Positive communication as a basis for creating effective public policy in a touristic service activity

Daniela Koteska Lozanoska

Abstract: The process of policy making is directly affected by the public and proclaimed public opinion. In fact, public opinion should have influence on the creation of public policies. The main goal of this research is to emphasize the impact and its role in the creation of efficient and effective public policies. For that purpose, empirical research is conducted within the airport “ St. Paul the Apostle” in Ohrid, The Republic of Macedonia, in order to see the satisfaction of passengers that conducted services in the realized flights. The survey was conducted on a group of participants who use flights from Basel and Zurich. This paper prove that, taking care for the positive communication in using air services is excellent reference for giving the expected positive effect on client acceptance of the public policy manifested by the airline company.

Keywords: public policy, public, air company services, communication.

Introduction

Public opinion is not represented only by the people who will declare certain matters In general it includes people who did not answer and are no affected. The term public can be interpreted in different dimensions and definitions, but the term encompasses the following generalization: How much the citizen (public) actually knows the current situation, more preciselly how real is informed of developments in a given period of time? Or better yet, how the citizen is informed of transparent public policies made in his/her name?

Expressed as a sublimation of the majority opinion, the public in a society should present their position on an issue. Furhtermore, that view to be regarded as relevant in the process of creating public policies in a certain segment, needs it to be built on the basis of transparent and accurate information.

The process of policy making is directly affected by the public and proclaimed public opinion. In fact, public opinion should have influence on the creation of public policies.

The main idea of ​​this paper is to present the impact and role of positive communication in the creation of efficient and effective public policies. For this purpose, empirical research is conducted within the airport St. Paul the Apostle in Ohrid, Macedonia, in order to see the satisfaction of the passengers that use services in the realized flights. Thus, it aims to emphasize the positive role of communication in creating a substantive public policies by the airline companies which also deal with essential services. In tourism customer satisfaction of service activity in the field of airline services has high priority.

The main method used for the analysis and interpretation of data in the survey is a method of descriptive analysis. The main hypothesis which aims to prove the survey is the following: “The more attentiveness is the reference to the positive communication when using air services, the more can be expected positive effect on client acceptance of the public policy manifested by the airline company.”

Theoretical framework

The essential feature of the term „public”

The term public is a form of disclosure, throwing light on what is happening. The word “public” means open and generally available. In its right significance the word “public” is closely associated with the notion of “public opinion”. The public is a social and/or political space in which act the public opinion. It is a benefit and requirement of the society democracy. [1]

With the growth of the media communication their influence in society also increase. They are not just transmitters of information, but suggest opinions, too. According to some, they have an absolute role in shaping the opinion of the population. It developed the notion that the individual is passive information consumer from the mass media and is powerless before them. However, this is not quite true. Although the man is exposed to constant attack from the media, the man is not isolated, but has its place in society, belong to certain groups, has its own interests, experiences, preferences, etc. According the above mentioned, the term public means essentially different collectives and groups in different social and research conditions, following the public that is affected by some social event or action can appear in any of the above forms, undergoing influenced by mass means communication.

The public meets and performs its functions, simply by public opinion. In connection with the public, Pierre Budie ironically asks the question: “Is it at all there is?” [2] He says his goal is not mechanically to cancel the surveys that measure the public opinion, even when there is no doubt that depict what someone would like us to believe. Rather, measurability of public opinion which proclaims a public (affected public) can make a major contribution to social science if treated seriously with certain precautions. [3]

Sociologists usually define the public as a social group in order to make a distinction between it and social units and social groups.

The reason for the existence of public and social and communication aspect is the reason for joint action. Thus members of the public who still proclaims it is possible to some public opinion, enter into definite relations / interaction as a result of this common purpose / reason.

Some basic characteristic dimensions of the term public: [4]

  • Legal framework / ideal of majority rule;

  • Specific social media / audience (actor entity);

  • A specific feature of an activity or space (characteristic or condition of the public);

  • Definitely wider area / public sphere;

  • Public as media culture;

  • Theories of the “new public.

