The field of Public Relations is comprised of so many different functions, as well as conformable and applicable to a vast array of organizational settings and publics. Public Relations professionals cannot possibly commit to being proficient in all areas of required intellectual capacity, and so specialize according to their intrinsic skills.
In the following essay, I will attempt to define Public Relations based on my own interpretation of the assigned reading, as well as other outside sources. I will compare and contrast three published definitions of public relations in an attempt to explain why the field of Public Relations is so difficult to define.
Defining Public Relations
Personal Definition of Public Relations
Public Relations is a general term used to encompass the strategies involved in positively impacting an organization’s publics, which reciprocates by positively affecting the growth, maintenance, or support of the organization. The Public Relations field is comprised of multiple specialties, each with their own subsequent intellectually-skilled constituents. The role of the Public Relations professional varies, and is highly dependent upon the establishment he or she represents.
The study of Public Relations cannot be assigned to one particular category due to its complex nature. The study is the art of communication, literature, critical observation, reception, and interpretation; the sciences of psychology, sociology, and anthropology; and the schools of management and mediation, leadership and persuasion, planning and implementation, outcome and reevaluation. The study and practice of Public Relations manifests itself in an ever-changing environment, and so must be adaptable to these changes.
The field of Public Relations requires the concentrated knowledge and skills applicable to each unique organization, including their philosophy, ethics, goals, and publics. Public Relations Professionals act as liaisons, working to ensure everyone affected by the organization’s purpose, both internally and externally, is represented in a complimentary manner that is equally condoned by and beneficial to each group.
Published Definitions of Public Relations
The Public Relations Society of America’s web site displays their adopted version of the def...
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...statement and fill in the blanks with my own creative thoughts.
After reading the assigned chapters in our texts, as well as researching additional articles and research findings, I have come to the conclusion that Public Relations is difficult to define because it is a field involving a broad spectrum of subfields, each with their own tasks to carry out. Although all the areas of Public Relations work to achieve a common goal, it is impossible to emphasize one over the other. Public Relations is a collaborative effort, and so all areas of Public Relations are considered equally important to achieving the expected outcome.
The field of Public relations is constantly adapting to its surrounding environment, considering the newest technologies, applying the most contemporary definitions of the publics and organizations the PR professional represents, and modifying their own proven strategies to prove successful in an innovative world.
Lattimore, D., Baskin, O., Heiman, S., & Toth, E. (2004). Public relations: the profession and the practice. New York: Macgraw-Hill .
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