What is Public Relations (PR)? PR is difficult to define because it encompasses so many areas and today has developed into a multi-million dollar industry influencing all aspects of our lives (Adams et al, 1999). However, it is important to be able to compare and contrast the various definitions in order to have a complete understanding of what public relations is and how it is used. The public is a large population to consider, making it easier to understand why it is so difficult to define PR. Along with a large population come many perceptions, beliefs, ideas, and opinions, all influences on PR. I define public relations as the act/s used by individuals, corporations, and groups to influence ones opinions and/or decisions about a product, idea, person/s, company/s, etc. and the public. Robert L. Heath defines PR as functions of management/supervisors that foster an organization's ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, and respond to those persons who's mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessary if it is to achieve its missions and values (Health, 2007)'.
In 1950 PRSA enacted the first "Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations," followed by the current Code of Ethics which includes six core values and six code provisions. The core values are "Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty, and Fairness and code provisions are "Free Flow of Information, Competition, Disclosure of Information, Safeguarding Confidences, Conflicts of Interest, and Enhancing the Profession." Even with these standards defining PR is difficult and organizations struggle with public perception of PR. Human nature influences choices for both organizations as well as the public. These standards have helped in defining the outcome of PR and the field endeavoring to create a professional profession ensuring what is relayed to the public and that it be ethical, truthful, and accurate.
In the same way as any other business function manager, a PR manager is most concerned with setting strategies to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization for which he/she works; while at the same time, keeping the efforts of the department to achieve those goals under tight budgetary control. However, there are no two managers who can define exactly what must be done in accomplishing these goals.
Perhaps, the best way to approach the question of what the PR manager does is by looking at what the Public Relations function has been defined as. According to the Task Force on the Stature and Role of Public Relations of the Public Relations Society of America, this PR function can be defined as, “an organization’s efforts to win the cooperation of groups of people.” (Seitel, pp. 45)
The PR professional manages all communications between a firm and its publics, which directly or indirectly affects the organization’s goals and objectives.
PR defines the different publics to be considered and targeted in the sales efforts of the marketing department. These efforts clearly point to the effect PR has on the Human Resources Department, Production Department, and the sales portion of the Marketing Department.
Defining Public Relations Essays and Term Papers 501 - …
How does PR affect the organization and its functions?
One of the major functions of an organization affected by public relations is marketing. In fact, a number of organizations still consider public relations a part of the marketing department, even if often times when positioned in this way, public relations as an entity of its own is neglected. Nonetheless, a properly run public relations department is an integral part of the overall success of an organization.