Public Relations for Educational Institutions
With their infrastructures as mute witnesses, schools, colleges, and universities in the next millennium
will have to confront with both new barriers and continuing problems.
Perennial number of “aches” which beset if not baffles educational institutions:
Increase in tuition fees
Inadequate if not non-updated resources
faculty, non-academic personnel,
Students, alumni, and community folks
Student and faculty activism
The dynamism which characterizes the operations of educational institutions are likened to jigsaw puzzles.
They demand endless analyses to arrive at long-lasting answers, through decision-making and policy formulation. In
the book, Power Public Relations of Saffir and Tarrant, the old style and traditional
public relations was distinguished as “reflective and reactive, always soothing and positive”, compared
to the new public relations and its approach which spelled “innovative, realistic, admits mistakes and conveys”.
or private, educational institutions will never be spared from the maze of problems they usually encounter daily, for as long
,as people or human beings, make up their organization.
The Threats Against Educational Institutions
As the threats against educational institutions become real and imminent, their administrator’s search for an
effective linkage to preempt occurrence of any eventualities, seemed to have led to the direction of public relations.
“Those in the academic have instinctive
reaction against public relations. Academic people are accustomed to having people come to them, not going to the people.
Public relations people were concerned about broad impact, because they see things in general terms, unlike those in the academe
who were prone to highly particularistic
Education as a discipline had to operate in tandem with public relations. Their common denominator
proved to be within the realm of management and communication.
The process gave birth to another field of specialization in the spectrum of public relations,
Public Relations for Educational Institutions.
The public relations team closely coordinates and pursues operations, among others, “to educate the public to
understand the policies of the school, draw appreciation for laudable works, exercise tolerance, defend the truth”.
Since public relations
drums up action and reports on “unity, openness and harmony” to ensure “institutionalization”, the
team is expected to systematically overcome pressures, tensions and hysteria, especially in crisis situations.
In an unstable and hostile environment, the need for preventive, participatory and proactive public relations is urgent.
The known hierarchy
of educational institutions is generic in its internal publics. Any school, college or university is made up of people classified
as: (refer to Figure 6. The Publics in
Educational Institutions for PR)
Board/ Governing Body
Business and Industry
Church and Religious Organizations
Service and Civic Clubs
Government and Agencies
Society and General Public
Such a public
is actually the source of manpower and funds which a school normally relies on for sustenance and survival.
The demands of contemporary society for world-class schools, colleges, and universities continue
to pose a very strong challenge to faculties and administrators.
To Be World Class
The quest for criteria on what is touted to be world class educational establishment has been lately
traced to the equal importance of administrators have generally given to physical properties and equipment as integral to
the basic composition of administrators, faculty and students, and resources.
Such resources should easily be identified as a school’s physical facilities and equipment.
Their acquisition, usage, utilization and maintenance are synonymous to
asset appreciation. They are tools for teaching and learning- a virtual insurance to relevant education.
In the commonly known triad of the school schema (teaching, research, and public service), each element has been proven
over time to be completely tied up with others, otherwise, the search for excellence in performance would amount to nil.
Educational facilities are described collectively as “physical properties and equipment built, installed or established, provided by
schools, colleges and universities, which must be managed well as to repair, rehabilitation, update and improvement; to assure
the protection and security, safety, sanitation and housing, among others; moreover, to serve as facilitating agent and make an action, operation or course of conduct easier for the proper
environment conducive to effective teaching and learning in a bid to realize a more relevant, productive and effective kind