What is 'Public Relations'?

Public Relations in mass Media
Do you know what are Public Relations?
In Mass Communication, there is a field of expertise called ‘Public Relations and Advertising’. Students, who choose this field, are prepared to become Public Relation Experts.
But, what is Public relations and why is it necessary in an Organization?

The public Relation term is derived from 'Public' - The masses, and 'Relations' – in connection. In simple terms, it's a way for an organization to connect with the masses.
However, Public Relations, is not only about connecting with the masses.

The objects of Public Relations are:

1. Make Relations with the public:

Public Relation Experts/officers are in close relation with their ‘mainstream media’ friends. These friends who are working as reporters, editors, writers help the Public Relation Officers (PRO) by publishing their press releases.
Through this way, the Public Relation Experts connect with the public. That is just a one-way process, what if someone from the public wants to write back or provide some sort of feedback to the organization, which has published the press release.
In that case, that person can directly visit the Public Relations department to solve his query.

2. Public Relation Officers pursue an agenda of the Organization:

As described earlier, every organization has its own agenda that it pursues. Most of the agendas are to make most of the profit. However, in some cases companies are not able to do that. In those cases, the organizations change their policies. These changed policies many times become irresistible and the employees start protesting against them. E.g.: Many companies cut down employees in an organization, to increase profit.
When such cases take place, it is the responsibility of a PRO to bring things under control. The PR Department of a company do that by issuing a press release explaining the event and offering a middle path in between.
Taking the same example again, the PR department of that company, after immense pressure from public and employee base, will ask the company to review its decision and might be able to revert the decision totally or partially.
In this way, not only will the company be able to save itself but half of the employees will get their job back. Of course, many people might be thinking why only half the people got their job back. The answer for them is, PR department is not a justice department and as said earlier they pursue the agenda of the company, not the public.
However, employee unions can play their role here to bring back the other half in the company through their pressure on the PR department and the management.
Therefore, what is described by this example is that, “Public Relations act as a bridge between the management and the workers of an organization”.

3. Public Relation Officers Influence public based on that agenda

As described in the previous example that Public Relations of every organization has its own agenda. In addition, as the case goes, they used the agenda of the organization to calm the public. This is the influence of the PR department on the public. That is to present the news story in an acceptable way to the public. The public gets the news that half of the people are restored and its anger vanishes.
This was just one example of the Public Relations. However, it was a bad example, but it explains the meaning, objects and functions of Public Relations in the right way.

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