Conceptualization of the distinction between public and private could be analyzed at the level of individual and social interests. In this context, Dewey gives an interesting constantation which determines the difference in accordance with the consequences arising from human activity for other people. Actually, if the consequences of human activities are limited to individuals, the transactions are personal. However, if there is an awareness of the indirect consequences and their regulation, it can be said that the transactions are public. [5]

The process of creating public opinion

Public opinion is product of the public sphere, and a key concept in decision making. Public opinion refers to:

  • Works associated with the state, government or social institutions;

  • The questions that are open and accessible to everyone;

  • Issues, policies or decisions relating to people who do not participate in their adoption;

  • Issues of common interest;

  • Public good (as opposed to private interests);

  • Public opinion is formed through the processes of collective decision-making;

  • Articulating issues of concern;

  • Develop possible solutions to the problem;

  • Decision makers assess the consequences of choosing one option versus another;

  • Decision makers evaluate alternatives;

  • The process of decision making.

According to Broker and Schaefer, public opinion is defined as “expressed views and vattitudes of ordinary people on issues of public importance.” [6] According to these authors, under the expressed opinions and views, it is understood that public opinion must be opinion loud or publicly expressed before it is known or before it bocome influential. Under ordinary people, the authors think the general public or the “ordinary people”, not the leaders in state institutions, lobbyists, columnists in daily newspapers.

Public opinion is characterized by a diversity of concepts and theories, issues and methods. In this field of ​​particular importance is the change of attitude in the creation of a public opinion. The attitudes have three main components: cognitive element that connects the building with the information, affective element that connects the building with an assessment or emotional reactions and cognitive element that is actually an element that can connect the object with a particular behavior.

Particularly is important that there is no consensus on how attitudes are associated with groups concepts such as values, beliefs, opinions, habits and identifications (aspects of personal identity).

The formation and changing attitudes affect: [7]

  • General universal factors: development of productive forces and production relations;

  • General stakeholders that directly affect behavior: natural affiliation with a particular group, awareness and knowledge about objects and situations to which it has attitude and various personal motives.

Under the influence of the globalization process, continuous modernization and infrastructure pronounced the mass media, according to Jakimovski, public opinion is characterized by the following content: integration, motivational, consensual, action, acting.

Public Policy creation under the influence of positive communication framework

Good public policy is based on the following:

Identification of social order. What is the social benefit that can be achieved through effective public action? The goal is special, specific way to make life better. Social benefits should be derived from added government responsibilities or costs. It may result from a joint decision to eliminate public program or to compare back some regulatory responsibilities.

Diagnosing the problem. Causing social disaster or prevent the realization of any benefit? Causing self-interested individuals to act in a way that makes society worse? If society as a whole, is the primary mechanism by which reasonable people get what they want, why in this case it does not work properly?

Identification of the appropriate institution for action. Who and what will take action to change behavior in a way that will lead to the desired social benefit? What is the source of that authority? Public action requires institutions with authority to create or change policy. These institutions may vary in the level of democratic control. In any case, some people need to have the authority and capacity to change behavior. This process may involve performing higher government authority or may involve giving up some authority.

Assesment of the policy of competing policy options. What can or should be done (including an option to do nothing)? The analysis of public policy includes evaluation of various strands of the action evaluating costs and benefits, assessing political implications, understanding the impact to different countries and so on. In some cases, elections are binary. More often, there are many, even infinite, possible directions of action.

Implementation and enforcement of the organizational change. The decision to choose a specific course of action and the adoption of the program (policy formulation) does not guarantee that the action on the ground will strictly follow the goals and objectives of policymakers. The phase of execution or implementation of policy by the responsible institutions and organizations that are often, but not always, part of the public sector is called implementation.

Policy evaluation. In order to complete the cycle of creation of public policies, it is necessary to include a mechanism for monitoring compliance policy makers with the target group for which they are intended, as a mechanism to evaluate the results. Even with these mechanisms, the policy can not meet the results that were initially presented. Policies are not perfect work of art. They are imperfect effort, subject to continuous improvement based on the data, comments, and changing circumstances and political climate.

Positive communication and public relations have particular importance when it comes to ranking the created policy to the public. But despite communication practitioners must be framing the message to the target audience, they also need to frame the message and the media. Of course framing the message of the media requires attention to the value of news. In this context, it is necessary to pay attention to the following:

  • Impact – the number of people affected, the severity of the consequences, the directness of the causes and consequences and immediacy of effect;

  • Proximity – the distance between the public and the problem or issue of concern;

  • Timeliness – The information should always be promptly placed;

  • Prominence – Journalists and their audience are interested in the private lives of individuals from public institutions;

  • News – people are interested in what is new, unique and unexpected;

  • Conflict – strikes, brutality, wars, crime, politics and sports. Conflict is the most common ingredient in the news, mainly because the media tempt to the public interest of sensational and uncertain way. Conflict situations often involve matters that are not specifically defined, insecure and uncertain about what is good or bad. [8]

However, the definition of news is not so simple. Communication practitioners must be framing the message in order to make it worthy of news, comprehensive and worthy of prompt action.

