Definition of Public Relations

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Public relations is all around us. Most people can hardly make it through a day without encountering it in some shape or form. There are billboards, the Internet, e-mails, and news agencies, which are used by companies and organizations to convey their messages to the public. Before progressing any further, just what is public relations? How is public relations defined? This paper will discuss public relations and its definitions from three different sources. Personal Definition

Public relations is not clear-cut nor is it easily definable. Due to its broad scope and many variables, arriving at a general, all-inclusive definition is rather complicated. In fact even those in the field that are familiar with its interworkings have difficulties defining exactly what is public relations. "Today, although a generally accepted definition of public relations still eludes practitioners, there is a clearer understanding of the field" (Seitel, 2004, p.3). So if it is difficult for those in the profession it has to be rather complex for the layman to understand and define public relations. In my opinion public relations is a process of managing the relationship between an organization and its publics. This process is comprised of several steps that involve research, action, communication, and evaluation or R-A-C-E. The R-A-C-E model was developed by Communications professor John Marston and provides a structure for effectively influencing public opinion (Seitel, 2004, p.4). Now that I have provided my thoughts, let us take a look at how some other sources define public relations. Public Relations Society of America Definition

The Public Relations Society of America or PRSA is an organization with the objective of uniting public relations professionals and providing them with resources and direction. According to the PRSA, "public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other. Often, it is a term used to...
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