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6.4 Chapter Summary

It is important to understand how organizations define their success because they place more value on the functions that contribute to that success and tend to reward those efforts the most. This chapter identified three ways that organizations evaluate their effectiveness. Most organizations set goals and measure themselves against those goals. These short-term benchmarks are easier to measure, but may blind the organization from the forest for the trees. An organization must also consider its long-term sustainability and growth, and a systems theory approach helps an organization keep its eye on the horizon. Key constituents are essential to reaching immediate goals and sustaining long-term growth. A stakeholder management approach helps an organization understand how critical these constituents are to meeting the purpose of the organization. Using the six steps of the stakeholder management process, public relations professionals can better understand challenges facing the organization and can help to integrate the interests of those stakeholders into management. Doing so strategically aligns the policy of the organization, allowing it to build more enduring relationships with publics and integrate public relations as a primary contributor to the bottom line and overall organizational effectiveness.