Ans.    “Public Relations is defined as helping an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

            Public relations is a planned and sustained activity to help an institution create a social climate favorable for its growth.  It is based on the fundamental belief that the survival of any enterprise, public or private depends today on the sensitive response to changes in public opinion.

The International Public Relations Association defines public relations as “Public relations is the art  and  social  science  of  analyzing  trends,  predicting  their  consequences, counseling organisation leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest.”

Public relation is a two way process.  On the one hand it seeks to interpret an organization to society while on the other it keeps the organization informed about the expectation of the society. Fundamentally public relation is a means by which an organization improves its operating environment.


Public relations people have the role of being always in the middle – pivoted between their clients/employers and their publics. They must be attuned to the thinking and needs of the organizations they serve or they cannot serve well. They must be attuned to the dynamics and needs of the publics so they can interpret publics to the clients, as well as interpret the clients to the publics.



We can describe the function and role of public relations practice by stating ten basic principles:

1.      Public relations deal with reality, not false fronts. Conscientiously planned programs that put the public interest in the forefront are the basis of sound public relations policy.(PR deals with facts, not fiction.)

2.      Public relations is a service-oriented profession in which public interest, not personal reward, should be the primary consideration. (PR is a public not personal, service.)

3.      Since the public relations practitioner must go to the public to seek support for programs and policies, public interest is the central criterion by which he or she should select these programs and policies. (PR practitioners must have the guts to say no to a client or to refuse a deceptive program.)

4.      Because the public relations practitioner reaches many publics through mass media, which are the public channels of communication, the integrity of these channels must be preserved. (PR practitioners should never lie to the news media, either outright or by implication.)

5.      Because PR practitioners are in the middle between an organization and its publics, they must be effective communicators – conveying information back and forth until understanding is reached.

6.      To expedite two-way communication and to be responsible communicators, public relations practitioners must use scientific public opinion research extensively. (PR cannot afford to be a guessing game.)

7.      To understand what their publics are saying and to reach them effectively, public relations practitioners must employ the social sciences – psychology, sociology, social psychology, public opinion, communications study and semantics. (Intuition is not enough.)

8.      Because a lot of people do PR research, the PR person must adapt the work of other related  disciplines,  including  learning  theory  and  other  psychology  theories, sociology,  political  science,  economics  and  history. (The  PR  field  requires multidisciplinary applications.)

9.      Public relations practitioners are obligated to explain problems to the public before these problems become crisis. (PR practitioners should alert and advise, so people won’t be taken by surprise.)

10.    A public relations practitioner should be measured by only one standard: ethical performance. (A PR practitioner is only as good as the reputation he or she deserves.)

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