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Definitions of Public Relations

According to (online), public relations is the practice of managing the public face of a company to prospective clients or investors. PR is often handled by an outside agency that will typically have higher levels of contact with the relevant media than the organization itself. Press releases will usually be routed through that PR agency to relevant media in the outside world (PR or Public Relations, 2004).

According to the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (online), another definition of public relations is that it includes ongoing activities to ensure the company has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the company and its products. Often, public relations are conducted through the media including but not limited to newspapers, magazines and television. Public relations is often considered as one of the primary activities included in promoting an organization's services or products (McNamara, 1999).

The Public Relations Society of America (online) has formally adopted this third definition of PR: "Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other." In this definition, the essential functions of research, planning, communications dialogue and evaluation are implied according to the PRSA. The word organization is used rather than the more limiting term company or business. The term "publics" recognizes that organizations have multiple third parties from whom they must strive to receive consent or support (Official PRSA Definition).

There are several differences between the first two definitions of public relations and the third definition provided by the Public Relations Society of America including these:

The first two definitions reference companies. The PRSA definition references organizations. What can be inferred from this is that companies and non-profit organizations can benefit from an act...

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Definitions of Public Relations. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:10, February 26, 2017, from