Defining Public Relations

The practice of Public Relations is very important in the business world. PR is a field that has grown both in numbers and respect. It is a multibillion-dollar business and it is practiced by 158,000 professionals. I will be explaining my personal definition of PR as well as three other definitions from different sources. Then I will be contrasting the definitions and explaining why there are so many different definitions of PR. Public Relations is defined in many different ways.

To me PR is a communicator or organization having a relationship with the public they are reaching out to. It is about sending a message through a specific channel and form to persuade their audience and get their message out there. The first source, The First World Assembly of Public Relations Associates defines PR as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders and implementing planned programs of action which will serve both the organization and the public interest” (“Public Relations “, n. . ). The second source was the Britain’s definition of PR. The British define PR as “Reputational Management” (“Brittanica Academic Edition “, 2013). They focus on what a person says and does, and what other people say about that person. They also define it as managing reputation and how it influences opinion and behavior. The third source to define Public Relations was Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

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PRSA defines PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationship between organizations and their publics” (“Prsa Public Relations Society Of America “, 2013). There are different ways to define Public Relations and although they are different in certain ways each definition builds from one another and provides a different perspective. The first source presented by, The first World Assembly of Public Relations Associates is about trends and the insights to figure out consequences, and also in developing plans to meet these consequences.

This source was more strategic then my definition of PR but they still have a similar perception. The second definition provided by the British, focuses on PR as reputational management. It is about what you say and do and what others think and say about you. It is relatively different in comparison to the definition from the first source by The First World Assembly, which analyzes the trends and uses insights to predict consequences, and most importantly it develops plans to meet those consequences.

The last definition of PR provided by the source Public Relations Society of America, defining PR as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationship between organizations and their public, differs from the other definition because it is more complex and detailed by definition, but it is similar because it includes from the other definitions and expands the audience to a broader sense.

This definition acknowledges the relationship shared between the interest of PR professionals and the people in the community and its stakeholders it serves and depends on. Unlike the other definition from the other sources, the PRSA definition recognizes the communication process, which include marketing, advertising, and overall the elements of public relations. Public Relations is hard to define because it can be interpreted in many different forms or in a broader perspective.

From this research we can see that there are many different definitions of PR. Public Relations definitions may vary from each other but they also connect and grow from one another. As technology advances our beliefs on global business economies become more common. The PR role within organizations will continue growing and the definition of PR will evolve to be more complex.

Public Relations . (n.d.). Retrieved from Brittanica Academic Edition . (2013). Retrieved from

PRSA Public Relations Society of America . (2013). Retrieved from

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