Browse Definitions:
Definition

public relations (PR)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Public relations (PR) is the use of communications channels to manage public perception of an individual or an organization. 

PR is ingrained in the corporate culture of most larger enterprises. Executives often give speeches and make other public appearances to foster their organization’s relationship with its community. Corporate communications, such as mission statements, press releases, social media posts and website content, are typically written with attention to PR considerations.

Public relations firms and professionals also exist to provide PR communications. As a profession, public relations dates back to the early 1900s. Ivy Lee, a former Wall Street reporter, is considered the founder of PR. In 1906, Lee published the Declaration of Principles for public relations, in which he maintained that communications should be accurate and open, and that the PR field has a responsibility to the general public beyond its responsibility to the client.  In practice, however, Lee was less scrupulous. For example, his PR communications about the Rockefeller family’s coal mining operation were roundly criticized as false and misleading.

Today, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and similar organizations provide codes of ethics for PR professionals.  Here’s how the PRSA describes PR management functions:

•  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.

See also: reputation management, spin, chief reputation officer (CRO)

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About public relations (PR)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • hybrid hard drive (HHD)

    A hybrid hard drive (HHD), sometimes known as a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), is a mass storage device that combines a ...

  • USB flash drive

    A USB flash drive -- also known as a stick, thumb or pen drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash ...

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close