Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread 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.
Ancient origins 
Although the term "public relations" was not yet developed, some believe the history of public influence and communications management dates back to ancient civilizations. According to Edward Bernays, one of the pioneers of public relations, “The three main elements of public relations are practically as old as society: informing people, persuading people, or integrating people with people.
Stone tablets used by the Babylonians to educate farmers on how to sow and harvest crops in 1800 BC are sometimes considered the first known example of public relations. In Egypt, Scribes were elected by the pharaoh and other officials to document their deeds. In Athens, town criers were available for hire to proclaim new laws to the community or to advertise for artisans and traders. Aesclyptoe, an Athenian cosmetics vendor, created what is considered the precursor to the modern day jingle, when he sang, “…for prices in reason, the woman who knows, will buy her cosmetics at Aesclyptoe.” Ancient India had a team that monitored public opinion.
The first theories of rhetoric were founded in Ancient Greece. Writers such as Isocrates critiqued unethical practices of oratory as dangerous to democracy, while Plato and Aristotle devised academic distinctions to limit persuasion or maintain standards for judgment and action. Poetry was a common form of persuasion in Greece. Julius Caesar and others wrote biographies on their military successes to persuade the Roman public to support their political candidacies. Others in Rome and Greece wrote books and taught classes on persuasive speaking and rhetoric. The ancient Roman Empire created symbols and propoganda to demonstrate its economic prosperity and stability, so that it could entice unconquered regions to submit willingly.
In medieval Europe, craftsmen guilds coveted their reputation and Lord Chancellors acted as mediators in England between rulers and subjects. Public relations was also used to spread Christianity. Pope Urban II is said to have used public relations to recruit for the crusades and Jesus could be considered an early practitioner of ethics in communication. He told his apostles "Say 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No'." Early gospel writers practiced audience segmentation by creating four different versions of their gospels for different audiences. Pope Gregory XV is considered the founder of the term "propaganda" for his work persuading people to join the church through trained missionaries. La reputation was the word used for French publicists that promoted absolutism in the 1500s and 1600s.
Early Pre-History 
The promotion of the New World by explorers is sometimes cited as an example of public relations. Land promoters used exaggerated stories of grandeur to persuade English citizens to migrate to the New World in the 1600s. Famous explorers such as Magellan, Columbus and Raleigh are sometimes called “public relations” people, because their appeals to rulers for funding and to colonists for immigration are similar to those used in contemporary practices. During the movement west in the United States, exaggerated stories of Davy Crocket and the California Gold Rush were used to persuade the public to fight the war against Mexico and to migrate west in the US, respectively.
American colleges have used public relations in the promotion of higher education. In 1641, Harvard College developed the first fund-raising brochure, New England's First Fruits, as part of the first fund-raising campaign. Three Harvard preachers on a begging mission to England had asked for a pamphlet to explain its financial needs. When King's College (now Columbia University), sent out an announcement of its 1758 graduation ceremonies, several newspapers printed the information and it become one of the first news releases. Princeton was the first to make it a routine practice to supply newspapers with information about activities at the college.
The Boston Tea Party was a staged event to rally protest against the British rule in the American colonies during the late 18th century, and some historians consider it to be an example of a kind of early “public relations event.” Pamphlets such as Common Sense and The American Crisis were used to spread anti-British propaganda, and the phrase “taxation without representation is tyranny” was persuasive. After the revolution was won, disagreements broke out regarding the United States Constitution. Supporters of the constitution sent letters now called the Federalist Papers to major news outlets that persuaded the public to support the constitution.
Within the U.S. government, an 1807 address to Congress by former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson may be the first time the term "public relations" was coined. During the 1820s, President Andrew Jackson appointed the first Federal Press Secretary in the US, Amos Kendall. Kendall was one of the first persons whose paid profession centered on media management around a particular organization or party.
Westinghouse Corporation created the first in-house PR department in 1889. Many of the first practitioners of public relations in the U.S. were hired to persuade US consumers to use the new rail system. Some scholars believe that the first appearance of the term "public relations" appeared in the 1897 Year Book of Railway Literature.
