You actually often hear people refer to public relations or PR seeing that something positive or negative that a company received in response to an action. “Wow, they got good PR out of that! ” But , what exactly does that mean?
The confusion of what public relations is or what it encompasses is not surprising since the field is so multi-faceted. Research will show that the term public relations is often grouped under marketing and used synonymously with other individuals such as community relations, media relations, public affairs, image enhancement, publicity, and promotion.
In fact , leading experts inside PR field often disagree, offering numerous definitions for clarification. Rex Harlow, a pioneer in public relations knowledge, complied over 500 definitions from a variety of sources between complex essays to simple descriptions. One of my absolute favorites is, “PR stands for Performance and then Recognition. ”
With 1981, the Public Relations Society of America attempted to stop the confusion, by forming a task force with the assignment of defining public relations once and for all. They landed on this exact definition, “Public relations helps an organization and its publics conform mutually to one another. It is an organizations efforts to win often the cooperation of groups of people. ”
But the real concern is, why does this matter? Why should I understand and have a need for public relations in my business? Authors Cutlip, Center, along with Broom offer some help to these questions. In the sixth edition of their reference book, Effective Public Relations, They declare that public relations is, “the management function that identifies, secures, and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization along with the various publics on whom it’s success or failure depend. micron
This definition is great in that it, first, identifies which public relations does not just happen. It is truly a function that need to be created. Second, this definition contains the key phrase, “success as well as failure. ” This is why public relations efforts are so essential. The way your company interacts with and represents itself to the world will probably determine the fate of your company.
We know that the involving public relations is ever evolving and often disputed. However , there is just one clear and common thread that is woven throughout these kind of definitions. They all involve relationships and interactions. Simply put, pr is all about communication. It is working to produce effective communication meant to influence, provide information, and gain understanding.
Perhaps the nearly all understood public relations action is use of the media to talk to and promote to target markets. Submitting press releases, gaining subjection, and developing promotional campaigns is something we can destroy our teeth into. However , it is important not to confuse advertising and public relations. Advertising is a paid tool that can be used to support advertising efforts. When used effectively together, the two can make a potent team.
Keep in mind that media relations and publicity are just a some of the many areas of public relations. Effective communications need to occur with all of your “publics” both internal and external. For example , your enterprise cannot function without clear understanding and communication with the bankers, investors, and/or board members. You depend on a new relationship with your local community to support your efforts. And, you trust your employees to support your image. Public relations involves getting and implementing a successful communication plan to work with and within these groups for the benefit of all.
And, what happens if things don’t turn out as planned? Enter public relations all over again! Public relations efforts must be pro-active in order to protect the image in addition to reputation of the company. From crisis planning to the simple development of apparent responses to community questions, it is in the best interest of the corporation and their publics to be prepared.
Perhaps the most ironic matter about public relations is that the field itself has a poor picture. For some, the term PR tends to conjure up thoughts of deceptive and self-serving rhetoric. They picture obnoxious, celebrity press agents of today who believe that any press is good push. Some picture historical event promoters such as P. Big t. Barnum, of Barnum & Bailey Circus, who work with exaggeration and hype to entertain.
Unfortunately, it is accurate that not everyone engaging in public relations activities is working in the best public interest. But it is also important to recognize there are wonderful, ethical, and positive public relations actions going down all around us. In fact , without them, we would be a lost society.
The art of public relations is one that has deep and historical roots. In any respect, it’s as old as communication itself. Government, foi, and business have and always will rely on public relations. Ponder over it, what would be different in our world if the Catholic Ceremony hadn’t taught its priests to “propagate” the religious beliefs? Without communications developed to influence targeted publics, the way would we be persuaded to accept the authority of government leaders or to take a position on a public issue? We can easily even thank event promoters in ancient Athens with regard to building the foundation for special event planning of today. It takes precisely the same basic public relations skills to promote the Olympics then so it does now… now that’s an event!