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Office Public Relations

What is in this guide

  1. Why is public relations important for your office
  2. Important things to know about public relations
  3. How to make your office welcoming for visitors
  4. How to deal with telephone calls

  1. Why is public relations important for your office?

Public relations is the ongoing effort to create and maintain a positive image of your organisation in the eyes of the public. It is important that the public thinks about you in a positive way because all organisations need to be trusted and supported by their target group, constituency and/or members.

People who use your services will expect you to be helpful, friendly, efficient and professional. Most people will contact you by visiting your office or by phoning you. This means that the phone and office are two of the most important areas where you should create a positive image.

If your interaction with the public is bad, it can have a devastating effect on your organisation’s reputation. It is much easier to build a good public relations culture in your organisation, than it is to reverse a bad image once it exists.

Every person in your organisation should understand the importance of good public relations and know what role they should play in promoting a positive image.

  1. Important things to know about public relations

Public Relations targets the people you see as the clients of your organisation. Depending on the work you do this could be your members, people from a specific target group [for example pensioners] or the general public. You can only develop a public relations strategy once you know who your clients are and what image or profile you want to project to them.

Try to match the image you project with the goals and work of your organisation. The image projected by a business consultant’s office will be very different from that of a community advice office. You will have to answer the following questions:

  1. How to make your office welcoming for visitors

The front office is the reception area. This is the area that every person who visits you will come to first before being seen by the relevant person. It is the public face of your organisation and the place where people will form their first impression.

The front office serves the following functions:

Receiving visitors – in most organisations, visitors will spend some time in the reception area before being seen by another person. It is very important that you receive people properly, make them feel comfortable and deal with them professionally.

Giving out information – Not all visitors come for appointments with other staff. The reception staff often help people - give them information brochures or refer them somewhere else.

Dealing with telephones – All of us have experienced the frustration of rude and incompetent telephone receptionists. It is very important to deal with telephone calls properly [see Part Four How to Deal with Telephone Calls]

These functions are very important to the organisation and everyone should be aware of it. Here are some tips that will help improve the way you run your reception area.

When a visitor arrives

The reception area is the first contact that people have with any office of an organisation/institution. The work of the reception area differs from one organisation to the other depending on the type of service that is being offered by the organisation. This should not create a problem but a system/s to run the reception efficiently should be developed:

Staff behaviour


  1. How to deal with telephone calls

Deal with telephone calls in the same way as you deal with visitors – be polite, helpful and friendly. Put people through as quickly as possible – if someone is not available, get back to them and take a message. There is nothing worse than holding on for a long time – it wastes people’s time and money.

What to say when answering the phone

Rules for answering the telephone

Tips for answering telephones


Filing   |   Efficient Office Systems   |   Office Public Relations   |   Managing your Time   |  Writing Effective Business Letters

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