The management activity which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the organization’s policies and procedures with the public interest, identifies constituencies or audiences to be reached by the organization’s communications, and establishes channels of communication with these groups of people.
Public Relations is distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication as its principal tools
Sub Thematic areas in Public Relations
- Publicity: Disseminating planned messages through selected media to further the organization’s interest.
- Employee/Member Relations: Responding to concerns, informing, and motivating and organization’s employees or association or club members.
- Community Relations: Planned activity with a community to maintain an environment that benefits both the organization and the community.
- Public Affairs: Developing effective involvement in public policy and helping an organization adapt to public expectations. The term is also used by government agencies to describe their public relations activities and by many corporations as an umbrella term to describe multiple public relations activities.
- Governmental Affairs: Relating directly with legislature and regulatory agencies on behalf of the organization. Lobbying can be part of the government affairs programme.
- Issues management: Identifying and addressing issues of public concern that affect the organization.
- Financial Relations: Also known as Investor Relations or Shareholder Relations. It involves creating and maintaining investor confidence and building good relationships with the financial community.
- Industry Relations: Relating with other firms in the industry of an organization and with trade associations.
- Development/Fund-Raising: Demonstrating the need for and encouraging the public to support an organisation, primarily through financial contributions.
- Multicultural Relations/ Workplace Diversity: Relating with individuals and groups in various cultural settings.
- Special Events: Stimulating an interest in a person, product, or organization by means of a focused "happening". They are activities designed to interact with publics and listen to them.
- Marketing Communications: Combination of activities designed to sell a product, service, or idea. These activities may include advertising, collateral materials, publicity, promotion, direct mail, trade shows, and special events.