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"Using Perceptual Maps In Marketing" Simulation

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Defining Public Relations

Personal Definition of Public Relations

The field of Public Relations is comprised of so many different functions, as well as conformable and applicable to a vast array of organizational settings and publics. Public Relations professionals cannot possibly commit to being proficient in all areas of required intellectual capacity, and so specialize according to their intrinsic skills. In the following essay, I will attempt to define Public Relations based on my own interpretation, as well as other outside sources. I will compare and contrast three published definitions of public relations in an attempt to explain why the field of Public Relations is so difficult to define.

Public Relations is a general term used to encompass the strategies involved in positively impacting an organization's publics, which reciprocates by positively affecting the growth, maintenance, or support of the organization. The Public Relations field is comprised of multiple specialties, each with their own subsequent intellectually-skilled constituents. The role of the Public Relations professional varies, and is highly dependent upon the establishment he or she represents.

The study of Public Relations cannot be assigned to one particular category due to its

complex nature. The study is the art of communication, literature, critical observation,

reception, and interpretation; the sciences of psychology, sociology, and anthropology;

and the schools of management and mediation, leadership and persuasion, planning and

implementation, outcome and reevaluation. The study and practice of Public Relations manifests itself in an ever-changing environment, and so must be adaptable to these changes.

The field of Public Relations requires the concentrated knowledge and skills applicable to each unique organization, including their philosophy, ethics, goals, and publics. Public Relations Professionals act as liaisons, working to ensure everyone affected by the organization's purpose, both internally and externally, is represented in a complimentary manner that is equally condoned by and beneficial to each group.

Published Definitions of Public Relations

The Public Relations Society of America's web site displays their adopted version of the definition of Public Relations, which reads "Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other (About Public Relations)." In the text Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice,, the authors reveal their own definition of Public Relations, which reads: Public relations is a leadership and management function that helps achieve organizational objectives, define philosophy,

and facilitate organizational change. Public relations practitioners communicate with all

relevant internal and external publics to develop positive relationships and to create consistency between organizational goals and societal expectations. Public relations practitioners develop, execute, and evaluate organizational programs that promote the exchange of influence and understanding among an organization's constituent parts and publics (Littimore, 2003).

A more complicated definition can be found on Carter Macnamara's Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Website, and reads as follows: Public relations includes ongoing activities to ensure the organization has a strong public image. Public relations activities include helping the public to understand the organization and its products. Similar to effective advertising and promotions, effective public relations often depends on

designing and implementing a well-designed public relations plan. The plan often includes description of what you want to convey to whom, how you plan to convey it, which is responsible for various activities and by when, and how much money is

budgeted to fund these activities. Similar to advertising and promotions, a media plan and

calendar can be very useful, which specifies what media methods that are used and when.

The three definitions stated above are similar in nature, yet composed to fit the setting

in which they apply. The PRSA definition is a well thought out statement designed to be simple, yet applicable to any organizational setting and/or publics. The strategies involved in Public Relations are implied in the wording, instead of obviously stated, as in the comparative

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