In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Definition of Public Relations 2. Objectives of Public Relation 3. Types 4. Functions.

Definition of Public Relations:

“Public relations are the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an organization with the public interest and an organization with the public interest and executes a programme of action and communication to earn public cum understanding and acceptance”. – John. E. Marston

Edward Barney defines the public relation to his book, ‘The Engineering of Consent’ as “Public relation, the attempt, by information, persuasion, and adjustment, to engineer public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution”.

Objectives of Public Relation:


1. Building Product Awareness:

When introducing a new product or re-launching an existing product, marketers can use a public relation element that generates consumer attention and awareness through media placements and special events.

2. Creating Interest:

Whether a public relation placement is a short product article or is included with other products in “round up” article, stories in the media can help entice a targeted audience to try the product.


For example – around the holiday season, a special holiday food may be promoted with public relation through promotional releases sent to the food media or through special events that sample the product.

3. Providing Information:

Public relation can be used to provide customers with more in depth information about products and services. Through articles, collateral materials, newsletters and websites, public relation delivers information to customers that can help them gain understanding of the product.

4. Stimulating Demand:


A positive article in a newspaper, on TV news show or mentioned on the Internet, often results in a discernable increase in product sales.

5. Reinforcing the Brand:

In many companies the public relations function is also involved with brand reinforcement by maintaining positive relationships with key audiences, and thereby aiding in building a strong image.

Today it is ever more important for companies and brands to build a good image. A strong image helps the company build its business and it can help the company in times of crises as well.

Types of Public Relations:


Public relations experts create awareness and market their organization and its products/ services to various media sources which include TV, Radio, internet, newspapers, and magazines and so on.

Public relations experts develop and design various interesting and creative stories about their organization and products and pitch it to various media people. Organizations bank on their relations with media channels to enhance the reputation of their brand.

Following are the tools used in media relations:

1. Press Kits:


Press kits include written material about the organization and its top people.

2. Audio Releases:

Audio releases or video releases are pre-recorded messages distributed to various media channels.

3. Matte Releases:


Small local newspapers accept articles written by organizations when they do not have sufficient articles or stories to publish. Such releases are called as matte releases.

4. Website Press Room:

Public relations experts promote their organization and its products/services through online press rooms.

5. Media Tour:


Public relations experts publicize their organization and its products through media tour where key people of the organization travel to important places and locations and promote their products through various interviews to media people.

They interact and share the benefits and USPs of their products/services with people from various news channels, radio channels and even print media. Organizations also hire celebrities or other people popular among the masses to promote and publicize their organization.

6. Newsletters:

Newsletters are nothing but publications which are distributed on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly) among target audiences. Public relations experts collect complete information (name, address, age group) of their target customers and distribute newsletters to create awareness about their products.

Newsletters should include information about the organization, interview from key people, product information, and testimonials from clients and so on.

7. Events/Functions:


Public relations experts organize special events, gatherings, parties, to target their customers and promote their organization and its products among them. People from media are also invited for coverage.

8. Speaking Engagements:

One of indirect ways of publicizing an organization and its products is through interacting with potential customers and target audience. Company officials address the target audience and do not only discuss about their products and services. They generally prefer any topic which would interest the target audiences.

Functions of Public Relations:

The main responsibility of public relation is to communicate the policies, practices, problems and performances to the public and feedback public opinion and suggestions to the top management so that a mutual understanding can be established between the organization and its public i.e. shareholders, dealers, customers, general public, government etc.

1. Communicating to the Shareholders:

Shareholders are a part of the business public whose goodwill and support are of vital importance for the existence and the success of any concern. In changing economy of India, new classes of investors are emerging out who have been attracted to invest their funds in industries.


2. Communicating with the Dealers:

As customers cannot be contacted, except through advertising campaigns, a more effective way of dealing with them is to approach them through dealers and hence it is necessary to communicate well to the dealers.

3. Communicating with the Customers:

Apart from quality and price of the product customer relations has become an important factor in influencing the customer’s behavior and attitudes and thus developing a better image of the product in their minds. The first thing in maintaining customer relations is to inform the customers all about the product and then assess what they know about it.

The knowledge of customer’s mind can be assessed through research, surveys and probes and on the basis of such knowledge; attempts are made to adjust the company’s products, products and practices to meet the customers’ preferences.

The customers should be kept informed about the availability and the quality of the product because it is necessary to alloy their fear that business supply goods of inferior quality especially when it is short supply.


4. Communicating with the General Public:

Communication with public is altogether essential in developing a corporate image in the minds of the general public. It is, therefore, necessary for the business to realize its social responsibility towards the public at large.

First, the manufacturer must popularize a code of fair trade practice to have a check on the unscrupulous activities of the traders and retailers from rigging up prices when temporary shortages occur.

Second efforts must be made to inform the public the contribution of the business to the economic and industrial development of the nation such as its performance in the field of production, import substitution, self-sufficiency export promotion and diversification of its activities and in creating opportunities.

Third, the business must inform the public about its role as an employer as remuneration, facilities, perquisites allowed, welfare activities etc. provided or allowed to its employees and its efforts towards evolving a better and more harmonies relations.

Fourth, it must project an idea that business has a social consciousness and responsibility. It must take about its contribution to the solution of social problems and its association with good cause in the field of education, health and general welfare of the public. Public relation has a good role to play in all this activities.


5. Communicating with the Government and M.P’s:

In the present Indian context, government is one of the segments of any business. In India, the government plays a prime role in driving the economy and the business is independent for its existence, functioning and growth on government policies and action.

So it must have an effective communication link with the government because of a number of reasons-First because the company is accountable for its action to the government as the government controls the various aspects of the business.

Second, because the government is run not only by the ministers but by many of its officials at various levels in the ministries and other department influence the decision. Lastly because the government in its turn is answerable for the development of the economy.

Communicating with the M.P’s is not less important for the parliamentary proceedings receive a wide publicity. It is in the interest of the company to keep in touch with the M.P’s and communicate about its problems and performance.

6. Communicating with the Employees:


Industrial relations have been described as an area where a social conscience is particularly necessary today. When the clamorous demands of workers have to be reconciled with the not too plentiful resources of industry.

This is the area of personnel department but the public relation will have to play its role unobtrusively and guardedly.

The public relations department can and does play a vital role in providing the personnel department with better ideas and aids of communication, in its efforts to bring about improved working conditions, grievance procedures recruitment and promotional policies, employee training, recognition of exceptional performance and educational, health and welfare amenities.

The public relations director publish the house magazine, prepares reports on important topics, in addition to annual reports and provides printed and visual material to promote employee consciousness on such subjects as safety, health, savings, planned families and so on.

7. Communicating with the Press:

Large public art private undertakings are always in the news and are always under the search light of public scrutiny and attention. These large organizations are often subject matter of the press. The public opinion in India is largely influenced and molded by what is read in the newspapers.

There is, of course no obligation on any organization to have any dealing with the press. But since the activities of the companies, both public and private sectors, arouse the public interest and affect the corporate image of the organization among the public, it becomes essential for the company to have a good link with the press.

Thus in summing up, a number of tasks are performed by the public relation. First, a business undertaking must conduct its operations in such a manner that it helps to serve itself and the society well. Second, it must promote good faith and demonstrate its social responsibility.

Thirdly it must use its entire means to publicize what it is doing and what it plans to do. The management should always be sensitive to political conditions, socio-economic climate, and to publish opinion. The business must not hesitate to modify or change its public policy when it is decreased in the public interest.