Public relations is a management function, for management and communication of a permanent nature by which a private or public body aims to establish, maintain and promote relationships of trust based on knowledge and understanding of this organisation and its audience, both internal and external, in the public interest.
Public relations is defined as a set of communication techniques to give a positive image to a person or a public or private organization, develop a relationship of trust, esteem and adhesion between a company, brand and multiple audiences. Jean-Pierre Beaudoin defines public relations as “effective relationships with relevant audiences”1.
This communication is more personal and less directly led to the sale (or policymaking) than advertising, propaganda or lobbying by involving relaying parties (such as journalists).
It can, for example, take the form:
Of sponsorship of cultural, sporting or charitable organisations, or invitations to parties or prestige operations,
Maintaining regular contact with the media and disseminating regular information to the targeted public or individuals by way of newsletters.
Public relations can intervene in support of press relations, or conversely generate PR.
All communication and information activities implemented by a company:
Within the company (internal PR) to establish and develop trust, cohesion between its different components, promote the corporate culture, motivate employees …
Outside of the company (external PR) to develop good relations between the company and its various stakeholders: customers, purchasing advisors, suppliers, local community representatives, press … It also creates a well of sympathy and strengthens its image.
The tools of public relations:
For internal targets: company newsletters, welcome booklet for new employees, organising ceremonies, sports tournaments, an end of year meal, Christmas Tree …
For external targets: newsletters, company visits, open days, press releases and press conferences, brochures presenting the business, opinion leaders on the internet …
Public relations are involved in:
Capital appreciation (the “reputation” of an organisation or a brand)
The management of opinion
The communication of acceptability
The communication of sensitive issues and crises