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Functions Of Public Relations Mkt438

1641 words - 7 pages

In today's global work environment organizations must depend on their targeted publics to support their strategic objectives, goals and policies. The role of public relations is to serve as an organizations advocate for building and maintaining positive relationships with their diverse publics. As such, many different functions of public relations exist; two of these examples are organizational or societal functions.Organizational functions include those functions that benefit the organization from within such as communication management and employee relations, while societal functions are those functions which benefit the organization from the outside and include corporate and social ...view middle of the document...

Allstate is widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan.Organizational IssueAs a result of an Allstate requested homeowner rate increase, which was subsequently denied, the insurance commissioner of Florida issued a broad subpoena requesting copies of all information related to, "The companies' reinsurance program, their relationships to risk modeling companies, insurance rating organizations or companies and insurance trade associations. All appropriate company documents related to the above topics also are to be provided" (FLOIR Press Release, 2008). Allstate Corporation provided over 40,000.00 pieces of information over the 60 day period preceding the hearing the organization failed to produce certain documents which they claimed proprietary.Subsequently, on January 16, 2008 Allstate Corporation's license to sell automobile insurance was suspended by the Florida State Department of Financial Services (FLDFS). The following day the order was amended to include all Allstate companies doing business in Florida: Allstate Floridian Indemnity Company, Allstate Floridian Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Encompass Floridian Indemnity Company, Encompass Floridian Insurance Company, Encompass Indemnity Company and Encompass Insurance Company of America. During a press conference insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty was quoted as saying, "We're going to hit them where it hurts" (Zucco & Hundley, 2007) referring to the companies lucrative auto business in the state of Florida.The suspension and subsequent revocation has resulted in much criticism, speculation distrust from both internal and external publics relating to the organizations ethics, anti-consumer practices, corporate governance and social responsibility. Much of the information quoted by McCarty was taken from an article underwritten by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), in which author J. Robert Hinter (2007) claims that insurance companies including the Allstate Insurance Corporation have as a normal business practice charged excessive rates while enjoying excessive profits; practiced questionable claims settlement practices; mistreated victims of catastrophes; instituted unfair rating and underwriting practices; and suffered high consumer complaint ratios. These charges against Allstate Corporation have resulted in both organizational and societal implications; not to mention a negative impact on the organizations image and reputation.Employee RelationsOne of the most important organizational functions is employee relations. Author Fraser Seitel (2004) underscores the importance of, "Communicating with the all-important internal publics of the organization, those managers and employees who work for the firm" (p.10). One of the organizational issues that resulted was employees fearing for their jobs and agency...

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