Public Relations is distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication as its principal tools.
-Rex F. Harlow
Functions of Public Relations
Public Relations is establishing the relationship among the two groups (organization and public).
Art or Science of developing reciprocal understanding and goodwill.
It analyses the public perception & attitude, identifies the organization policy with public interest and then executes the programs for communication with the public.
Elements of Public Relations
The relationship between an organization and its publics and evaluation of public attitudes and opinions.
An organization's policies, procedures and actions as they relate to said organization's publics.
Steps taken to ensure that said policies, procedures and actions are in the public interest and socially responsible.
Development of rapport, goodwill, understanding and acceptance as the chief end result sought by public relations activities.
Mass Media and Public Relations
Media relations is the core activity in many public relations jobs and Media relations has over the years become an increasingly significant profile and has added value to the business bottom line.
In the constant effort to get free space in the media for their clients, press agents or publicists used every possible trick to take advantage of the newspapers and other media.
Today the best corporate communications departments actively set the discussion agenda for the organisation in the media.
According to Kelly et al. (2002, p.271) the main purposes of news releases to the media are to provide the society with an accurate understanding of corporate activities and to carry out one’s responsibility to inform the public.
public relations must assume that maintaining good relationships with the mass media is their major responsibility and it is today as explained by in the competitive setting.
Mass Media and Public Relations
In the relationship among public relations, mass media, and the audience, it is often the mass media who are deemed the power brokers in their ability to potentially influence an audience.
Public relations practitioners have the ability to assist the production of mass media content through various proactive public relations strategies that are designed to promote and present the organization they represent in the most positive manner.
Public relations practitioners must operate from an assumption that they have the power to influence mass media content, acting as an advocate on behalf of the organization they represent through the public relations strategies they implement.
public relations practitioners must make is that these strategies favorably influence the opinion and behavior of the audience, particularly the target audience the organization is seeking.
Public Relations and it’s Challenges
PR is about our thinking processes and what we are able to deliver. It’s about image-building, dealing with issues management. The role is about reducing conflicts. The challenge is in maintaining it as a management role.
It’s not just about sending out press releases. It demands networking with the media and we must know the people running the newspapers. We must know how to network with them, how to manage our relationship with the press.
PR in the new millennium is about staying ahead of technology to be effective.
Now it’s very complex – because of the Internet, everyone has a say. PR is evolving because of the Net. People are more knowledgeable. PR is a field that is entwined with the community, so we must be in the know.
Access to instant information is very, very real. We are in a global playing field. The moment we set up a website, we are in the field. What we think is right here may be perceived differently elsewhere.
A periodic journal, Challenges in PR in the new millennium, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
S. Rama Krishnan, The Role of Media Relations in Corporate Public Relations.
Training Program on Public Relations, Anchor Institute
Anna Institute of Management, Chennai - 600 028.
Public Relations Handbook, The American Legion, 2007.