Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or of political decisions. Common activities include speaking at conferences, winning industry awards, working with the press, and employee communication.
“a management function, which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures, and interests of an organization… followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”
In August 1978, the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations defined the field 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 relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”
In 2011 and 2012, the PRSA developed a crowd-sourced definition:
“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Public relations can also be defined simply as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.
The European view of public relations notes that besides a relational form of interactivity there is also a reflective paradigm that is concerned with publics and the public sphere; not only with relational, which can in principle be private, but also with public consequences of organizational behavior.