Musings of a PR Professional

Chapter One

  • Public relations is extremely hard to define.


  • Elements of the profession: management, two-way communication (organization to public and public to organization), planned activity, researched-based social science (research to understand the context within which the communication occurs), socially responsible (concerned with the well being of others).
  • Theme of relationship management: Organizations that have healthy, positive and generally good relationships with the public are more successful.


  • Public relations as a profession has just begun to slowly gain acknowledgement that it is a valuable asset to the organization. Public relations has previously been famously under appreciated.


  • Hunt-Grunig models of public relations: press agentry/publicity model, public information model, two-way asymmetrical model two-way symmetrical model.
  • The public relations model used depends on the structure of the organization.


  • Public relations is different than advertising and marketing.


  • Ways of practicing public relations: PR agencies, corporations, government, nonprofit organizations or trade associations, independent PR consultants.
  • PR practitioners use a wide range of communication skills and are constantly learning new skills to keep up with newer and newer technology.


  • Linear four-step model of the PR process: Research -> Planning -> Communication -> Evaluation
  • However, in reality PR is not that simple. These four steps in the process should shift in order, be repeated and so on. This is known as the dynamic four-step model of the PR process
  • Values-driven public relations: The two previous models lack the necessary framework of values that organizations must work within. The organization’s and the public’s values must be considered before appropriate communication can occur between the two. “…process of uncovering not just where an organization wishes to go but also the principles the organization will observe in getting there.” (pg. 17)
  • Organizations must be more socially aware as a result.