Foundation as a profession 
According to Barbara Diggs-Brown from the American University School of Communications, the history of public relations didn't begin until around 1900, but the PR field anchors their work in ancient events to improve the perceived validity of the field. Former Boston journalists created the first public relations agency in 1900 under the name "Publicity Bureau."  Ivy Lee, a former Wall Street reporter, is sometimes called the father of public relations and was influential in establishing it as a professional practice. In 1906, Lee published a Declaration of Principles, which said that public relations work should be done in the open, should be accurate and cover topics of public interest. Ivy Lee is also credited with developing the modern press release and the "two-way-street" philosophy of both listening to and communicating with respective publics.
In practice Lee's work was often identified as spin or propaganda. In 1913 and 1914 the mining union was blaming the Ludlow Massacre, where on-strike miners and their families were killed by state militia, on the Rockefeller family and their coal mining operation, The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. On the Rockefeller family's behalf, Lee published bulletins called "Facts Concerning the Struggle in Colorado for Industrial Freedom," which contained false and misleading information. The press said Lee "twisted the facts" and called him a "paid liar," a "hired slanderer," and a "poisoner of public opinion."
Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, is also sometimes referred to as the father of public relations and the profession's first theorist for his work in the 1920s. He took the approach that audiences had to be carefully understood and persuaded to see things from the client's perspective. He wrote the first text-book on public relations and taught the first college course at New York University in 1923. Bernays also first introduced the practice of using front groups in order to protect tobacco interests. In the 1930s Bernays started the first vocational course in public relations.
Bernays was influenced by Freud's theories about the subconscious. Bernays authored several books, including Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Propaganda (1928), and The Engineering of Consent (1947). He saw public relations as an "applied social science" that uses insights from psychology, sociology, and other disciplines to scientifically manage and manipulate the thinking and behavior of an irrational and "herdlike" public. "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society," he wrote in Propaganda, "Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."
Early professional public relations 
In the early 1900s, the American Tobacco Company persuaded women to smoke by positioning cigarettes as torches of freedom that represent rebellion against the norms of a male-dominated society. In 1929, he orchestrated a now-legendary publicity stunt by convincing women to smoke at the Easter parade in Manhattan, unaware that a tobacco company was behind the publicity stunt. Bernays dubbed his PR campaign the: "Torches of Liberty Contingent". They circulated images of women smoking "Torches of Liberty" to newspapers and successfully dispelled the norm for women not to smoke.
Modern public relations 
The foundation of the Public Relations Society of America in 1947 was followed by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London in 1948 and similar trade associations in Australia, Europe, South Africa, Italy and Singapore among others. In 1955, the International Association of Public Relations was founded.
Advertising dollars in traditional media productions have declined and many traditional media outlets are seeing declining circulation in favor of online and social media news sources. One website even tracks the "death" of newspapers. As readership in traditional media shifts to online media, so does the focus of many in public relations. Social media releases, search engine optimization, content publishing, and the introduction of podcasts and video are other burgeoning trends.
Social media has increased the speed of breaking news, creating greater time constraints on responses to current events.
Increasingly, companies are utilizing social media channels, such as blogs and Microblogging. Some view two-way communications in social media in two categories: asymmetrical and symmetrical. In an asymmetrical public relations model an organization gets feedback from the public and uses it as a basis for attempting to persuade the public to change. A symmetrical public relations model means that the organization takes the interests of the public into careful consideration and public relations practitioners seek a balance between the interest of their organization and the interest of the public.
In the United States, public relations professionals earn an average annual salary of $49,800 which compares with £40,000 for a practitioner with a similar job in the UK. Top earners make around $89,220 annually, while entry-level public relations specialists earn around $28,080. Corporate, or in-house communications is generally more profitable, and communications executives can earn salaries in the mid six-figures, though this only applies to a fraction[need quotation to verify] of the sector's workforce.
The role of public relations professionals is changing because of the shift from traditional to online media. Many PR professionals are finding it necessary to learn new skills and to examine how social media can impact a brand's reputation.
Public relations professionals present the public face of an organization or individual, usually to articulate its objectives and official views on issues of relevance, primarily to the media. Public relations contributes to the way an organization is perceived by influencing the media and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. According to Dr. Jacquie L’Etang from Queen Margaret University, public relations professionals can be viewed as "discourse workers specializing in communication and the presentation of argument and employing rhetorical strategies to achieve managerial aims."
