When people ask us what PR is, how do you respond? Well, it’s funny to say, but unfortunately even the PR professionals have a hard time answering that question as well. What is Public Relations?
Public relations has been an essential field of work for hundreds of years, yet explaining what exactly these professionals do brings even the experts to endless debate. PR is a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics, at least for now. PRSA says the definition of public relations is often evolving alongside public relations’ changing roles and technological advances. While the exact definition of public relations is not set in stone, the field has come a long way in becoming a reputable and important part of a successful business.
PRSA created a list of what public relations encompasses:
- Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization.
- Counseling management at all levels in the organization with regard to policy decisions, courses of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities.
- Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organization’s aims. These may include marketing; financial; fund raising; employee, community or government relations; and other programs.
- Planning and implementing the organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy. Setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short, managing the resources needed to perform all of the above.
Like we mentioned before, public relations is always evolving and changing. When will there be a new definition to PR? What will it be? Will there ever be a consistent definition? We don’t know! But what is most important is how you will answer the question, “What is PR?”