What is Public relations?
• There has always been confusion about whether public
relations include advertising, marketing and so on.
• Two decades ago, marketing and PR were two vastly
different functions and PR was an unimportant part of
• But in the past 20 years, the meaning and importance
of PR in a company has reached a position where PR
serves as the face of the company as the name ‘Public
Relations’ suggest. It has become a vital factor for the
success of any company, professional, celebrity or
• The concept of Public Relations is about
maintaining and enhancing reputation.
• The meaning of Public Relations is different for
different people/ publics.
• Public Relations is often defined with the help of
its tools and techniques such as publicity in the
newspaper, or publicity that attracts sales of a
company or in case of government it is about
creating awareness and dispersal of information.
• The effort by an organization of establishing and
maintaining goodwill with its various publics
(customers, employees, investors, suppliers,
government, opinion leaders, etc.) is known as
• M. Cutlip, Allen H. Center, and Glen M. Broom
provide another widely taught definition
stating, “Public Relation is the management
function that identifies, establishes, and
maintains mutually beneficial relationships
between an organization and the various
publics on whom its success or failure
In order to clearly understand what public relations mean this
definition can be divided into four parts:
• First, it emphasizes on public relations as a ‘management
function’– As a management function it involves planning
about what is to be done and how it is to be done in order
to achieve the desired outcome.
• Further, the terms ‘identifies, establishes, and maintains’
refer to the immense research and sustained efforts.
• Thirdly, it emphasizes on ‘mutually beneficial relationships’.
Mutually beneficial relationship refers to the two-way
process that helps the organization to take steps in the
interests of both related publics and itself.
• Lastly, it emphasizes that its success or failure depends
largely on its various publics.
• The word publics refers to specific target audiences
within the general public. Different publics have
different interests in the same organization. Therefore,
every kind of public should be treated in a distinct
manner and must be reached and communicated
through a unique public relations initiative.
• Publics for an organization could be customers,
employees, investors, media, shareholders, business
• For example, for an NGO, its donors, members,
potential supporters and volunteers could be publics.
Also, publics of newspapers could be its readers,
advertisers, employees, general public, government
officials and shareholders.
• Public Relations as a function can be most efficient
only when it is done with proper planning by the PR
professionals of the organization.
• As soon as a PR problem or opportunity is defined, the
PR department should start planning carefully so that
strategic decisions can be taken about what is to be
done and how it is to be done in order to make
something happen or prevent it from happening, as in
the best interest of the organization.
• Preparing a plan does not guarantee success, but it
enhances the probability of success.
• Thus, proper planning of PR function is important and
PR as a function cannot be left to chance.
Public Relations is neither Advertising,
Publicity, Propaganda nor Lobbying.
• Advertising is one way communication by an organization with an
objective to disseminate information about a product, service or an idea
through paid media. For example, getting an advertisement published in
the local newspaper is advertisement as the company is paying for it. But,
if a journalist thinks that the activities of a company or product is worth an
article and writes about it, this would be public relations as it is free.
• Publicity is a deliberate attempt to gain public attention towards a
particular product or activity. It is generally done for a short term and is
not always under the control of the organization.
• Propaganda is a deliberate and systematic attempt to influence attitudes,
opinions and actions of the target audience. Propaganda usually has a
negative connotation attached with it.
• Lobbying is building and maintaining relations with legislators and
government officials to influence legislation and regulation.
Public Relation is a much wider term. Public
Relations as a function is the process of making
policies and plans concerning the various publics,
deciding upon the actions to be taken to fulfill the
plans made and communicate to the public about
these plans, so as to enable a two-way
communication between the organization and its
publics. Emphasis is on the creation of favorable
A public is a group of people who have a common interest or
common values in a particular situation. When the interests and
values of particular publics come into contact with the interests and
values of particular organizations, relationships are born.
Organizations form relationships with publics because those publics
have resources that those organizations need to ful-fill their values-
driven goals. Publics that can be affected by the actions of an
organization are called "stakeholders."
Public relations practitioners often categorize publics in order to
understand them better. Traditional categories of publics include
• traditional and non-traditional publics
• latent, aware, and active publics
• intervening publics
• primary and secondary publics
• internal and external publics
• domestic and international publics
Traditional Publics in public relations include employees,
the news media, investors, governments,
customers/consumers, multicultural community groups,
constituents/voters, and businesses.
No matter how an organization classifies the publics
essential to its success, the organization should answer
several questions regarding each public. Among the most
• What is the public's stake, or values, in its relationship with
• What is the public's opinion of the issue in question?
Answering these and other important questions eases the
challenge of building relationships with publics essential to
an organization's success.
Domino’s Pizza Viral Video
“In a video on YouTube, two Domino’s Pizza
employees taped themselves spitting in a
customer’s pizza. This went viral, and
customers would not dare use them. While
the company fired those employees, the CEO
had to make a public apology in a video and
put up a Times Square NYC billboard to display
customer comments (good or bad)
uncensored, and it showed they ended up
staying true to their brand.”
Know Your Grammar Rules!
“If people are analyzing your word usage, they
are not thinking about your message. Nobody
is immune; when Steve Jobs once called an
iPod the “funnest” ever, the following buzz
was not on the features of the new product,
but on the correct usage of “fun” in the
Toyota’s Camry Effect Campaign
During the Superbowl, Toyota planned a major
Twitter campaign meant to promote the Camry.
Creating a number of Twitter accounts labeled
CamryEffect1 through CamryEffect9, Toyota
intended to engage users by directly tweeting
them. However, this had the opposite effect:
users accused Toyota of bombarding and
spamming them with unsolicited messages.
Though Toyota quickly suspended the accounts,
this campaign still resonates as an example of a
failed, large-scale endeavor.
The top 10 PR Crises of 2011 were faced by
companies like Blackberry, Sony, HP, Dow
Chemical and Tepco.
Bharti Walmart to Adopt 50
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