The concept or idea of specifically defining the term public relations (PR) can be a seemingly impossible task that is by no mean concise. Public Relations mean many different things to different people. Public Relations or PR, in short, is quite subjective depending on what your intent or overall goal is for communicating or promoting certain information to groups of people.
Viewed as a professional endeavor, public relations are most often defined as the management function that seeks to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between an organization, commercial or non-commercial, and the audiences or “publics” on which the success of these entities depends. It is defined as the controlling factor that searches to form and maintain relationships between organizations, profit or non-profit and the public that are beneficial for both parties (Don Bates).
The practice of PR is dedicated to complete honesty and openness in its communications and operations.
The field of PR is a very essential aspect with having a perfect image. PR professionals work diligently at creating good and reliable relations between a firm and many different individuals it represents. It deals with a variety of strategies and methods. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers. -Daniel J. Boorstin Public relations blossomed as a professional endeavor in the 20th Century, most conspicuously in the United States, but its roots, both philosophical and pragmatic, can be traced throughout civilization. 2. 0 History of Public Relations
Public relations is the process used by businesses or organizations to present the most favorable image for them to the public. It is the responsibility for public relations professionals to provide carefully crafted information to the target audience about the individual, its goals and accomplishments, and any thing else that may be of public interest. The public relations professional also helps ...
Public relations are both old and young. It is ancient in its foundations, rooted in the earliest interactions of people in societies long gone. It is contemporary in its expression as one of society’s emerging professions. Throughout history, public relations has been part of societies separated by miles and centuries and has been practiced within many different cultural and social contexts. professional public relations have always gone hand in hand with civilization. In their eyes, much of recorded history can be interpreted as the practice of public relations.
Whereas primitive societies ruled mainly through fear and intimidation, more advanced cultures depended on discussion and debate. With the invention of writing, public relations in the formal sense took shape. Whether they were promoting their image as warriors or kings, leaders of ancient civilizations such as Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia used poems and other writings to promote their prowess in battle and politics. 2. 0. 1 Egypt In Egypt much of the art and architecture (statues, temples, and tombs) was used to impress on the public the greatness of priests, nobles, and scribes.
Ptah-hotep, the advisor to one of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, wrote about 2,200 BCE of the need for communicating truthfully, addressing audience interests, and acting in a manner consistent with what is being said. Also, archeologists have found ancient bulletins and brochures in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) dating to about 1,800 BCE. These publications on stone tablets told farmers how to sow crops, irrigate their fields, and increase their harvests. These were important goals for monarchs who wanted their followers to be well fed and prosperous, two requirements for a stable empire. 2. 0. 2 Greece
In the 3rd Century BCE, the philosopher Socrates of Athens taught that, rather than the relativism of the Sophists, effective communication should be based on truth. His student, Plato, carried on Socrates’ work. But it was Plato’s student, Aristotle of Athens, who has contributed most to contemporary communication thought. Aristotle analyzed persuasive communication and taught others how to be effective speakers, specifically by developing compelling and ethical arguments to offer verbal proofs. Aristotle’s book Rhetoric remains influential to this day. In the civil realm, Philip of Macedonia had conquered the whole of Greece.
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His son Alexander the Great was a student of Aristotle. Philip extended his rule throughout Northern Africa, Asia Minor and India. Both rulers had gold and ivory statues of themselves placed in towns and temples throughout the conquered lands as constant reminders of their presence – a common technique associated with public relations, still practiced in examples such as commemorative stamps, monuments, stadiums, named buildings, and so on. 2. 0. 3 Italy In Rome, Marcus Tullius Cicero developed the earlier Greek rhetorical method for presenting persuasive arguments in public and is considered one of Classical Rome’s greatest orators.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus from Spain operated a school of rhetoric in Rome, teaching about the ethical content of persuasion and writing a book on rhetoric. The Roman general Julius Caesar, in the mid-First Century BCE, sent public reports back to Rome about his military and political victories in Gaul. Later, as ruler of Roman republic, he ordered the posting of Acta Diurna, regarded as the first public newsletter, to keep the citizenry informed, which continued for 400 years. Most historians agree that he also wrote his Commentaries as propaganda for himself; recognizing the power of news to mold public opinion.