Specific public relations disciplines include:
- Financial public relations – communicating financial results and business strategy
- Consumer/lifestyle public relations – gaining publicity for a particular product or service
- Crisis communication – responding in a crisis
- Internal communications – communicating within the company itself
- Government relations – engaging government departments to influence public policy
Within each discipline, typical activities include publicity events, speaking opportunities, press releases, newsletters, blogs, social media, press kits and outbound communication to members of the press. Video and audio news releases (VNRs and ANRs) are often produced and distributed to TV outlets in hopes they will be used as regular program content.
Building and managing relationships with those who influence an organization or individual’s audiences has a central role in doing public relations. After a public relations practitioner has been working in the field, they accumulate a list of relationships that become an asset, especially for those in media relations.
Audience targeting 
A fundamental technique used in public relations is to identify the target audience, and to tailor messages to appeal to each audience. Sometimes the interests of differing audiences and stakeholders common to a public relations effort necessitate the creation of several distinct but complementary messages.
On the other hand stakeholders theory identifies people who have a stake in a given institution or issue. All audiences are stakeholders (or presumptive stakeholders), but not all stakeholders are audiences. For example, if a charity commissions a public relations agency to create an advertising campaign to raise money to find a cure for a disease, the charity and the people with the disease are stakeholders, but the audience is anyone who is likely to donate money.
Messaging is the process of creating a consistent story around a product, person, company or service. Messaging aims to avoid having readers receive contradictory or confusing information that will instill doubt in their purchasing choice or other decisions that have an impact on the company. Brands aim to have the same problem statement, industry viewpoint or brand perception shared across sources and mediums.
Social media marketing 
Digital marketing is the use of Internet tools and technologies such as search engines, Web 2.0 social bookmarking, new media relations, blogging and social media marketing. Interactive PR allows companies and organizations to disseminate information without relying solely on mainstream publications and communicate directly with the public, customers and prospects.
Other techniques 
Litigation public relations is the management of the communication process during the course of any legal dispute or adjudicatory processing so as to affect the outcome or its impact on the client’s overall reputation (Haggerty, 2003).
The field of public relations is generally highly un-regulated, but many professionals voluntarily adhere to the code of conduct of one or more professional bodies to avoid exposure for ethical violations. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Public Relations Society of America and The Institute of Public Relations are a few organizations that publish an ethical code. Still, Edelman's 2003 semi-annual trust survey found that only 20 percent of survey respondents from the public believed paid communicators within a company were credible.
Spin has been interpreted historically to mean overt deceit meant to manipulate the public, but since the 1990s has shifted to describing a "polishing of the truth." Today spin refers to providing a certain interpretation of information meant to sway public opinion. Companies may use spin to create the appearance of the company or other events are going in a slightly different direction than they actually are. Within the field of public relations, spin is seen as a derogatory term, interpreted by professionals as meaning blatant deceit and manipulation. Skilled practitioners of spin are sometimes called "spin doctors."
The techniques of spin include selectively presenting facts and quotes that support ideal positions (cherry picking), the so-called "non-denial denial," phrasing that in a way presumes unproven truths, euphemisms for drawing attention away from items considered distasteful, and ambiguity in public statements. Another spin technique involves careful choice of timing in the release of certain news so it can take advantage of prominent events in the news.
Negative PR 
Negative public relations, also called dark public relations (DPR) and in some earlier writing "Black PR", is a process of destroying the target's reputation and/or corporate identity. The objective in DPR is to discredit someone else, who may pose a threat to the client's business or be a political rival. DPR may rely on IT security, industrial espionage, social engineering and competitive intelligence. Common techniques include using dirty secrets from the target, producing misleading facts to fool a competitor. Some claim that negative public relations may be highly moral and beneficial for the general public since threat of losing the reputation may be disciplining for companies, organizations and individuals. Apart from this, negative public relations helps to expose legitimate claims against one.
Politics and civil society 
In Propaganda (1928), Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy. In public relations, lobby groups are created to influence government policy, corporate policy, or public opinion, typically in a way that benefits the sponsoring organization.
When a lobby group hides its true purpose and support base, it is known as a front group. Front groups are a form of astroturfing, because they intend to sway the public or the government without disclosing their financial connection to corporate or political interests. They create a fake grass-roots movement by giving the appearance of a trusted organization that serves the public, when they actually serve their sponsors.
