Defining Public Relations

Essay by kimberliciousUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2009

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Public Relations (PR) is vital to building a business. A simple definition of PR would be planned and continued activities geared towards helping an institution create a social environment, favorable for success and growth. The scope of work in PR activities may change from company to company, but the same concept applies; building a reputation for growth. This paper will illustrate the definition of public relation from four sources including the writer’s understanding. These definitions will be compared for differences and similarities and it will further be demonstrated why there are so many definitions of Public Relations.

Public relations (PR) is the bridge between a company and the public. PR practitioners are skilled publicist, with their main goal being to enhance a company’s reputation. The PR service demonstrates to the public and media an understanding of how a company works. Some of the commonly used tools to relay a company’s message include press releases or conferences, advertisements, community service programs to name a few.

The Public Relations Society of America has adopted the following definition for PR: “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other. Public relations helps our complex, pluralistic society to reach decisions and function more effectively by contributing to mutual understanding among groups and institutions. Public relations serves a wide variety of institutions. To achieve their goals, these institutions must develop effective relationships with many different audiences or publics such as employees, members, customers, local communities, shareholders, and other institutions and with society at large.” Superior public relations results in the connection between a company’s own perception of itself and how on-lookers distinguish the organization.

According to two American Public Relations specialist, Scott M. Cutlips and Allen H, Center PR can be defined as “….a planned effort to influence opinion through good...