Eventually, the framing of the message required to pay attention to four basic facts:

  • The public consists of people. These people live, work and act within the framework of social institutions. Consequently, each individual is under different influences, from which the message communicator is just a small powerhouse;

  • People tend to see, hear communicators who proclaim certain perception of things which is similar to theirs;

  • The media create separate communities;

  • The media cover a wide range of different effects on individual and collective knowledge, predisposition and behavior;

  • Careful framing must take into account the desired and adverse effects of the message content.[9]

Results of the empirical research

Rational for airports is having the high quality of services which will attract a greater number of users or passengers. Quality of services covers all the parameters that will result in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction within the services offered affect the increasing of the number of users, which in turn affects the proportional increase in profits. Based on the foregoing, it is particularly important highlighting the role of positive communication in order to produce an efficient and effective public policy output by the airline companies at the airport.

According to the management of the airport, the flow of passengers at the airport (in a situation of normal distribution) is approximately 300 passengers per hour at 4 counters for check-in or departments arrival. However, due to recent technological advances in the field of security and the need for enhanced security, the tide may be slightly slower and reduced to about 200 passengers per hour. [10]

At the airport operate several airlines, such as: Macedonian Airlines; Adria Airways; Helvetic Airlines; GermanWings; JAT Airways, Wizz Air, Croatia Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines, Edelweiss Air AG, Hello LTD, Corendon Airlines.

When we analyses the quality of airport services, should also be emphasized that it is affected by multiple factors which be important determinants of quality of service by which consumers assess their quality.

In order to determine the quality of services offered at the Ohrid airport, it is conducted a survey that analysis of the satisfaction of passengers of the offered services. In the winter the number of flights is limited and there are flights to only two destinations, Basel and Zurich in Switzerland. The survey was conducted in February 2016, 31 passengers were interviewed, of which 16 passengers from flight from Basel and 15 passengers on the flight from Zurich. Set of 25 questions encompassing the entire package of services, including services at the airport before and after flight services on board during the flight. Flight to both destinations lasts about 2 hours, and passengers were interviewed by different gender and different ages. Respondents to each question to the satisfaction of specific service had the opportunity to give a score from 1 to 5, after which was calculated the average score of each service individually.

Discussion

A survey conducted for the flight from Basel covers 16 passengers of which 9 men and 7 women. Men in the age of 19-70 years and women of 32-78 years, so the total age rang would be from 19 to 78 years. Valuing each service with grades from 1 to 5 in Table 1 presents the average scores for each service separately, and the average service the whole package is 4.11. That is rated at 4, grade that speaks to the very good quality of service, and thus customer satisfaction thereof.

Table 1: Average grades for the quality of the service pack for the flight from Basel

 

 

Average rating for quality of the service

1

Way of buying the ticket

4.3

2

Security procedure

4.5

3

Performance procedure provision

4.3

4

Responsiveness and kindness of the staff

4.3

5

Timely execution of the procedures

3.9

6

Speed and delivery of the procedures

3.75

7

Size of the personal space of the seat on the plane

3.9

8

Space for hand luggage

3.8

9

Silence on board during the flight

3.3

10

Air quality

4.7

11

Purity of the toilets

3.6

12

Availability of the toilets

4.2

13

Purity of the cabin

4.3

14

Appearance of the cab

4.6

15

Smooth flight

4.75

16

Reaction on responsibility of the flight attendants

4.5

17

Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants

4.5

18

Availability of drinks during the flights

3.9

19

Quality of the food

3.5

20

Audio/video equipment on-board

3.4

21

Variety and availability of reading materials

3.25

22

Way of landing the plane

4.75

23

Organization upon leaving the plane

4.4

24

Delivery of the luggage at the airport

4.25

25

The overall impression of the service

4.25

Based on the resulting average score, on issues that are highlighted in the survey, can be drawn and individual conclusions. In terms of proving the main (general) hypothesis of this paper, namely: “The more attentive service of the airline staff, the more can be expected positive effect on the customer to selected the same tourist air company to traveling.” As priority issues that prove the general hypothesis of the above 25 questions, highlights the following issues:

1) Question / statement number 17: “Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants”

2) Question / statement number 23: “Organization upon leaving the plane”

3) Question / statement number 24: “Delivery of luggage at the airport.”

