Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Public Relation

Posted in assignment, Public Relation by Shekhar on February 17, 2009

(This text is fully academic or this topic is fully for my study purpose. All the readers may not need to study this text unles they are related in this discipline.  Primarily i will be regularly publishing this notes to help myself and my classmates and others related to this field. Thank you)

Edward Bernays was the self-appointed Father of Public Relations.

Edward Bernays was the self-appointed Father of Public Relations.

Date:2/18/2009

(Note from Internet Source)

Public Relation

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics.[1] Public relations – often referred to as PR – gains an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.[2] Because public relations places exposure in credible third-party outlets, it offers a third-party legitimacy that advertising does not have.[2] Common activities include speaking at conferences, working with the press, and employee communication.

PR can be used to build rapport with employees, customers, investors, voters, or the general public.[2] Almost any organization that has a stake in how it is portrayed in the public arena employs some level of public relations. A number of specialties exist within the field of public relations, such as Media Relations, Investor Relations or Labor Relations.

Definitions:

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) claimed: “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”[3] According to the PRSA, the essential functions of public relations include research, planning, communications dialogue and evaluation.[4]

Edward Louis Bernays, who is considered the founding father of modern public relations along with Ivy Lee, in the early 1900s defined public relations as a management function which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures and interests of an organization. . . followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance” (see history of public relations).

Today, “Public Relations is a set of management, supervisory, and technical functions that foster an organization’s ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, and respond to those persons whose mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessary if it is to achieve its missions and values.” [5] Essentially it is a management function that focuses on two-way communication and fostering of mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics.

Building and managing relationships with those who influence an organization or individual’s important audiences has a central role in doing public relations

Public Opinion:

Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. The principle approaches to the study of public opinion may be divided into 4 categories:

a) quantitative measurement of opinion distributions;

b) investigation of the internal relationships among the individual opinions that make up public opinion on an issue;

c) description or analysis of the public role of public opinion;

d) study both of the communication media that disseminate the ideas on which opinions are based and of the uses that propagandists and other manipulators make of these media.

Public opinion as a concept gained credence with the rise of ‘public’ in the eighteenth century. The English term ‘public opinion’ dates back to the eighteenth century and has derived from the French ‘l’opinion publique’, which was first used in 1588 by Montaigne. This concept came about through the process of urbanization and other political and social forces. For the first time, it became important what people thought, as forms of political contention changed.

Publics:

Publics are small groups of people who follow one or more particular issue very closely. They are well informed about the issue(s) and also have a very strong opinion on it/them. They tend to know more about politics than the average person, and, therefore, exert more influence, because these people care so deeply about their cause(s) that they donate much time and money. Therefore, it is unlikely for a politician to be reelected if he or she did not please the publics while in office.

History:

The history of public relations is mostly confined to the early half of the twentieth century; however there is evidence of the practices scattered through history. One notable practitioner was Georgiana Cavendish, ssssDuchess of Devonshire whose efforts on behalf of Charles James Fox in the 18th century included press relations, lobbying and, with her friends, celebrity campaigning [1].

A number of American precursors to public relations are found in the form of publicists who specialized in promoting circuses, theatrical performances, and other public spectacles. In the United States, where public relations has its origins, many early public relations practices were developed in support of railroads. In fact, many scholars believe that the first appearance of the term “public relations” appeared in the 1897 Year Book of Railway Literature.

Some historians regard Ivy Lee as the first real practitioner of public relations, but Edward Bernays, a nephew and student of Sigmund Freud, is generally regarded today as the profession’s founder. In the United Kingdom Sir Basil Clarke (1879 – 1947) was a pioneer of public relations.

The First World War helped stimulate the development of public relations as a profession. Many of the first PR professionals, including Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays, John W. Hill, and Carl Byoir, got their start with the Committee on Public Information (also known as the Creel Committee), which organized publicity on behalf of U.S. objectives during World War I.

In describing the origin of the term Public Relations, Bernays commented, “When I came back to the United States [from the war], I decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace. And propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans … using it. So what I did was to try to find some other words, so we found the words Counsel on Public Relations”.

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