PR stands for Public Relations and refers to the reputation and image of an individual or organisation, and the relationships created and maintained between the individual/organisation and its different publics.
But is that all? There are so many aspects to Public Relations that it is often hard to find a single definition that encompasses everything, however there are several wonderful definitions to be found across the profession, including:
“Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.”
- As according to the Charted Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
“PR is all about the way organisations communicate with the public, promote themselves, and build a positive reputation and public image.”
- As according to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)
Or, for the official dictionary definition…
“(The state of) the relationship between an organization or an important person and the general public; the occupation of establishing or maintaining a good relationship between an organization or an important person and the general public; (also) a company department or group that deals with such matters; abbreviated P.R.”
Though some may consider Public Relations to be a newly coined term, it has been around since the earliest days of industry, and was first used in the way we understand today, in 1898, in Volume 13 of the Political Science Quarterly, regarding:
“The numerous occasional papers and addresses that deal with the public relations of railways.”
Knowing that PR is not a new concept can help to make Public Relations look less daunting – every person, and every business does it. Every day, people tend to be nice and polite to each other in order to be seen as, and treated, well by others – and the same goes for organisations. Building and maintaining good relationships in this way has been around since the beginning of time, but now we can define a whole business sector as the same.
PR has always been an important aspect of profitable business – an individual’s or organisation’s good relationship with the public must be maintained through the constant preservation and conservation of Public Relations.