After a lengthy civil war that destroyed the 500-year-old Roman republic, Augustus became the first Roman emperor in 27 BCE. Augustus courted public opinion, realizing that he needed the support of the people in order to reign successfully. One of his tactics was to commission the poet Virgil (right) to write The Aeneid, an epic poem that identifies Rome as the fulfillment of a divine plan and which depicts Augustus as being ordained by the gods to save and rebuild Rome after the collapse of the republic.
Hence, through all these centuries we can witness the use of public relations, without much consciousness of people who used it as a practice, but as mere interest to share to the public or to build an image; to show their power. 2. 0 PR and Religion Much of the pre-history of public relations is linked with the growth and maintenance of religion, one of the most basic and cohesive aspects of society throughout the ages. When Christianity emerged at the height of Roman influence, the teachings of Jesus and his apostles took center stage in the battle for religious dominance in the public mind.
Over the years, key figures in public relations have contributed to its shaping through intrinsic criticism, major additions and re-evaluation that has seen latter applications being highly effective in creating cohesion and ultimate higher productivity and sustainability in the society. Notably, the concept of public relations dates back to eighteenth century, however, many authors appear to ...
Once the Christian church took shape, it relied on eloquent speeches and letters, such as Paul’s epistle to the Romans, to win converts and guide the faithful. The Roman Emperor Nero used the strategy of orchestrating events when he blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians, already the social scapegoats. It is an example of framing – telling your side of the story first so that any other versions are received as being different from what people already have heard. The early Christian Church preserved and enhanced the concepts of rhetoric.
In Roman Africa, the 5th Century philosopher-bishop Augustine of Hippo developed the art of preaching, insisting that truth is the ultimate goal of such public speaking. Later in Northern Europe, the 8th Century Saxon, theologian Alcuin reinterpreted Roman rhetorical teachings for the Emperor Charlemagne and the medieval court. The use of public relations strategies and tactics was not limited to the Christian church. The word “propaganda” originated in the Catholic Church. In the seventeenth century, it set up its Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, the “congregation for propagating the faith. In doing so, it explicitly acknowledged the need for a third party to facilitate communication between government and the people. Along with the spread of new knowledge in new forms—such as translations in the fifteenth century of the Bible from Latin into everyday languages, mass printed books, and newspapers—there was an explosion of public communications. In 6th Century Northern Africa, the prophet Mohammad sometimes retired to an out-of-the-way place to ponder problems facing his people, eventually to emerge with writings that he identified as the word of Allah.
These writings, eventually assembled as the Qur’an, thus received a credibility that led to easy acceptance by his followers. This is how PR was influenced, even established by Religion. 2. 1 PR and Politics Aristotle once said ‘Man is by nature a political animal’. The term ‘Propaganda’ that the Catholic Church put in practice was an honorable one. It did not take on negative connotations until three hundred years later, when the Nazis used it with a monumental disregard for honesty and ethics and later when it became associated with the 20th Century Cold War between communist and democratic nations.
Public relations are processes of providing information to impress public consciousness for a particular product, personality, service, philosophy, or an organization. It is also known for its specific role in managing the affairs between organizations being promoted and the general public. A public relations officer classifies the appropriate plans and strategies to support the interests of the ...
When the French Revolution arrived, the stage was set. In their Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens (1789), the leaders of the French Revolution proclaimed the right of citizens to express and communicate thought freely. In 1792 the National Assembly of France created the first propaganda ministry. It was part of the Ministry of the Interior and it was called the Bureau d’Esprit, or “Bureau of the Spirit. ” It subsidized editors and sent agents to various parts of the country to win public support for the French Revolution.
England’s rebellious American colonies produced a host of public relations experts who used oratory, newspapers, meetings, committees, pamphlets, and correspondence to win people to their cause. Included among them were Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, John Peter Zenger, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Adams has been called the great press agent of the American Revolution for fashioning the machinery of political change. Benjamin Franklin made it a rule to forbear all contradiction to others, and all positive assertions of his own.
