Public relations is the discipline, which looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. It is basically the job of maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with internal and external public with whom an organization is related. Public relations include the monitoring and evaluation of attitudes of both internal and external public. Internal public include the employees and opinion leaders of an organization whereas external public include shareholders, suppliers, consumers, Government and the media. Apart from organizations there are also public figures or a politician who hire PROs to create their public image.
To be effective, an organization needs to listen to the opinion of those with whom it deals and not solely provide information. At its best, public relations not only tell an organization's story to its publics, it also helps to shape the organization and the way it works. The practitioner needs to find out the concerns and expectations of a company's publics and explain them to its management. The public relation officers (PROs) ensure a smooth running of the organization by maintaining a two way flow of communication among the employees and the employers. In case of an internal crisis the role of the PRO becomes prominent as he saves the day for the organization through timely communications. Public relations also encompass the job of preparing house journals for maintaining contact with public. The rate of growth in the number of PR jobs at all levels has been higher that that of any management function over the last few years.
Keen competition likely will continue for entry-level public relations jobs, as the number of qualified applicants is expected to exceed the number of job openings. Many people are attracted to this profession because of the high profile nature of the work. Opportunities should be best for college graduates who combine a degree in journalism, public relations, advertising, or another communications-related field with a public relations internship or other related work experience. Public relations specialists are concentrated in large cities, where press services and other communications facilities are readily available and many businesses and trade associations have their headquarters.
Public relations graduates can establish careers in a wealth of areas such as in-house communications, public relations consultancy, web content management, events management & promotion and journalism. There are also other paths available for those who which to undertake further specialized training and postgraduate study. Public Relation practitioners are hired mainly for business, schools, universities, media and government centers.
The various posts where a student of public relation can apply are:
• Public Affairs Coordinator
• Communications associate
• Communications Officer
• Communications Manager
• Media Relations officer
• Press Secretary
• Director of External Affairs
• Marketing communication Specialist
• Communications Professional
• Development Director
• Communications/Research Analyst
Edward Louis Bernays
(November 22, 1891 - March 9, 1995) is considered one of the fathers of the field of public relations along with Ivy Lee. Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the psychology of the subconscious. He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the 'herd instinct' that Trotter had described. Adam Curtis's award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self, pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations, and Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.
is the co-owner of Turtle & Hare Creative, an award winning boutique public relations agency. (www.turtleandharecreative.com) She has worked on campaigns in North America, South America, and Asia for a multitude of clients including News Corporation, the Hain Celestial Group, Toyota and the Nagano Olympic Committee. She teaches public relations at Langara College.Maryse are presently writing a book on women in public relations and the skills it takes to excel in the industry.
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