Public Relations

Topics: Public relations, Management, Marketing Pages: 26 (3033 words) Published: November 4, 2011



Public Relations



A hearty welcome to the Zimbabwe Institute of Management Public Relations Module.


Why Study PR

Public relations practices interwoven in all business and economic activities of any organisation.

In the way we interact with colleagues, customers, suppliers and opinion leaders. Successful deals are as a result of good public relations. In business it’s not what you say that is of greatest value but how you say it.

The legal and regulatory environments of business are also crying out for Public relations solutions to facilitate good investment climates.


This Public Relations module aims to review the role and scope of the functions of Public Relations in contemporary organisation define and describe the Development of Public Relations in Business, to analyse the six points planning model of any public relations programme and review the Public Relations transfer process.


At the end of this module participants will be able to:-

• Define Public Relations
• Identify Publics in organisation
• Describe the planning process in Public Relations
• Distinguish Public Relations from marketing and propaganda • Evaluate the importance of PR to organisations.
• Relate the transfer process to real issues
• Measure the success of a PR programme

Teaching Methods

• Presenter led material
• Transparencies used throughout
• Group work and discussion
• Question and answer sessions to test understanding
• Hand outs
• Exercises


1. Definition of Public Relations
2. What are Publics in Public Relations
3. Essential distinctions
4. Public relations strategy
5. The transfer process
6. In-house PR versus consultancy PR
7. Routine PR functions
8. Non routine PR functions
9. Measurement of PR programmes



At the end of this section student will be able to define Public Relations as used by authorities in the field of PR and be able to produce own definition to either contrast, relate or diversify context of definition.


Most effective definition to date is that by a public relations scholar and professional leader the late Dr Rex F Harlow. Dr Rex Harlow studied over 472 definitions of PR and out of that study produced the following.

“Public Relations is the distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organisation and its publics, involves the 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 tool.

According to the British Institute of PR, Public Relations is a deliberate planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between the organisation and its publics.

According to the Mexican statement Public Relations is the art and social science of analyzing trends predicts heir consequences , counseling organisational leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which will serve both the organisation’ s interest and the publics interests.

Highlights of the definition

1. PR is planned – it is an organized undertaking wit a haphazard process it involves setting PR objectives which need evaluation periodically

2. PR is sustained - it’s a continuous process/ an ongoing process as long as an organisation is in existence PR exists.

3. PR establish develop and maintain good will and mutual understanding. The purpose of PR is to...
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