"Public relations is the management function that identifies, establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and the various publics on whom its success or failure depends" - Scott Cutlip
Public relations, byname PR, is an aspect of communications involving the relations between an entity subject, to, or seeking public attention of the various publics that are, or may be interested in it. The entity seeking attention may be a business corporation, an individual politician, a performer or author, a government or government agency, a charitable organisation, a religious body, or almost any other person or organisation. The publics may include segments as narrow as female voters of a particular political party who are between 35 and 50 years of age or the shareholders in a particular corporation; or the publics may be as broad as any national population or the world at large. The concerns of public relations operate both ways between the subject entity, which may be thought of as the client, and the publics involved. The important elements of public relations are to acquaint the client with the public conceptions of the client and to affect these perceptions by focusing, curtailing, amplifying, or augmenting information about the client as it is conveyed to the publics.
Public relations encompasses a variety of marketing activities that strengthen organisations credibility, enhance organisations image and develop goodwill. These are usually targeted directly at an audience, such as speeches, special events, newsletters, and annual reports. A public relation involves communicating who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you make a difference.
The difference between publicity and public relations
The term's public relations and publicity are often misused. They are not interchangeable. Publicity is only one function of public relations. It is media coverage i.e. news stories, feature articles, talk show interviews, editorials and reviews. Other commonly confused terms are publicity and advertising. The key distinction is you pay for advertising. Because publicity is free, it is more credible and more likely to have an impact on the reader or viewer. Advertising is generally not considered a public relations function.
According to the Public Relations Institute of America: "Public relations is the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain understanding between an organisation and its public" (Malan and L'Estrange, 1981).
PR is a broad and complex activity although its basic objective is simple: to communicate in order to achieve understanding through knowledge. Consequently, PR exists, liked or not, and all modern organisations, because of their size and complexity, need and are concerned with PR. Good PR with the conscious effort to inform and be informed provides knowledge, understanding, goodwill and a good reputation. PR exists to...