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Defining Public Relations Essay

1313 words - 6 pages

While the implementation of Public Relations is noted by Seitel (2004) to be coming up on its 100th birthday, public relations has clearly had a presence in humanity since the evolution of man (i.e., Maslow's hierarchy) (Seitel, 2004). Seitel notes the discovery of historic documentation from as early as 1800 B.C; from farmers in Iraq, prominent historic figures such as Julius Caesar to King George III; then to America with Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon; and not to exclude Phineas T. Barnum, of the infamous P.T. Barnum's traveling circus show (Seitel, 2004). Public relations methods are intended to evoke a response, to prompt an action by the recipients of the information, ...view middle of the document...

" (Seitel, 2004, What Is Public Relations, 3) John Beardsley wrote that "Public relations is a continuous process of speaking, listening and responding." (Beardsley, 2004, Communicating the value of public relations, 8)When I initially reviewed the subject of this paper before reading the assigned chapters and articles, my perceptions of what Public Relations entailed were based on reflections from historical or news report events as well as employer related communication which all appeared to be presented in regard to the defending of actions taken. News events such as Rodney Kings assault by California law enforcers, Michael Jackson's publicized child abuse trials, and President Bush's long-term war rages in the Middle East. Additionally I thought of my employers' communications during pay increase freezes and corporate layoffs. My perception all based on what appeared to be spins or segmented pieces of the truth. After reading the articles for week one's assignment, I then reflected on Odwalla's juice tragedy, along with the Tsunami disaster as well as the necessity of business decisions to enable companies to remain competitive, profitable and successful.Public relations as I define it from personal experience and reading the text, is that it is communication in various forms and methods to initiate a response or action. Public relations are for the conveyance of information, reassurance for those concerned during a tragedy, motivation to take an action or help to stop an action, sharing of information to answer questions, persuade or influence decisions, or promote a product or cause.OriginationThe term Public Relations is noted for its original establishment by professional communicators, such as Ivy Lee and Edward Betrays in the early 1900's, to aid in providing counsel between businesses and the public for the purpose of gaining trust and understanding of companies for the public. Some examples of well handled public relations are Johnson and Johnson's Tylenol poisonings, PepsiCo's syringe scare, and not to forget Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's involvement after the September 11 terrorist attacks (Seitel, 2004). Yet public relations has also had the effect of experiencing a negative connotation with the term due to circumstances surrounding events such as the Watergate scandal, President Clinton's affair with an intern, Martha Stewarts' stock trading discovery as well as the association with exploitive marketing such as in the 1800's with P.T. Barnum's circus acts and today's tabloid media reporting (Seitel, 2004).Contrasts and ComparisonsPublic Relations roles vary and are determined by the type of communication methods used and the specific intended results. Communication for public relations is directed towards consumers, public citizens, or government regulators, small and large businesses, internal management, and employees with public...

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