Chapter 1 The Importance of Public Relations: UPS Case
Public relations can truly mean the difference between life and death for an organization, or the difference between profitability and failure. The following case illustrates the importance of public relations as a means to maintain ongoing, beneficial relationships, to systematically listen to and understand the concerns of publics—in this case, internal publics and a labor union and the external public of news media. Ongoing public relations initiatives, such as strategic issues management, could have prevented the problems encountered by the organization in the following case. The case also demonstrates that an organization can recover its footing and repair its reputation and relationships, once it acknowledges its mistakes and commits to changing course. The following series of events highlight the importance of ongoing, strategic public relations as the very lifeblood of an organization.Case based on classroom lecture and interviews with Kenneth Sternad (personal communication, March 30, 2009; September 2009). Information also based on United Parcel Service (2009).