Robert I. Wakefield probably gives one of the best definitions of Public Relations when he stated, "All public relations should exist to preserve a consistent reputation and build relationships" (This is PR 1). This is a very broad and generic scope that does not necessarily infer any type of ethical behavior nor implies any sense of right or wrong with what is generally referred to as "spin. The bottom line for any company is to make a profit. Why else would they be in business? The book, This is PR, written by Newsome, Turk and Kruckeberg states that the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines public relations as a management function that involves counseling at the highest level and being involved in strategic planning for the organization (2). This is a rather ambiguous statement that could mean a number of different things. Public Relations can be summed up in two words: Public Relations! No more needs to be said. PR can be anything that affects a company's, organizations, or individual's relative position within a market or society.
The book, states "the public relations practitioner serves as an intermediary between the organization that he or she represents and all of that organization's publics. Consequently, the PR practitioner has responsibilities both to the institution and to its various publics. He or she distributes information that enables the institution's publics to understand its policies. Although the PR role "should," reflect a social responsibility as well as a synergy with the company one must remember, loyalties usually lie with the one that signs the paycheck.
There seems to be many differing views of exactly what PR is. Any company that is in business is practicing PR whether through direct or indirect methodology. How a company treats its employees to how they market their respective products is all encompassed within public relations. These companies can have the best organizational goals coupled with great mission statements but, if these companies do not live up to their own implied expectations, it can and will have an effect on the business.
The book also gives a good breakdown of the many activities that fall under the scope of public relations. Press agents, promoters, publicists, marketers and merchandisers all play an important role in public relations. Press agents in the entertainment industry will handle a variety of tasks such as booking radio station interviews for their clients, book signings, CD signings, release parties, meet and greets, and so on. Promoters and press agents are very similar in function but the promoter will have the added responsibility of creating an image of a client. A promoter's function is much more involved than simply booking events in that they are to create a perceived image in order to gain sales or support for an artist.
Promotion is only one element of a complete marketing mix however, it is also just as important as any one element. The...