Read the article below about public relations.
For each question 1-6, mark one letter A, B, C or D on your Answer Sheet, for the answer you choose.
A company does not function in a vacuum, but rather as part of a society. That society consists of the people who work for it, the people and companies that do business with it, the public at large, and the government that regulates and taxes it. These groups are known as a company’s “publics.” In order for a company to deal with these publics effectively, a relationship of trust must exist. Employees will not cooperate with or put forth their best efforts for a company that they do not trust or that they feel is taking advantage of them. The public will not buy products or services from a company that, in their view, is not responsible or trustworthy. And the government, as the protector of the society it governs, is especially vigilant in dealing with a company that it regards as not operating in the public interest. Given these circumstances, every business, whether it is a giant corporation or a small factory, a five-star hotel or a roadside tavern, needs to give some thought to the relationship it has with all the various publics it interacts with. The techniques that a company uses to improve these relationships are known as “public relations”, also called PR.
The goal of public relations is usually to improve the climate or atmosphere in which a company operates. Here are some results a company might expect from a successful public relations campaign:
Its products and services are better known.
Its relationship with employees has improved.
Its public reputation has improved.
A successful public relations campaign can get people to do something that will help a company, stop them from doing something that might hurt it, or at least allow the company to proceed with a course of action without criticism. “An organization with good public relations has a favourable image or reputation, perhaps as a result of public relations activities.” Says Richard Weiner, a noted and award-winning public relations counselor. In developing and implementing public relations plans, companies often use a simple five-step process: research or fact finding, planning, action, communication, and evaluation.
A classic example of public relations at work is McDonald’s. It has always been important to McDonald’s to be known as a company that values cleanliness. Indeed, founder Ray Kroc emphasized cleanliness a long with quality, service, and value as being the four most important things in any McDonald’s operation. For that reason, Kroc instructed the first McDonald’s franchisees to pick up all litter within a two block radius of their stores, whether it was McDonald’s litter or not. The company also did many other things to help protect the environment. In 1990, it announced a program called McRecycle in which McDonald’s committed itself to buy $100 million in recycled materials for use in building and remodeling its restaurants. It is important to understand the role public relations has played in all the company’s decisions. McDonald’s has always been socially responsible and extremely concerned about its image. These two facts are part and parcel of its public relationships. To McDonald’s, public relationships activities go much deeper than simply sending out press releases and having corporate officers serve on various charitable boards. The company understands that real public relations means taking significant action first, then announcing them to the public. Without the first step, the second would be meaningless. Many companies do not understand this basic principle: If you want to make news, you must first do something newsworthy.
1. According to the passage, a company’s publics refer to
A. people in a society
B. employees and employers within a company
C. people and organization in and outside a company
D. the company and the government
2. A good public relationship is based on
A. mutual understanding
B. mutual familiarity
C. mutual attraction
D. mutual trust
3. The aim of public relations is to
A. improve a company’s operating environment
B. make a company’s products known to the public
C. make a company’s name known to the public
D. establish a good relationship with employees
4. The passage tells us that a good reputation of a company mostly comes from
A. its high quality products
B. the fame of its executives
C. its public relation activities
D. its relationship with the government
5. According to the text, how many steps are usually adopted to implement public relations plans?
D. Not mentioned.
6. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
A. Public relations first, business second.
B. Actions speak louder than words.
C. It is easier said than done.
D. One should seek truth from facts.
l Read the article below about business meetings and the questions on the opposite page.
l For each question 13-18, mark one letter A,B,C or D on your Answer Sheet for the answer you choose.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF MEETING
One aspect of business life which many managers are unhappy with is the need to attend meetings. Research indicates that managers will spend between a third and a half of their working lives in meetings. Although most managers would agree that it is hard to think of an alternative to meetings, as a means of considering information and making collective decisions, their length and frequency can cause problems with the workload of even the best-organised executives.
Meetings work best if they take place only when necessary and not as a matter of routine. One example of this is the discussion of personal or career matters between members of staff and their line and personnel managers. Another is during the early stages of a project when the team managing it need to learn to understand and trust one another.
Once it has been decided that a meeting is necessary, decisions need to be taken about who will attend and about the location and length of the meeting. People should only be invited to attend if they are directly involved in the matters under discussion and the agenda should be distributed well in advance. An agenda is vital because it acts as a road map to keep discussion focused and within the time limited allocated. This is also the responsibility of the person chairing the meeting, who should encourage those who say little to speak and stop those who have a great deal to say from talking too much.
At the end of a well organised meeting, people will feel that the meeting has been a success and be pleased they were invited. They will know not only what decisions were made but also the reasons for these decisions. Unfortunately, at the end of a badly organised meeting those present will leave feeling that they have wasted their time and that nothing worthwhile has been achieved.
Much together has been given over the years to ways of keeping meeting short. One man who has no intention of spending half his working life in meeting is Roland Winterson, chief executive of a large manufacturing company. He believes that meetings should be short, sharp and infrequent. “I try to hold no more than two or three meetings a week, attended by a maximum of three people for no longer than half an hour,” he says. “They are clearly aimed at achieving a specific objective, such as making a decision or planning a strategy, and are based on careful preparation. I draw up the agenda for every meeting and circulate it in advance; those attending are expected to study it carefully and should be prepared to both ask and answer questions. Managers are best employed carrying out tasks directly connected with their jobs not attending endless meetings. In business, time is money and spending it in needless meetings that don’t achieve anything can be very costly. Executives should follow the example of lawyers and put a cost on each hour of their time and then decide whether attending a long meeting really is the best way to spend their time.”
13. What do most managers think about meetings?
A. Meetings take up most of their working life.
B. Meetings allow them to monitor decision-making.
C. Meetings prevent them from establishing a routine.
D. Meetings are the only way they know of achieving certain objectives.
14. According to the writer, an example of a valuable meeting is one which
A. allows colleagues to achieve a better working relationship.
B. requires managers to discuss staffing needs with personnel.
C. selects a suitable group of people to work together as a team.
D. encourages staff to present ideas on improvements in management.
15. According to the writer the agenda is important because it
A. is seen by everybody before the meeting.
B. helps to give direction to the discussions.
C. contains items of interest to all those present.
D. shows who should speak at each stage of the meeting.
16. The writer says that people leaving a well organised meeting will understand
A. the reason for their invitation to attend.
B. how the decisions taken were relevant to them.
C. the importance of proposals under discussion.
D. why certain courses of action were agreed upon.
17. What does Roland Winterson say about the meetings that he organises?
A. He aims to hold them on a regular basis.
B. He ensures they have a definite purpose.
C. He requires his managers to draw up the agenda.
D. He uses them to make decisions about strategy.
18. What is Roland Winteson’s opinion about meetings?
A. They ban be a bad use of a manager’s time.
B. Their importance is often underestimated.
C. They frequently result in wrong decisions.
D. Their effectiveness could be improved with better planning.