public relations

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public relations,

activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most favorable light. Thus, the goal of the public relations consultant is to create, through the organization of news and advertising, an advantageous image for his client, be it a business corporation, cultural institution, or private or public individual; toward this end—the making of favorable public opinion—many research techniques and communications media are used. Although many of the same methods are employed, public relations differs from propagandapropaganda,
systematic manipulation of public opinion, generally by the use of symbols such as flags, monuments, oratory, and publications. Modern propaganda is distinguished from other forms of communication in that it is consciously and deliberately used to influence group
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, which is generally government supported, international in scope, and political in nature. The earliest form of public relations and still the most widely practiced is publicity. The principal instrument of publicity is the press release, which provides the mass media with the raw material and background for a news story. The growth of modern public relations is generally attributed to the development of the mass media, which accelerated the spread of ideas and increased the importance of public opinion by giving more people access to current events. Public relations as a field can be traced to the early 20th cent., when American businessmen found it necessary to respond to attacks by social reformers. A milestone in the industry was the opening (1904) of Ivy Lee's publicity office in New York City. Soon there were other firms in the field, and by World War I the concept of public relations had gained general acceptance. Public relations techniques have been widely used in politics and political campaigns. By the 1960s the public relations agency had become a fact in American life, numbering among its clients branches of national, state, and local government, industry, labor, professional and religious groups, and some foreign countries.

Bibliography

See B. R. Canfield, Public Relations (5th ed. 1968); E. L. Bernays, The Engineering of Consent (3d ed. 1969) and Public Relations (1970); S. M. Cutlip and A. H. Center, Effective Public Relations (4th ed. 1971); J. F. Awad, The Power of Public Relations (1985); E. W. Brody and G. C. Stone, Public Relations Research (1989).

References in periodicals archive ?
At best, it's embarrassing, bad PR, at worst it could have a serious effect on their business," said Threat Focus Inc's Kevin Nelson.
After all, the RFT is now part of a corporation and we know how sensitive corporate bosses are to bad PR.
Indeed so-called 'quite diplomacy' may have got very bad PR of late, but it is still going on, and should keep the Government from dropping the idea of transition entirely.
Now, before any outraged defenders of the Big J start pummeling me with rolled-up copies of the First Amendment and shouting out horror stories of PR people who have done them wrong, I want to say that I am not going to stoop to trading stories of bad journalism, a la Janice Cook; for stories of bad PR, a la Exxon Valdez.
The total disregard for the young victims in the Penn State situation is totally unfathomable and yet we often see such extreme measures to avoid bad PR and to cover up abuse in such cases," says Estey.
There is growing evidence of firms employing staff on short-hours contracts to avoid the bad PR associated with zero-hours jobs.
The Mrs Brown's Boys star, who will donate [euro]300,000 to charities, said despite the bad PR the groups still do an awful lot of good.
AT APPARENTLY Stacey Solomon''s "people" are worried about the bad PR she''s getting from smoking while pregnant and think it might affect the sales of her new album.
Ministers have just tried to spin their way out of a bad PR situation.
The Sheffield Newly relaunched condo conversion the Sheffield, which is revamping its image after several years of bad PR during Kent Swig's tenure, has announced a partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue that confers privileges on the building's residents.
As you can clearly see in my letter, I am encouraging people to help, despite the bad PR.
In fact, so mainstream is this trend at the moment that even heads of state don't think it's bad PR when their pictures staring at a beautiful woman's bum are flashed worldwide.