He would say, “I conceive” or “‘I apprehend” or “I imagine” a thing to be so, or it appears to be so. Franklin pioneered the rules for “personal relations” in an era before mass media had made possible a profession called “public relations. ” William Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state in 1861, gained a large American audience through his understanding of how to use the press. He told his friend Jefferson: “I speak to the newspapers – they have a large audience and can repeat a thousand times what I want to impress on the public. ” 3. Early development of PR as a practice Today, public relations are usually seen as being in the third phase or era of its professional development. And, while many practitioners still act with the mindset and values of the two earlier eras, the most successful practitioners now seem to use the less-self-serving approaches. Even the writers who bluntly assert that public relations is as old as civilization and implicit in all human interactions will admit there’s a tremendous difference between the concept of public relations and the profession of ublic relations or, phrased another way, there’s a big difference between practicing common sense “public relations” and developing a professional public relations practice. And, no one disputes that public relations has changed dramatically since it emerged as a distinct discipline and viable career path in the second half of the 19th century. It’s grown tremendously in size, scope, and significance. This growth has been particularly dramatic in the last few decades, and it’s been accompanied by a growing recognition of public relations’ expanding role and influence in organizational life of all sorts.
From an organization’s perspective, public relations is the public face portrayed by an organization as it tries its best to conform to the norms of the respective society. A spokesperson is the individual tasked with ‘personifying’ the organization and there are certain traits expected of him or her. Focusing on our daily lives, public relations occurs at a much more frequent rate than we are ...
In many corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations the public relations function has been elevated from its traditional role as a support service and made it an integral part of upper management decision-making. James Dowling, then-president of Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest world-wide PR firms, described the changes that have occurred in public relations in the following way during an interview by a The New York Times reporter in the mid-1980s. In the 1950s organizations asked their public relations consulting firms, “How should we say this? In the socially turbulent 1960s and 1970s, faced with various confrontations, these same organizations asked their public relations people, “What should we say? ” Today they ask, “What should we do? ” The first World Assembly of PR Associations held in Mexico City in August 1978, defined the practice of PR as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders and implementing planned programs of action which will serve both the organization and the public interest. ” Public Relation has been an evolving process amalgamating various persuasive and communication techniques.
As we read in 2. 0 History of PR, it was used to promote wars, to lobby political parties, to support political parties, to promote religion, to sell products, to raise money and to publicize events and people. The PR effort during the WW II was much more sophisticated, coordinated and integrated. PR counseling came into prominence in the postwar period. With the post–World War II economic boom, which turned the United States into the wealthiest country on earth, public relations prospered as never before. New and old institutions of business, government, and not-for-profit enterprise had seen hat public relations had done for the war effort, and they wanted to tap its evolving power for purposes of publicizing their products and services for the burgeoning consumer markets, both at home and abroad. In the 1930s and 1940s, several organizations were founded to represent the interests of public relations practitioners, culminating in 1948 in the formation of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
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Today, the PRSA remains the world’s largest public relations membership association with more than 20,000 members, primarily in the United States.
In Europe, too, professional public relations mushroomed after World War II as diplomacy and mass communications became central to the stability and reconstruction of scores of countries. In the post-war era, the great powers also embarked on the ideologically charged Cold War, propagandizing their views through a host of intermediaries and enlisting the media, domestically and globally, to further their aims. The struggle between the U. S. and Russia dominated the headlines for nearly 50 years. 4. 1 Public Relation Today
The knowledge that may be required in the professional practice of public relations include communication arts, psychology, social psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and the principles of management and ethics. Technical knowledge and skills are required for opinion research, public-issues analysis, media relations, direct mail, institutional advertising, publications, film/video productions, special events, speeches, and presentations. And this has not changed, PR crosses many disciplines. The technical knowledge of is sadly inadequate because it was written 25 years ago and the world has changed since then.
The PR practitioner today needs technical skills that are vastly different than they were in 1982. The sad fact is that working practitioners are largely behind in learning these skills. They do not have the attitude of lifelong learning, or they don’t have access to it. This, however, is not new. It is an issue a number of practitioners have worked on for more than 25 years in the business, largely without success. We learnt that PR evolved along with civilization, up to this point, many civilizations have already been established. And today, effective PR must work hand in hand with technology.
