Introduction: Background Information
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian, non-profit organization that has been organized by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter, as well as the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (The American Red Cross, 2011). The venture provides help to people who became the victims of natural disasters and catastrophe so as to prevent and react to the emergencies.
Two years ago, the population of Haiti suffered from a 7.0 earthquake leading to significant destructions and leaving millions of people without home (MyFox, 2012).
Minnesota, along with other U.S. states, responded actively to the disaster and donated a significant sum of money for improving the situation in Haiti. Now, the Red Cross has introduced a two-year report on the efforts and actions taken in Haiti to relieve the population (MyFox, 2012). The report presents significant progress in front of serious challenges, but some of the presented facts can lead to negative publicity concerning the action plan (MyFox, 2012).
The point is that the American Red Cross got nearly $486 million in donations whereas $330 million were spent only on Haiti recovery efforts (MyFox, 2012). One the one hand, many questions arises concerning the remaining sum of money. One the other hand, the Red Cross’s campaign has not been completed yet and, therefore, there are no reasons for rushing in conclusions concerning the money left.
As the world-known non-profit organization, the Red Cross should introduce a new form of reporting through publicly presenting information about financial matters. In such a way, it is possible to enhance information transparency and accuracy to ensure the population of their donations invested to prevent disasters. Specifically, the report does not only improve communication and relations with outside stakeholders, but also attract more investors. Using a mix of media resources, therefore, can become a valuable contribution.
Mix of Media for Implementing Public Relations Campaign
Introducing different form of media for promoting publicity and transparency for organizational activities is vital because it will allow the Red Cross to create a favorable environment, as well as provide improvement to such aspects as information exchange, cultural diversity, and organizational performance.
The introduction of an action plan therefore will be significantly fostered if favorable relations with different forms of media are introduced. In this respect, newspaper services can contribute to highlighting the most important issues outlined in a sustainability report that will be released for monitoring how financial funds are distributed.
Second, creating the Red Cross Haiti Website uncovering financial expenditures, along with related purpose and mission, will also be a valuable introduction because each online user can receive an access to the information. At this point, online websites can be available to all the parties that are interested in the activities of the organization. This is of particular concern to the investors who are extremely interested in the way their money is allocated.
Finally, improvement of communication channels is possible through introducing news reports outlining financial activities performed by the non-profit organization. In addition, using social networks will also be helpful for informing about a new organizational culture in Red Cross. For instance, the organization’s representation can distribute information through social network channel in a much quicker way than posting news on their official site.
Such a mix of media devices can significantly progress the initiated public relation campaign and provide a fresh insight into further fruitful cooperation of the organization with media sources. Besides, using media devices also provide clarity to all the operations performed within the organizational framework.
Establishing Community Relations to Generate Positive Publicity for the Red Cross
Using the above-established media means can significantly promote community’s understanding the policies, purposes, and mission pursued by the Red Cross due to the many reasons. First of all, the community relations promotion can increases people’s awareness of the existing problems related to natural disasters.
Therefore, recognizing the seriousness of the problem, as well as the fact that their help will be used to a full extent, they will be more likely to invest money into different volunteer programs for rescuing people. Second, introducing transparent and accountability report provides greater publicity and decreases the chances of mass media distort the received information. Avoiding misconception and giving a clear and substantial explanation of actions is step forward to creating a healthy environment within the organization.
In this respect, organizational performance can also be significantly improved with regard to the changes in the reporting system. Third, introducing sustainability reporting can deprive the Red Cross of the problem of localizing large amounts of information. These reports can be released on a regular basis so that the community will be informed about its release and be able to read everything that is connected to the organization’s financial activities.
Finally, using new media resources for spreading information can contribute to the development of a powerful international framework that can take greater control of the problems at a global level. Hence, introducing sustainability reports to social media channels creates novel opportunities for advancing communication and social interaction.
Governmental Relations Tactics for Achieving Objectives
The Red Cross is headed by the Board of Governors who are in charge of management of the organization (American Red Cross, 2012). They apply to a series of documents that are periodically reviewed to meet the main purpose and accepted standards within an organization.
To take a better control of all the process, it is imperative to establish favorable relations with governments in the international space that can contribute to greater monitoring of the current problems. At this point, establishing favorable communication with the government can create much more opportunities for the American Red Cross to embark on effective governance reform through introducing sustainability reports to the governmental officials.
