ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Definition of Public Relations

Updated on May 31, 2017

Please share the definition of “public relations” as you understand it to be in your organization or in an organization you regularly do business with as part of your work or home routines. You do not have to mention the company by name but rather identify the company by its function (e.g., phone company, bank, retail store).

The term public relations often means different things to different people based on their level of knowledge and experience with public relations. According to the Public Relations Society of America (n.d.) also known as the PRSA, the formal definition of public relations in 1982 was: “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” This definition remained the formal definition until the PRSA’s public vote in 2012; the vote led to the definition being changed to: “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” (PRSA, n.d.). The PRSA chose this definition because it centers on the basic concepts of public relations as a communication process, it is simple and straightforward, and it emphasizes mutually beneficial relationships. The textbook, Public Relations Writing: Forms & Style, defines public relations as “the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest” (Newsom & Haynes, 2013).

I am currently an after school counselor at an elementary school so public relations tend to be focused on parents and children. As a counselor I view public relations as the creation of a beneficial relationship between the school staff, the parents, and the children. It is important that the parents view the school as trustworthy or they would not pay the school to watch their children. It is also important that the children have a positive impression and relationship with the staff so that they remain happy. Counselors have to be able to effectively communicate with their superiors and the children in their care in order to keep the program running smoothly for the public. For the after school program public relations is all about keeping a positive relationship with the parents who trust the program with their children as well as the children in the program. My definition of public relation is the management function that supports the achievement of an organization’s strategic goals through the creation of goodwill with the public that it works with.


PRSA. (n.d.). What is Public Relations? Retrieved June 2, 2015, from

PRSA. (n.d.). PRSA's Old Definition of Public Relations. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from Definition

Newsom, D., & Haynes, J. (2013). Public Relations Writing: Forms & Style (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.

How do you think the quality and style of the written message affects the ability of an organization to practice public relations?

Public relations is “the strategic management function that helps an organization achieve its goals and objectives through building and maintaining goodwill with its various stakeholders/publics” (Newsom & Haynes, 2013). Public relations help organizations to achieve their goals through the message that they create and communicate to the various stakeholders and publics. In order for an organization to practice effective public relations the written messages created by public relations professionals must be high quality and composed in the correct style for the situation. The quality and style of the written message affects the ability of an organization to practice public relations.

For instance, if a new amusement park was being built next to a residential community, then the organization building the theme park would need to take care to send the correct public relations message to the various stakeholders and publics. The public relations message for the stakeholders would need to be formatted in a business formal style which would include information that would be of interest to the stakeholders. While the public relations messages for the various publics would need to be written in different styles depending on which public was being targeted. For the theme park customers the public relations message should be written in an informal style that would appeal to a younger audience and convey the enjoyment that park would bring to them. For the people who live around the area of the theme park the public relations message would need to persuade them that the amusement park would not prove a detriment to their daily lives and the ways in which their community could benefit from the park. If the organization’s public relations professions were to use a formal style of writing for the message designed to persuade people to visit their park, it would prove to be a low quality message that would not be very persuasive. In the same way if the message to the stakeholders was written in an informal manner the stakeholder might doubt the validity of the park’s ability to deliver on their goals and promises.

The quality and style of the written public relations message affects the ability of an organization to practice public relations because a poorly written or designed message can fail to persuade the intended audience. In fact such a message can serve to make people doubt the organization as a whole and cause them to place less stock in future public relation messages from the organization.


Newsom, D., & Haynes, J. (2013). Public Relations Writing: Forms & Style (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)