Public relations (PR) is the strategic use of communication to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders, influencers, and publics. See the PR definition explained.
PR is typically equated with publicity work to raise awareness for brands, products, services, or causes. But PR is a wide professional discipline ranging from managing reputations, crises, politicians, journalists, spokespeople, stakeholders, and employees.
Important to note is that an organisation can have good PR without having communication professionals on staff — and vice versa. Another important thing to note is that most organisations struggle with no PR (rather than good or bad) as it’s often challenging to punch through the noise in a wired world.
One way to broaden the general notion of PR is to refer to “PR departments” as “communications departments”, “PR agencies” as “communication agencies”, and “PR professionals” as “communication professionals”.
Here on Doctor Spin, I use these terms interchangeably.
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