What Is Public Relations?

As I discussed in a post several days ago, I recently began the Public Relations program at Niagara College. Prior to enrolling in the program I failed to be entirely confident in my understanding of what Public Relations consists of, and to be entirely honest I am still not entirely certain that I comprehend everything the field encompasses. I do have a stronger understanding of the subject after attending several classes, however, therefore I thought I would create an explanatory post addressing Public Relations and its functions.

The Canadian Public Relations Society defines Public Relations as: “… the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals and serve the public interest”.

One of my professors, Stephen Murdoch, defined Public Relations as a unification between an organization and a specific audience. He explained that persons in Public Relations serve as a sort of bonding unit between these two sectors of the working world and help to bring them together through means of strategies such as marketing, communications and advertising.

The following is a list that professor Murdoch provided as examples of what sort of activities a Public Relations individuals may engage in on a given working day:

  • Writing news/press/media releases
  • Pitching the same release to a reporter or a journalist
  • Hosting an information session to educate others in your company about how to make use of specific types of media
  • Organizing/planning an event
  • Contacting individuals to generate a story
  • Writing, editing and sending a letter to a government official

Professor Murdoch also provided some examples of common Public Relations positions:

  • Vice-President of Communications
  • Director of Corporate Communications
  • Communications Specialist
  • Public Relations Consultant
  • Communications Manager
  • Account Executive
  • Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • PR Manager
  • Media Relations Manager
  • Director of Social Media
  • Social Media Manager
  • Newsletter editor
  • Director of Investor Relations
  • Special Events Manager
  • Community Relations Manager

I am sure I will soon update you again with some more information regarding Public Relations and I look forward to learning more in my courses!

*Information cited from Stephen Murdoch is his own work and is not to be plagiarized*


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