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Public Relations. An Introduction. A working definition. Public relations is a leadership and management function that helps achieve organizational objectives, define philosophy, and facilitate organizational change.

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public relations

Public Relations

An Introduction

a working definition
A working definition
  • 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.
a two way relationship
A two way relationship
  • Public relations work is all about developing effective relationships between organizations and groups that are important to them, including the media, customers, employees, investors, community leaders and members, activist groups, and government agencies. These relationships should benefit both parties.
public relations distinguished
Public Relations Distinguished
  • The distinction between advertising and PR is more easily made: advertising involves paying a medium (TV, radio, newspaper or magazine, for example) for airtime or column inches in which to put across a promotional message.

The content of an ad is always

controlled by the advertiser, unlike the content of editorial pages or programmes, which are controlled by journalists.

pr v s advertising cont
PR v/s Advertising Cont.
  • The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising defines advertising as follows:
  • “Advertising presents the most persuasive possible selling message to the right prospects for the product or service at the lowest possible cost.”
pr v s advertising cont1
PR v/s Advertising Cont.
  • ‘selling message’ distinguishes the two disciplines – PR aims not to increase sales, but to increase understanding. Sometimes, of course, understanding a product or service improves sales, but PR does not claim a direct causal link.
marketing v s pr
Marketing v/s PR
  • The Institute of Marketing defines marketing as: ‘The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumer requirements profitably’.
marketing v s pr cont
Marketing v/s PR Cont.
  • The two central words here are ‘consumer’ and ‘profit’. Understanding the consumer and producing products or services that will satisfy consumer needs to the profit of the supplier is the traditional arena of marketing. There is a clear exchange – money for goods or services. It is easily measured.
marketing v s pr cont1
Marketing v/s PR Cont.
  • Marketing campaigns are often preceded and followed by research to measure the degree to which an attitude or behaviour has changed after the marketing activity. Have more people heard of the product now? Have they bought (or used) it, or are they more likely to?
marketing v s pr cont2
Marketing v/s PR Cont.
  • However, public relations campaigns are often harder to quantify. Many organisations– the armed services, charities, local and central government, for example – do not have goods or services to sell. But they do all have messages to communicate and – importantly – to receive.

They need to maintain relationships with all those who may work for them, give time or money, raise complaints, or vote for or against them.

propaganda v s pr
Propaganda v/s PR
  • Propaganda is the dissemination of information aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviours of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense, often presents information primarily in order to influence its audience.
propaganda v s pr1
Propaganda v/s PR
  • Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.
pr v s publicity
PR v/s Publicity
  • Publicity results from information being made known. Hence, publicity is a result.
  • This result maybe uncontrollable and it maybe good and bad publicity.
  • Behaviour has a great bearing on whether publicity is good and bad and PR is very much about the behaviour of individuals, organizations, products and services.
  • There are several kinds of image and we will now consider five kinds: the mirror, current, wish, corporate and multiple image.
the mirror image
The Mirror Image
  • This image is the one people in an organization, especially its leaders, believe to be the impression outsiders have of the organization.
  • This could be an illusion bred on wishful thinking because knowledge and understanding of outside opinion is lacking.
the current image
The current image
  • This is the one held by people outside the organization, and it may be based on experience or on poor information and understanding.
  • The current image depends on how much people know and in a busy world their knowledge will be less perfect than that of those people within the organization.
mirror v s current image
Mirror v/s Current Image
  • One of the jobs of the PRO maybe to interpret the attitudes of outsiders to management, who may well have false ideas about outside opinion.
  • These outsiders could be important publics: they could be potential staff, customers, shopkeepers, politicians, journalists, TV and radio presenters- all kinds of people whose comprehension of the organizations is important.
the wish image
The Wish image
  • This is the desired image, the one management wishes to achieve. Again, it is not so much a favourable or preferred image as a true one.
the corporate image
The Corporate Image
  • Here we have the image of the organization itself rather than of the products and services. The corporate image may be made up of many things such as company history, financial success and stability, quality of production, export success, industrial relations and reputation as an employer, social responsibility and research record.
the multiple image
The Multiple Image
  • A number of individuals, branches or other representations can each create a particular image which does not conform to a uniform image for the total organization.
  • The problem maybe overcome by the use of uniforms, vehicle liveries (decorations), symbols, badges, staff training and in the case of shop design, name displays, interior layout and display materials.
good and bad images
Good and Bad Images
  • An ideal PR image should only be a true impression based on experience and knowledge and understanding of facts.
  • A better image has to be earned by putting right the cases of the bad image – whether they be faulty behaviour or faulty information.
  • If PR is to be credible, it must avoid false image making.
what makes a good pr practitioner
What makes a good PR Practitioner?
  • Ability to get on with all kinds of people: this means understanding, sometimes tolerating people, not flattering them.
  • Ability to communicate: that is, explain by means of spoken or written word, or by visual device or photography.
  • Ability to organize: planning
  • Personal integrity in both professional and private life.
  • Imagination: that is a creative sense, as when designing a house journal, writing a script for a film or videotape, planning campaigns and seeking solutions to problems.
  • Ability to find out: that is to have ready access to info.
  • Ability to research and evaluate the results of a PR campaign, and learn from these findings.
publics defined
Publics Defined
  • Publics are those groups of people, internally and externally with whom an organization communicates.
ten basic publics
Ten basic publics
  • The community
  • Potential employees
  • Employees
  • Suppliers of services and materials
  • Investors- the money market
  • Distributors
  • Consumers and users
  • Opinion leaders
  • Trade unions
analysis of ten publics
Analysis of Ten Publics
  • The community will depend on the type of organization. It will be different for a department store, local authority, factory, research lab, hotel airport, hospital, prison.
potential employees
Potential Employees
  • Potential employees may exist in other organizations, or can be recruited from schools, colleges and universities, or from overseas.
  • Employees can be of many kinds, some of which are: management and executives; laboratory, factory and warehouse workers; office staff etc.
  • Suppliers can be two kinds, those who supply services such as water and energy, and those who supply raw materials, components, packaging and professional services.
the financial publics
The financial publics
  • These begin with the local bank and, if it is a public company- its shares being sold on the Stock exchange- investors will consist not only of buyers of securities but also investment analysts (who advise on sharing and buying) and big share buyers.
  • Those who handle the goods in bulk between producer and consumer- vary in kind and number according to the organization. Thus distributors may include wholesalers, commission agents, retailers, etc.
opinion leaders
Opinion Leaders
  • Opinion leaders or formers comprise all those people whose expressed opinions can harm or help an organization. According to the organization, opinion leaders can be numerous and ever changing, ranging from parents to politicians, priests to protestors.
the media
The Media
  • The media are your organization’s direct route to your publics.
  • Publishers, producers, editors, journalists have total control over what your publics see and hear in their media.
the publics
The Publics
  • Primary Publics: The media- External
  • Editors
  • Journalists
  • Reporters
  • Feature writers
  • Press photographers
  • TV producers & editors
  • Radio producers& editors
  • Associate companies
  • Candidate employees
  • Existing employees
  • Management
  • New employees
  • Overseas associates
  • Shareholders
  • Trade unions
ultimate publics
Ultimate publics

General public

Health authorities

Investment analysts


Opinion leaders




Trade unions

  • Academics
  • Children
  • Competitors
  • Customers and consumers
  • Distributors
  • End users
  • Financial institutions
  • Foreign governments