Public relations takes a significant part in the marketing promotional mix. Its main purpose is to communicate to the market using various communication techniques. Certainly, public relations are controlled by the companies’ or governments’ representatives to deliver positive messages and maintain positive image of theirs. However, they also exist outside of the companies’ span of knowledge among people. One of the strongest techniques of such advertisement, positive or negative, is word of mouth. Therefore, it is hard to define public relations, but one of the ways might be stated as “whole strategic communication of the institutions with its social surrounding”. (Curri-Memeti, 2011)
Some of the different public relations techniques have been used long before people had given a name to it, for example, speeches, events, broadsides, different media channels, etc. Public relations is an effective way to communicate because unlike other advertisement techniques it creates an attitude towards product and/ or company, not just a stimuli to buy a product or a service. (Buchwald, 1975)
To look at Thailand and how the companies use public relations as the means of advertising there, we will look at the case of Thai international company promoting personal care products. Thai consumers are becoming extremely environmentally cautious and this is the reason why Thai companies are using the green marketing strategy. Products which others can see (e.g. clothing) requires less public relations promotions because people are willing to pay for their image. However, the companies selling the personal care products at premium price have to provide their customers with other benefits and create addition value.
For example, The Body Shop gave a discount to those who would refill their bottles, and after purchasing a sixth bottle of any product, they would give one for free. The public relations are also used to promote recycling. The Company distributes brochures, organizes campaigns, and creates posters. The Body Shop succeeds at working with teenagers providing for them free advisory services on their needs to write a resume, to dress up, to put on make-up, etc. In addition, the Company created ties with the NGOs in Thailand to cooperatively create socially and environmentally friendly projects. (Johri & Sahasakmontri, 1998)
In conclusion, public relations plays inevitable role in advertising campaigns in the companies in Thailand. It does not just additionally promotes the product, but it creates the attitude towards specific products by adding the value and meaning to it. Public relations get people involved and help to promote in a way so that customers will not only see the benefits of the product but also the benefits of the company’s actions.
Buchwald, E. 1975, ‘Advertising as a Public Relations Tool; A Distinction without a Difference?’, Journal of Advertising , Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 11-14, HYPERLINK "http://www.jstor.org.lib-proxy.calvin.edu/action/showPublisher?publishe rCode=mes" M.E. Sharpe, Inc. Availiable at HYPERLINK "http://www.jstor.org/stable/4187958" http://www.jstor.org/stable/4187958 , viewed 20 October, 2012.
Curri-Memeti, A. 2011, 'Public Relations as Promotional Activity', Theoretical & Applied Economics, 18, 11, pp. 21-26, Business …