Date Approved

5-30-1998

Embargo Period

8-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Litwin, Larry

Subject(s)

Public relations firms--Marketing

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the methods that public relations firms use to do public relations for themselves to attract new clients and to maintain existing clients. The author researched and analyzed whether public relations firms do public relations for their respective firms, the methods used, as well as the reasons why or why not.

A survey was sent to 60 public relations firms belonging to Pinnacle Worldwide, Inc., an international corporation of independent public relations firms with offices in major cities throughout the United States and the world. Forty-seven responses were received.

The results of the study show that public relations firms use public relations as a means to promote their own firms and to generate new business. Most of the firms reported they were not satisfied with the number of current clients. The findings indicate that networking and referrals are the most widely-used public relations methods utilized by the firms to attract and maintain clients. Networking and referrals were also considered the two most effective methods that a firm could employ to promote itself or maintain existing clients. Public relations efforts for many firms are very casual, often without a specific budget, time line or assigned staff.

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