Community relations is a growing career field. Those involved in this field organize events and sponsor communications that facilitate interaction between an organization and the community at large. Community relations creates a bridge between an organization and the community. Its role is to build and maintain relationships between neighbors, and make resources available to members of the community not necessarily part of the organization.
A Community Relations Specialist is responsible for the development and implementation of various outreach programs, working with an organization to develop activities that enhance the organization’s reputation within the community. These individuals set up events, fairs, or other activities that bring the organization into the community. A Community Relations Manager is responsible for managing all of the community development programs in an organization. These individuals plan, develop, and implement the programs that promote community awareness of the organization, supervising the image of the organization within the community.
The Department of Justice, for example, has a Community Relations Service, described as a peacemaker in the case of community conflicts. This agency works with all involved parties in order to understand the interests of all and work towards mutual understanding. It also seeks to develop local mechanisms that will prevent future tension and conflict within a community.