Such a tactics will not only provide greater respectability and authority to the organization, but expands censorship on media intervention into the organization’s activity. Giving financial issues to publicity can also be encouraged by governmental strategies and reforms in the sphere of natural disasters. In such a manner, an international cooperation can strengthen the overall strategies and missions and advance the development of a new public relation campaign.
Because the governments deals primarily with controlling financial inputs and outcomes, the organizations’ reporting to the authorities can greatly facilitate goals accomplishment and provide a fresh insight for developing new perspectives of financial informing.
A News Release Draft
Sustainability Reporting: Reaching Transparency through Giving the Financial Statement to Publicity
A new form of reporting can provide a deeper account on financial operations and investment in different kinds of rescue operations. The new release will expands on the following issues:
Regular exposition of financial investment made on a voluntary basis;
Volunteers’ activity, including stage of all operation accomplishments;
Expenditures on buying the equipment, materials, and other resources necessary to rescuing activities;
Posting the material about incoming investment and immediate distribution of financial investment;
The new release will be provided on the eve of sustainability report presentation to inform the concerned parties, including media and government, about the upcoming event.
With regard to the above, a news release example will look as follows:
The American Red Cross is seeking for more efficient opportunities for presenting accurate and clear information. Due to the interventions of mass media, some of our activities are distorted in different newspaper articles and online blogs.
Therefore, it is rational to introduce a website informing the U.S. citizens of all our financial activities to introduce transparency to business communication. The team leaders will be invited to think over the structure and main aspects of sustainability report, as well as discover which media coverage sources can be used to highlight the most important issues in the report.
The American Red Cross hopes that introducing effective business reporting will encourage people invest more money in their activities and contribute to rescue operations conducted by volunteers. They assure that each dollar is spent for the purpose of saving lives and improving welfare of people who suffered from natural disasters.
As per the content, the proposed news release will inform the public about the structural change within an organization, as well as about the benefits those change bring in to the employees and to the public in general. Business reporting and emphasis on financial issues, therefore, can provide a useful insight into the basic activities of the American Red Cross. The reasons for introducing changes will also be highlighted.
Importance of Content, Style and Essentials for Persuading the Public
Business reports are powerful tools of public influence because they render information about company’s activities by visualizing their actions through figures, tables, charts, and statistics.
This kind of approach is closely associated with rhetorical devices contributing to revealing financial discourse in disaster prevention discourse. Specifically, reaching communicational goals in a business discourse is possible through presenting the context in a persuasive and polite way (Trosborg & Jogensen, 2005, p. 13). More importantly, business reports that will be given to publicity should also take into consideration cultural diversity and, therefore, neutrality is also among the main attributes of successful report writing.
Failure to adhere to the established standards can provoke misunderstandings because different disciplinary requirements have essential differences. In this report, appropriately written business reports can become powerful instruments of public influence. Releasing sustainability reports publicly can enhance the reputation of the Red Cross and encourage people take an active part in their organizational activities.
Aside from style of writing, content also has a significant impact on public consciousness. Specifically, it is a false belief that lengthy and ambiguous sentences being full of appraisals and exaggerations can attract public attention. On the contrary, the accurate and laconic representation of information will contribute to clarity and effectiveness of business content presentation.
According to Hartley and Bruckmann (2002), “even if you work in an organization, which has very strict rules about how letters and reports are representation, you will still have to make choices about which words and phrases to use, how to organize your paragraphs and so on” (p. 164).
Therefore, stylistic and content choices are essential for creating a business report that should have an appropriate tone and content and provides a relevant business style. Specifically, such aspects of business report writing as brevity, emphasis, clarity, and accuracy are important criteria for success.
American Red Cross (2012). Media Requests. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.86f46a12f382290517a8f210b80f78a0/?vgnextoid=ca8859f392ce8110VgnVCM10000030f3870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default
Hartley, P., & Bruckmann, C. G. (2002). Business Communication. New York: Routledge.
MyFox. (2012). What Happened to You Haiti Earthquake Donation? Retrieved from http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/haiti-earthquake-two-years-jan-12-2012#ixzz1jhCUPY5l
The American Red Cross. (2011). Mission Statement. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d229a5f06620c6052b1ecfbf43181aa0/?vgnextoid=f5195032f953e110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
Trosborg, A., & Jorgensen, P.E.F. (2005). Business Discourse: Texts and Contexts. US: Peter Lang.