitchell, Bill
ID Code:4166
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:05 Dec 2012 08:32
Last Modified:05 Dec 2012 08:32
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