In today's high performance business environment public relations (PR) is more important than ever before. Public relations are a two-way communication between an organization and the public. PR, a highly evolving practice that is seldom defined the same way twice, is the cornerstone of an organization or individual's reputation within the market. This paper, in addition to defining PR, will compare and contrast examples of the many definitions of PR and explain why so many definitions exist relating to a practice that all business organizations agree is vital to success.
The Institute for Public relations defines public relations as, "Ã¢ÂÂ¦the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics" (Building Brands, 2008). Another accepted definition of public relations comes from the governing body of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The definition that was formally adopted in 1988 has become the most accepted and widely used: "Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other."
(UOP, 2008, Para 1). Author Fraser P. Seitel (2004) reveals that, "Public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication" (p. 3). Carter McNamera (2008), founder and developer of the Free Management Library definition of public relations includes, "Ã¢ÂÂ¦ongoing activities to ensure the overall company has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the company and its products. Often, public relations are conducted through the media, that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etcÃ¢ÂÂ¦" (Para 5, 2008).
Finally in this writer's personal definition, public relations practitioners work as an advocate for the organization or individual. PR is it art of developing, promoting and maintaining a relationship with the...