Public relations (PR) are the managing of outside communication of an organization to generate and maintain a positive image. Public relations involve popularizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes, and many other activities. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines public relations as the art, marketing, quantitative, and visual technique, or profession of promoting goodwill between an organization or an individual and the public, employees, customers, etc. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “the art or science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public.” A public relations firm does this mostly by promoting favorable news. First the US president Thomas Jefferson used the word public relation in his address to Congress in 1807. According Edward Bernays, “Public Relations are a management function which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures and interest of an organization followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance. Nowadays “Public Relations is a set of management, supervisory, and technical functions that foster an organization’s ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, and respond to those persons whose mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessary if it is to achieve its missions and values.”. Fundamentally it is a management function that focuses on two-way communication and development of mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics. There is a school of public relations that holds that it is about relationship management. Phillips, explored this concept in his paper “Towards relationship management: Public relations at the core of organizational development” paper in 2006 which lists a range of academics and practitioners who support this view.
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