"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."
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defined public relations in 1982 as:
"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."
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.
See also 
- Impression management
- List of public relations journals
- Promotion (marketing)
- Reputation management
- Brand management
- Grunig, James E. and Hunt, Todd. Managing Public Relations. (Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), 6e.
- Seitel, Fraser P. The Practice of Public Relations. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007), 10e.
- Rubel, Gina F., Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Doylestown, PA: 1 ed. 2007, ISBN 978-0-9801719-0-7
- Erman, Adolf. Life in Ancient Egypt. New York: Dover Publications, 1971.
- Barbara Diggs-Brown (11 August 2011). Strategic Public Relations: An Audience-Centered Practice. Cengage Learning. pp. 40–. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Egan, John. "Marketing Communications History." Marketing Communications: Past and Present to Marketing Communications. London: Thomson, 2007.
- Donald Grunewald; Robert J. Petrausch; Giri Dua (25 November 2008). Public Relations: A Primer for Business Executives. iUniverse. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-4401-0165-6. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Czinkota, Michael R., and Ilkka A. Ronkainen. "The Historical Dimension." Trade Institutions and Trade Policy to International Marketing. 8th ed. Mason, OH: Thomson/Southwestern, 2007.
- , Rowan University Communication Institute, 2000 http://www.larrylitwin.com/handouts/History%20of%20PR%20090104.pdf, retrieved February 9, 2013 Missing or empty
- Smith, Ron (Fall 2004), Public Relations History, Buffalo State University, retrieved February 7, 2013
- Jacquie L'Etang (6 December 2012). Public Relations: Critical Debates and Contemporary Practice. Psychology Press. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-0-8058-4617-1. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- D F du Plessis (1 January 2001). Introduction to Public Relations and Advertising. Juta and Company Ltd. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-7021-5557-4. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Garth S. Jowett; Victoria O'Donnell (12 April 2011). Propaganda & Persuasion. SAGE. pp. 105–. ISBN 978-1-4129-7782-1. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Chinowth, Emily (July 2010), The History of Public Relations, Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, retrieved February 11, 2013
- Barbara Diggs-Brown (11 August 2011). Strategic Public Relations: An Audience-Centered Practice. Cengage Learning. pp. 40–. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Cutlip, Scott (1995). Public Relations History: From the 17th to the 20th Century: The Antecedents. Lawrence Erlbaurn Associates.
- Smith, Ron (Fall 2004), Public Relations History, Buffalo State University, retrieved February 7, 2013
- Troianovski, Anton (June 7, 2006). "Calibrating the Public Relations Machine". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- D F du Plessis (1 January 2001). Introduction to Public Relations and Advertising. Juta and Company Ltd. pp. 9–. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- The Origins of Public Relations, Sage publications, retrieved March 9, 2013
- Deirdre K. Breakenridge (26 March 2008). PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences. FT Press. pp. 17–. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Reddi (2010). Effective Public Relations And Media Strategy. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. pp. 53–. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "1897 American Journalism's Exceptional Year." 1897 American Journalism's Exceptional Year. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.
- Martin J. Manning (2004). Historical Dictionary Of American Propaganda. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 234–.Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Barbara Diggs-Brown (11 August 2011). Strategic Public Relations: An Audience-Centered Practice. Cengage Learning. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-534-63706-4. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- O'Brien, Timothy (February 13, 2005). "Spinning Frenzy: P.R.'s Bad Press". Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Stuart M Levy (1 January 2006). Public Relations & Integrated Communications. Lotus Press. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-81-8382-074-5. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Halllahan, Kirk (2002), Ivy Lee and the Rockefellers' response to the 1913-1914 Colorado Coal Strike, Journal of Public Relations Research
- Jonathan H. Rees (18 May 2011). Representation and Rebellion. O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-1-4571-0984-3. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Moi Ali (30 October 2005). Public Relations. HEINEMANN LIB. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-1-4034-7654-8. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Joseph Turow (22 September 2011). Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication. Taylor & Francis. pp. 565–. ISBN 978-1-136-86402-5. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Natasha Tobin, (2005), "Can the professionalisation of the UK public relations industry make it more trustworthy?", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 Iss: 1 pp. 56 - 64
- Bernays, Edward (1923). Crystallizing Public Opinion. Liveright Publishing Corporation.
