Defining Public Relations

Essay by k-to-the-cUniversity, Bachelor's September 2007

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 105 times

Organizations today must understand the importance of public relations in order to for an organization to be in touch with society, and vice versa, to maintain a desired company image. Because the definition of public relations may be different from each source, trying to narrow down the wide variety of definitions to one that encompasses all that public relation has proven been a challenge over the decades. In this paper, I will give my own personal definition of public relations and those of three other sources. Furthermore, I will compare and contrast the three definitions and explain why public relations have a variety of meanings. Personal DefinitionSome might think that public relations are simply communicating to the public to sell an organization. However, I believe that public relations are much more involved than that. In addition to selling an organization's image, public relations include promoting an organization to generate a favorable image and perception among the internal and external publics.

In other words, public relations are about influencing the opinions of internal and external publics about an organization. Three DefinitionsAccording to the Public Relations Society of America official statement, "public relations helps our complex, pluralistic society to reach decisions and function more effectively by contributing to mutual understanding among groups and institutions. It serves to bring private and public policies into harmony," (PRSA, n.d.)Fraser Seital, author of The Practice of Public Relations, defines public relations as a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication (Seital, 2004, pg. 3). The author dub it as a working definition because they understand that the public relation concept is rather broad to simply to narrow down to a few words. Dr. Carter McNamara defines public relations as the, "ongoing activities to ensure the...