When enrolling in this Fundamentals course we were asked to give our own definitions of what public relations are and what they entail. Being asked this made me realize that even though I am not totally in the dark of what Public Relations are that, I am pretty off with what my definition of them was.
My definition of PR was as follows: An organization and how it manages their public profile.
While that definition isn’t the most flawed definition of PR you will see, it only covers a very small sliver of what PR entails.
They way I am used to seeing the work of PR companies is usually in the role of crisis control. In being a huge sports fan, and spending most of my free time watching athletics I have seen the unheralded work of some of these firms when there is an player or coach who gets himself into an dicey situation. Usually there will be a PR agent behind the scenes helping to get the individuals image back to where it was at before the discretion.
Information control is a major role of public relations however it is not only trying to get information to the public, they also try to control the info that is sent out to investors, employees, other shareholders and those who have stake in a company.
There are many similarities between PR and, marketing, advertising, journalism. Our book helped me understand more about what PR is when I read that PR is a management process to build and maintain a hospitable environment for an organization.
PR is a field that while doing many day-to-day operations does not get much notice in an normal business day. That seems to be the goal if your job is to work PR you want to do your job well so no one has to know what your doing, keeping everything running smooth, and out of the criticism of public.