Public Relations and Its Functions

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Public Relations
What is public relations? There seems to be many different answers to that question. Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines public as "of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state." It defines relations as "the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested" (Merriam-Webster, 2005). These two definitions indicate that public relations affect all the people of a nation or state that are mutually interested. This paper will provide my definition of public relations and will offer definitions from three different sources. My Definition

Typically, larger companies have a public relations department or have some sort of public relations policy. The public relations (PR) spokesman usually is the liaison between the media and the represented company. My definition of public relations is the method a company or government agency uses to maintain communications and perceptions with the public. If an issue with the company needs to be addressed the PR spokesman will issue a statement to be released to the public or interested parties. If a company is trying to positively enhance its public perception, the PR department is called upon to address the company's needs and provide appropriate information to the public. The PR spokesman will only say what needs to be said to deliver the company's message. PR departments are an important avenue a company uses to communicate to its customers and the general public. Other Definitions

The Wharton University of Pennsylvania marketing department defines public relations as "communication with various sectors of the public to influence their attitudes and opinions in the interest of promoting a person, product, or idea" (UPenn, 2005). The Michael J. Motto advertising and public relations firm defines it as "the business of generating goodwill toward an individual, cause, company, or product" (Motto, 2002). The Nebraska Jaycees provide this definition, "the...
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