PR In Progress

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Thoughts on Public Relations, Communications, Social Media, Sports and anything else in my life…

Excuse Me…What is PR?

This past week, I’ve reflected on something many before me have as well–What is PR?

While working at Student Organization Showcases for our USF chapter of PRSSA, I have been asked this question many times. Each time I am asked this question I give a different answer, one more complicated than the next. So, I sat down, thought about it and decided to share my definition of public relations.

As I’ve been taught throughout college, public relations is a strategic management function. However, I feel that may be too broad to define PR for what it really is–a strategic communications function. This seems to be more fitting, at least for me.

By being a strategic communications function, the role of PR is to be a liaison between an organization and its publics. There are many facets of public relations, but they are all centered around this connection. An organization must maintain constant communication with its publics in order to retain their business, therefore it is crucial to the overall business plan to have an effective communications strategy. This is where PR comes in to define publics, create objectives, implement communications tactics and evaluate the overall plan.

From that point, the PR practitioner is able to measure the overall effectiveness of a organization’s communications with its publics and advise upper-level management on ways to improve and new avenues to explore.

Though it definitely gets more complex than that, I think that would be a good start at explaining the true function of public relations to those who are skeptical or unsure about it.

What is your take on this? How do you explain PR to people who don’t truly know the real purpose of it?

Photo credit: trav1s

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Filed under: Perception, PRSSA, Public Relations, USF

2 Responses

  1. Meg Roberts says:

    Hey there, Nate. Glad to see you still blogging.

    What is PR is a question that will always be difficult. When people ask me what I do in PR, I’ve started saying this: I’m in the communications consulting business. I also try to stress the relationship building and maintaining function of PR. People often get caught up in the tactical side of the profession – “oh, so you write press releases a lot, right?” – but there’s really a lot more to it. Unfortunately, there’s so many different types of PR that it’s hard to tie down one set definition, but at least that always makes for interesting conversations.

    Take care and good luck with the start of the new semester!
    Meg

  2. nathanielfuller says:

    Meg,

    Thank you for stopping by! I completely agree with you in that PR is very much about relationship building and maintaining. I admit that I am guilty of trying to be too technical in my definition of public relations. This may be due to still learning from books and not having enough real-life experience to supplement it. I am just lucky enough to have folks like you help me see another angle to it.
    Also, I’m taking your advice and will most likely be attending BlogOrlando!

    Thanks Again!

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