What is PR?
According to Fraser P Seitel, it is a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based onmutually satisfactory two-way communication.
Official Statement on Public Relations Society of America states:
Public relations helps our complex, pluralistic society to reach decisions and function more effectively bycontributing to mutual understanding among groups and institutions. It serves to bring private and public policies into harmony. Public relations serves a wide variety of institutions in society such as businesses, trade unions, government agencies, voluntary associations, foundations, hospitals, schools, colleges and religious institutions. To achieve their goals, these institutions must develop effective relationships with many different audiences or publics such as employees, members, customers, local communities, shareholders and other institutions, and with society at large.The managements of institutions need to understand the attitudes and values of their publics in order to achieve institutional goals. The goals themselves are shaped by the external environment. The public relations practitioner acts as a counselor to management and as a mediator, helping to translate private aims into reasonable, publicly acceptable policy and action. As a management function, public relations encompasses the following:
• Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good
or ill, the operations and plans of the organization.
• Counseling management at all levels in the organization with regard to policy decisions, courses of
action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or
• Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and
communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an
organization’s aims. These may include marketing, financial, fund raising, employee, community or
government relations and other programs.
• Planning and implementing the organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy.
• Setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short,
managing the resources needed to perform all of the above.
• Examples of the knowledge that may be required in the professional practice of public relations include
communication arts, psychology, social psychology, sociology, political science, economics and the
principles of management and ethics. Technical knowledge and skills are required for opinion research,
public-issues analysis, media relations, direct mail, institutional advertising, publications, film/video
productions, special events, speeches and presentations. In helping to define and implement policy, the public relations practitioner uses a variety of professional communication skills and plays an integrative role both within the organization and between the organization and the external environment. Formally adopted by the PRSA National Assembly, November 6, 1982.
How has it evolved since the PT Barnum era? The media is now bigger and broader and faster. Therefore what may have seemed like hours or days to get an opinion or feedback is now complete in minutes from a simple text, video , tweet or a blog. Also with the many ways to voice an opinion positive or negative, it gives every company a chance to “fight” back if any thing is written in the worst manner. Technology changes everything. It is the most important key in this economy. Technology wasnt important in the era in which PT was known so today it basically runs how press timely and how it is influenced everyday. You dont always need a press to run your words, articles or press, NOW you prove your own self stamp of who you are and what your company represents. He was a big influence on what caught the attention of many and even today we are still fooled by the names and the headlines.
PT famous quote when can learn from today even in Public Relations: Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!”