Through news papers, to radio, television and now the net, PR practitioners must be able to use all means; advance tech to communicate and do their jobs efficiently. For example, nowadays there are communique via Facebook post and twitter from the PRO of big company. PR is an on growing practice, and neither in 10 years nor in 100 years that it will disappear. Below is a table showing the Factors influencing the development of Public Relations. 4. 0 Pioneers of PR As student of PR, we learnt that the profession had a history, a heritage. And that it has been shaped by men and women whose actions and ideas have made the difference.
Below are important figures that contributed in the field of Public Relations; * SAMUEL ADAMS (right) orchestrated public relations for the Revolutionary War. He organized the Sons of Liberty, developed the symbol of the liberty tree, staged the Boston Tea Party, named the Boston Massacre, and developed a propaganda campaign that lasted for more than 20 years, until the successful conclusion of American independence from Britain. * JOSEPH VARNEY BAKER left his job as city editor with the Philadelphia Tribune in 1934 to become public relations consultant with the Pennsylvania Railroad.
He later opened his own agency in New York City, the first African American to gain national prominence as a public relations practitioner. Varney also was the first African American to become president of a chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the first to become accredited by PRSA. * EDWARD BERNAYS was a press agent and public relations consultant to many clients, including Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge, the American Tobacco Company, General Electric, Alcoa, the American Dental Association, Dodge Motors, the NAACP, and many others.
In 1923 wrote Crystallizing Public Relations, “which provided principles and practices for an emerging profession. ” At New York University, he taught the first college course in public relations. A nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays developed public relations as an applied social science. He applied psychology in public persuasion campaigns. He developed the concept of public relations as “the engineering of consent” which he called “the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade or suggest. ” Along with Ivy Lee, Bernays is considered one of the founding fathers of the public relations profession.
He died in 1995 at the age of 103. Life magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century. His wife, DORIS FLEISCHMAN, was a public relations pioneer in her own right. She counseled clients in the arts, business, government, and education. Fleischman advocated for issues such as women’s pay and the advancement of women in media careers. In 1925, she became the first married American woman to be issued a U. S. passport in her maiden name. * DENORA ‘DENNY’ GRISWOLD founded Public Relations News, the first newsletter about public relations.
She also operated her own public relations agency with her husband, GLENN GRISWOLD. * PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN was a master at strategic communication. He wisely communicated with Congress and with the people. His Civil War adversary, meanwhile – JEFFERSON DAVIS, president of the Confederate States – kept most matters secret, failed to take the public into his confidence, and made decisions behind closed doors. Since much of the war focused on public opinion, it is little wonder that Lincoln was more successful than Davis in marshalling public opinion, demonstrating the value of an informed and energized citizenry. IVY LEDBETTER LEE was a journalist and a publicist before he distinguished himself as the first public relations counselor. Along with Edward Bernays, Lee is recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern public relations for leading the transition from press agency to the public information model. The emergence of contemporary public relations dates from 1906, when Lee was hired by the anthracite coal industry to advise it toward settling a strike. He later counseled railroads and governments. His most famous client was John D. Rockefeller.
Lee is known for his 1906 “Declaration of Principles” which called for honesty with the press and public. Lee died in 1934 in disgrace, having been investigated by Congress because his last client was the Nazi-operated German Dye Trust. 5. 0 Conclusion As man began to know about communication, public relations became a necessity to keep up the process of communication, especially communicating with the mass. We always hear that PR is older than we think and that it is not as new as it is often supposed to be. And PR today is definitely a 20th century phenomenon.
The goals, techniques, tools, ethical standards changed with time, PR is now being inked and established slowly in most company. It is being considered the best way to make an organization identity and image throughout the years. An effective PR means an effective promotion, which result to a successful organization or person. “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations. ” -Bill Gates 6. 0 References * eHow. com * Wikipedia. com * Don Bates’ sayings * Own notes * Course Books * Google Image * Google-Pioneers in Public Relations