- Sheldon Rampton; John Stauber (14 January 2002). Trust Us, We're Experts PA: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future. Penguin Group US. pp. 41–. ISBN 978-1-101-14406-0. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- PR - a Persuasive Industry?: Spin, Public Relations, and the Shaping of the Modern Media. Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-230-59485-2. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Reddi (2010). Effective Public Relations And Media Strategy. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. pp. 294–. ISBN 978-81-203-3646-9. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Paul Gillin (2008) Newspaper Death Watch. Retrieved August 29, 2008
- Brian Caulfield (2007) “Bye-Bye, Business 2.0” Forbes. Retrieved August 29, 2008
- Paul (2008) “8 Public Relations Trends to Watch” Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- Erica Swallow, Mashable. "The Future of Public Relations and Social Media." August 16, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- Tad Clarke and Stefan Tornquist, MarketingSherpa. "MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Presentation 2007: PowerPoint, MP3 and Transcript." Oct 31, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- Lee Odden, MediaRelationsBlog. "Testing SEO & Social Media Readiness: 6 Questions." August 25, 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- PRSA. "12 Trends To Watch: 2012 Public Relations Forecast #PRin2012." January 3, 2012 . Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- Alan B. Bernstein and Cindy Rakowitz (2012). Emergency Public Relations: Crisis Management In a 3.0 World. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4691-5954-6
- [when?] 
- "Public Relations Specialist Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Public Relations Specialists".
- Jacquie L'Etang (2 September 2004). Public Relations in Britain: A History of Professional Practice in the Twentieth Century. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-4106-1081-2. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- David Phillips (2006) Towards relationship management: Public relations at the core of organizational development, Journal of Communication Management, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
- Kamau, C. (2009) Strategising impression management in corporations: cultural knowledge as capital. In D. Harorimana (Ed) Cultural implications of knowledge sharing, management and transfer: identifying competitive advantage. Chapter 4. Information Science Reference. ISBN 978-1-60566-790-4
- Marshall, Tim (2002). "Ethics – Who needs them?". Journal of Communication Management 7 (2): 107–112. doi:10.1108/13632540310807313. ISSN 1363-254X.
- Safire, William (1996) The Spinner Spun
- The Free Dictionary
- Wattenberg, Martin P. (Aug. 22, 1996). Negative Campaign Advertising: Demobilizer or Mobilizer. eScholarship Repository. UC Irvine, Department of Politics and Society. Retrieved on January 29, 2005
- Bike, William S. (March 28, 2004). Campaign Guide: Negative Campaigning. CompleteCampaigns.com. City: San Diego. Retrieved on August 3, 2005.
- Saletan, William (November 25, 1999). Three Cheers for Negative Campaigning. Slate. City: Washington. Retrieved on August 3, 2005.
- Does Attack Advertising Demobilize the Electorate? Stephen Ansolabehere, Shanto Iyengar, Adam Simon, Nicholas Valentino, 1994, American Political Science Review, 88:829-838; Winning, But Losing, Ansolabehere and Iyenger, 1996
- Ask a hitman, Hitman - Negative Public Relations Agency, Pvt., August 22, 2012.
- Edward Bernays Propaganda (1928) p. 10
- See Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Focus on the CNN Effect Misses the Point: The Real Media Impact on Conflict Management is Invisible and Indirect, Journal of Peace Research, vol.37, no.2. Institute of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (2000).
- Jensen Zhao. Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd. Ed. Retrieved from findarticles.com
- PRSA's Old Definition of Public Relations
- Stuart Elliot (March 1, 2012). "Public Relations Defined, After an Energetic Public Discussion". New York Times.
- Grunig, James E. and Hunt, Todd. Managing Public Relations. (Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), 6e. Public relations is what you do with what you know and what other think about what you say.
- name=On the definition of public relations: a European view.
Further reading 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Public relations|
- A History of Public Relations, from The Institute for Public Relations
- Scott Cutlip (1994) The Unseen Power: Public Relations: A History, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates ISBN 0-8058-1464-7 .
- Scott Cutlip (1995) Public Relations History: from the 17th to the 20th Century, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates ISBN 0-8058-1780-8 .