Public Relations Definition
What Does It Really Mean?

Public Relations Definition / How Is Public Relations Defined?

Edward Louis Bernays, who is generally accepted to be the founder of public relations as a profession. Bernays also the self appointed father of public relations defined it as a management function that tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures, and interests of an organization followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.

Bernays describes the origin of the term as an alternative to the word propaganda which the Germans had used during the war and had acquired a totally negative connotation.  The alternate Bernays coined was Counsel on Public Relations. Thus was born the term public relations also often referred to as PR.

At present public relations includes the set of management, supervisory, and technical functions which cultivates the ability of an organization to establish a method for feedback which can optimize the capability of the business to listen and respond to those individuals or organizations with whom symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationships exist which are necessary if the organization is to achieve its goals and mission.

Public Relations Definition / Public Relations vs Advertising

In advertising an organization has to pay for whatever message that it puts out in newspapers, radio, or television. Public relations is diametrically opposite to advertising because messages are not paid for by the organization or individual concerned. The information or message being spread is a result of third party efforts.

This third party involvement is what makes Public relations more effective than plain advertising because the credibility that the third party possesses is brought by association to the reputation of the organization. The audience feels that if an objective third party is doing the feature then the organization involved must be doing worthwhile projects.

Public Relations Definition / Long Lasting Effects

There are several other reasons that make Public relations more desirable than advertising. The first reason is cost effectiveness. The cost incurred in engaging in the publicity side of public relations are generally only phone calls and mailings to media outlets. Publicity is also has a longer effect than advertising. Articles and features will be remembered longer than advertising.

The audience that public relations can reach is potentially much wider than advertising. National media can sometimes pick up on your messages and spread it across the country.

Thank you for visiting the Public Relations Definition page. For more information about public relations and how public relations can boost the reputation of your business follow these links:

Advertising vs Public Relations. How do they compare. Find out here.

Learn the art of persuasion. See the Public Relations Theory page.

Get on a handle on how to set a success campaign in motion. Go to the Public Relations Plan page.

Can the Public Relations History help me understand how to implement more successfully? Yes, it can.

Need more sources of info on PR? See the Public Relations Articles page.

Get more see our Public Relations Magazines page.

What are the Functions of Public Relations? Find out here.

For a deeper analysis of PR go to the What is Public Relations page.

Get more Public Relations Theories. Knowledge is power.

See the top Public Relations Blogs here.

Get equipped to spotlight your business. See our Public Relations Tips page.

Need a Public Relations Proposal. We can help. More here.

Spotlight your product effectively. Find out more on the Product Public Relations page.

Build your business with integrity. Go to the Ethics in Public Relations page for more.


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