public relations

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public relations

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 propaganda, 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.


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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Logo facelift - A redesign of an outdated, tired logo can do a lot to boost a company image, but be careful.
Each commercial had similar marketing objectives: to increase overall company rating by influencing the company image, particularly as a company that is concerned with the social and economic issues of the country.
Enterprise customers can utilise the Audiomax solution in conjunction with their Vodavi telecommunications system to promote products or services, enhance company image, address frequently asked questions and inform customers of important news while callers are placed on hold.
With customers as diverse as worktop manufacturers and makers of football pitch covers, the Connolly's are hoping that strengthening the company image will pay off by attracting more local interest.
In May it unveiled plans for the campaign and the new spearhead logo 'Littlewoods Would.' Marketing director Susan Murray said: "Research shows the test adverts were viewed positively by customers, delivered stronger sales and increased the brand visibility and company image.
The result was a success, with 85% of respondents declaring they like the new style and the same percentage finding that it clearly gives Seppic a friendlier, more dynamic and modern company image.
The company image has changed dramatically by upgrading our designs."
Issue reviewed contained pieces on maximizing your marketing dollar; how to create online banner, split-screen and interstitial ads that get results; resurrecting a poor company image; how today's top e-mail programs reward customer loyalty; a brief profile of 1-800-FLOWERS founder Jim McCann; and six ways to battle burnout.
Hitachi expects the casual-dress campaign to contribute to its reform by changing its stiff company image, company officials said.
Companies that have opted to promote individual "global" images are especially prone to what has been identified as an "international disease": they consistently alter messages and adapt concepts originating abroad to fit their precise "global" company image. American managers have coined the sickness "NIH" for "Not Invented Here", implying, "You understand, here things are not the same.
Today's cuts come as a survey shows British Gas has the worst company image in Britain.