Graph 1: “Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants”

Based on the aforesaid, it finds that the percentage of satisfaction with the service of flight attendants is higher than the poor service. In fact, 73% of respondents have a positive impression in terms of service of stewardesses (categories: “good”, “very good” and “excellent”).

Regarding the statement number 23, or “Organization upon leaving the plane,” redistribution of responses is as follows:

Graph 2: “Organization upon leaving the plane”

According to the presented data, the respondents have a positive attitude to the service provided to the organization upon leaving the plane. In fact, 33% of respondents have a negative to a satisfactory position, while the remaining 67% have well to excellent attitude (categories: “good”, “very good” and “excellent”). Based on the foregoing, it is very likely positive impressions by the respondents also tourists in Ohrid, to convey the positive mood within their tourist stay.

The distribution of responses to the conclusion number 24 or “Delivery of luggage at the airport,” can be traced in the graph 3:

Graph 3: “Delivery of luggage at the airport”

Based on the above, in terms of the delivery of the luggage at the airport, however, there is the some skeptical level among respondents. The largely predominant proportion of the adequacy of the service, ie 54%, while a smaller percentage of good-excellent feeling among respondents (26%) (categories: “good”, “very good” and “excellent”).

The analyzed data show that, in order to see the impact of airline service and further tourist treatment based on allocated matter of proving the general hypothesis, a large percentage of respondents who use the flight Basel-Ohrid are satisfied with the service, and also is possible to improve it (particularly in the delivery of luggage to the airport).

Also, it is conducted a survey at flight from Zurich that covers 15 passengers including 7 men and 8 women. Men are in the age of 23-61 years and women 21-53 years, so the total age rang would be from 21 to 61 years. Table 2 presents the average scores for each service separately, and the average service the whole package is 4.11 or grade 4, which speaks of the very good quality of services and satisfaction of passengers when using them.

Table 2: Average grades for the quality of the service pack for the flight from Zurich

 

 

Average rating for quality of the service

1

Way of buying the ticket

4.4

2

Security procedure

4.3

3

Performance procedure provision

4.3

4

Responsiveness and kindness of the staff

4.5

5

Timely execution of the procedures

3.7

6

Speed and delivery of the procedures

4.0

7

Size of the personal space of the seat on the plane

4.4

8

Space for hand luggage

3.8

9

Silence on board during the flight

4.5

10

Air quality

4.0

11

Purity of the toilets

3.8

12

Availability of the toilets

4.4

13

Purity of the cabin

4.1

14

Appearance of the cab

4.5

15

Smooth flight

4.5

16

Reaction on responsibility of the flight attendants

4.8

17

Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants

4.6

18

Availability of drinks during the flights

4.5

19

Quality of the food

3.2

20

Audio/Video equipment on-board

2.9

21

Variety and availability of reading materials

3.1

22

Way of landing the plane

4.5

23

Organization upon leaving the plane

4.3

24

Delivery of the luggage at the airport

3.6

25

The overall impression of the service

4.2

According to the questions of analysis and also in order to prove the general hypothesis of this paper, they are discussed within the flight Zurich-Ohrid.

The distribution of question number 17 or “Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants,” can be seen in the graph 4:

Graph 4: “Courtesy and friendliness of the flight attendants”

According to the above, respondents have a high level of sufficiency of civility and responsibility of flight attendants during the flight Zurich-Ohrid. Namely, within the categories (“good”, “very good” and “excellent”), 75% have a positive experience with the service, which is particularly high percentage, compared to 11% who have poor experience and 14% have a satisfactory experience.

The distribution of answers to the question / statement number 23 or “Organization upon leaving the plane” is applied in Graph 5:

Graph 5: “Organization upon leaving the plane”

The data obtained in Graph 5 shows that, again, to some extent, there is a high level of satisfaction with the service conditions of the organization upon leaving the plane, with 8% of respondents are poorly satisfied with the service, 24% of respondents are determined to level “satisfactory”, while within categories (“good”, “very good” and “excellent”), the ultimate answer is 68%. Again, there is recognition of a high level of satisfaction of service that respondents have positive impressions in this area.

