What is PR?
July 9, 2007
Facilitator: Richard Floyd
What is PR?
What is Public Relations? Is it advertising or just a fancy way for information to be disseminated? Is PR designed for or exclusive to the rich and powerful of corporations, governments, or celebrities? Could it be influential enough to change an entire culture or just a small section of a company? Can PR be used to skew the truth to what the orator wants the public to believe? Public Relations can achieve all of these feats and many more. Public Relations or PR is not a new concept either; it has been around for centuries. Even in Roman times, public perception was everything largely due to their superstitious nature. Take Augustus for example, early on in his reign as emperor, what we now know as Halley’s Comet passed over Rome. Augustus claimed this sight to be the spirit of Julius Caesar entering Heaven. Since Augustus was a descendant of Caesar, as long as the public believed him to be descended from a God then his reign would be strong (PBS, 2006). Later accounts of PR in the mainstream were during World War I. Needing support for the war Carl R. Byoir was on the Committee for Public Information. Public Relations has grown today to be everywhere you turn. From the internet to 24-hour news channels even billboards and magazines, PR is everywhere.
What exactly is the definition of Public Relations? You will not find it in a Dictionary and rarely find it in Encyclopedias. Some see it as an action and others view it as a philosophy. The folks at DefinePR.com do not have a solid definition of what PR is but claim that they “develop marketing and public relation campaign strategies specific to your company’s needs.” This lends to the idea that Public Relations is the message that the general public receives about a particular vendor or establishment, in other words advertising is promoting positive Public Relations for their clients with...