Public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion through sound character and proper performance, and is based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication. It’s about research, action, communication and evaluation.
A public relations specialist will research attitudes about the issue at hand, identify action of the client in the public interest, communicate the action to gain understanding and support, and evaluate the communication to see if opinion has been influenced.
The field’s strength stems from its roots: a democratic society where people have freedom to debate and to make decisions – in the community, the marketplace, the home, the workplace, and the voting booth. Private and public organizations depend on good relations with groups and individuals whose opinions, decisions, and actions affect their vitality and survival.
One would think that companies today all recognize the importance of proper public relations in the conduct of their business. Most do, but leaders still need to seek out the counsel of trained public relations professionals in dealing with their key audience.