The distribution of answers to question number 24, can be seen in under Graph 6:

Graph 6: “Delivery of luggage at the airport”

According to the above, there was a similar conclusion as the respondents in the flight Basel-Ohrid, ie on the basis of comparison with other services that have been elaborated in order to prove the general hypothesis, however, we recognize that in the service delivery of luggage there certain shortcomings that passengers (in this context respondents) recognize them. Moreover, 24% of respondents have a negative (weak) context to the situation, 37% are satisfactory, while 39% are satisfied (categories: “good”, “very good” and “excellent”).

Conclusion

Public opinion is product of the public sphere and a key concept in decision making. Public opinion refers to: Works associated with the state, government or social institutions; The questions that are open and accessible to everyone; Issues, policies or decisions relating to people who do not participate in their adoption; Issues of common interest; Public good (as opposed to private interests); Public opinion is formed through the processes of collective decision-making; Articulating issues of concern. Develop possible solutions to the problem; Decision makers assess the consequences of choosing one option versus another; Decision makers evaluate alternatives; The process of decision making. Without the role of public opinion can not imagine the process of creating public policies.

The goal of this paper was to give a clear account of the essential importance of the public, in particular the positive communication and public relations that animate the public towards accepting the established public policy. The empirical research that is realized examine the availability and positivity of aviation services at the airport “ St.Paul the Apostle” in Ohrid, Macedonia. More specifically, the survey was conducted on a group of participants who use flights from Basel and Zurich. The following hypothesis it is demonstrated as a positive “The more attentiveness is the reference to the positive communication when using air services, the more can be expected positive effect on client acceptance of the public policy manifested by the airline company.”

In terms of the answers which are further analyzed and descriptively interpreted, extracted conclusion that respondents also tourists in the municipality of Ohrid are satisfied with the implementation of the flight (flight Basel-Ohrid and flight Zurich-Ohrid), which were several aspects regarding the competence of personnel for greater comfort of the participants, such as: courtesy, kindness and responsibility of flight attendants, further organization of the flight, exiting flight and the like. Some domain of poor organization by passengers indicated on delivery and raise the luggage of the future is necessary to work. The enclosed questionnaire confirms the satisfaction of the passengers of the services offered at the airport in Ohrid, while assessing the full package on a scale of 1-5 with an average score of 4. This suggests that most services have improved than before, but still little need to be addressed and services offered to be at the highest level, close to the prescribed international standards in this area. In terms of the above, it is necessary in the future policy of the available service by the airline to bear on the basis of conducted detailed surveys of customer satisfaction, in preference to the communication that sets the interpteted policy to the public.

Based on the data obtained from the empirical research, it is safe to conclude that effectively implemented and built public policy as a positive way to effective communication frame is transmitted to the target audience or clients, is a basic condition for a larger tourist success of the airline company and its services.

References:

[1] Груевски, Т. (2007). Односи со јавноста: Скопје: Студиорум, 126.

[2] Bourdieu, Pi. (2001). Public Opinion Does Not Exist, Mattelart, Armand, Siegelaub, Seth, “Communication and Class Struggle, Vol I, New York, 197/2001, pp. 124 – 130.

[3] Bourdieu, Pierre (2001). Public Opinion Does Not Exist, Mattelart, Armand, Siegelaub, Seth, “Communication and Class Struggle, New York, Vol I, 197/2001, pp. 124.

[4] Јакимовски, (2002). Јавност и јавно мислење. Скопје: Маргор, 17.

[5] Dewey, J. (1999). Javnost in njeni problem. Ljubljana: Fakultata za druzbene vede, p. 145.

[6] Brooker, R., Shafer, Todd. (2006). Public Opinion in the 21th Century. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, p. 19.

[7] Rot, N. (2004). Osnovi socijalne psihologije, p. 44.

[8] Brooks, S. Brian, Kennedy, George, Moen, R. Daryl и Ranly, Don. (2005). News Reporting and Writing, 3 ed., New York: St. Martin’s Press.

[9] Cutlip, M. Scott, Center, H. Allen и Broom, M. Glen. (2006). Effective Public Relations, 9th ed., New Jersey: Pearson Education International, p. 347.

[10] Национална стратегија за развој на туризмот 2009 – 2013, Влада на Република Македонија, 54 = 55.

  • Научното електронното списание „Реторика и комуникации” започва да се издава като част от дейностите по проект № 167 от 2011 г., НИС, СУ „Св. Климент Охридски” „Особености на академичната комуникация в интернет (Уеб 2.0): писане и публикуване в научни електронни списания”.
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