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Public Relations in a Nutshell

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In our work lives many of us have come across phrases like ''the company's PR department'' and ''the chief PR officer of the company.'' So what is meant by ''PR'' and all the fuss that companies make about it? ''PR'' is an abbreviation for ''public relations,'' and every type of business involves PR of some kind.

As defined by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, “public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” In other words, PR is all about a company’s reputation amongst the general public.

A good reputation and the public’s goodwill are no doubt strong assets for any company or organization. Companies and organizations in both the public sector and the private sector, therefore, invest both financially and non-financially in PR practices — the basic idea being that one must establish a positive line of communication with the public.

So what does a PR professional actually do? PR professionals are often hired to help companies or organizations plan communications strategies and policies that they will be able to sustain in the long run. Since PR is all about communication, part of a PR professional’s job is to write press releases and get in touch with people who are working in the media. PR professionals often have to organize small-scale programs to maintain contact between companies and the public.

Given the nature of PR as a discipline, there are certain codes of ethics involved. Telling the truth, not harming anyone purposefully, and being fair are some of the ethical guidelines that have been established by associations like the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Like anything else, PR has its share of pros and cons. Undoubtedly, the biggest advantage of PR would be a noticeable increase in a company’s profitability. This might mean a significant increase in overall sales. Advertising is widely used for PR purposes, but a lot of PR is also about one-to-one communication.

One of the major cons of PR is overstatement. Often PR professionals overdo their jobs by exaggerating, and this is something that does not go down very well with the public. If it accomplishes anything at all, it makes the public suspicious about the company’s credentials. As cited in an article on, many people in the United States have negative impressions of PR.

The demand for PR professionals will increase in the future as more and more companies and organizations realize the benefits of good PR strategies in this ever-competitive business world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PR specialist employment is going to increase by approximately 18% between 2006 and 2016.

And so it appears that if companies aspire to establish themselves and remain in existence for years to come, they must keep their credibility high and guard their reputations carefully by investing in PR.
On the net:Careers in PR

The Commission on Public Relations Education

Elegant Understatement: A New Paradigm for Public Relations Practice If this article has helped you in some way, will you say thanks by sharing it through a share, like, a link, or an email to someone you think would appreciate the reference.

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 communication  reputations  Chartered Institute of Public Relations  International Association of Business Communicators  behaviors  organizations  general public  press releases  public relations

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