What is Public Relations?

What Is Public Relations?

by James Woewoda

James Woewoda is the founder and president of Woewoda Communications

In 1982 the Public Relations Society of America adopted the following definition of public relations, "public relations helps an organization and public adapt mutually to each other."

In 2011 they modified their definition to, "public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public."

Within this definition the word "public" means any individual or group who will form an opinion about the organization. Depending upon the nature of the organization, "public" could therefore include customers, potential customers, voters, the media, teenagers, adults etc..the list is almost endless. 

Within this mutually beneficial relationship communication flows two ways; from the organization to their public, and from their audience back to the organization. This flow, which is strategic in nature, not only enhances the mutually beneficial relationship between the two entities, but it helps the organization evolve into an entity which is more readily accepted by their audience.

Without public relations this two way communication flow would cease to exist; and in a market driven economy, that type of failure, would result in a profit orientated company to lose market share. A result, which in the long run, would force the company to close its doors. 


Money, Dave Ross "What is public relations"
Public Relations Society of America (What is Public Relations)

Next weeks article : "Why Use Public Relations?"


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