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PUBLIC RELATIONS, WHAT IT IS (NOT)

By Idris Katib

The British Institute of Public Relations (BIPR) defines public relations as “the deliberate, planned and sustained efforts to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”.

In this write-up, I will jettison copious definitions by gurus and institutions of public relations for a down-to-earth approach to it. Public Relations adds values to brands, products and institutions.

As a pro-active two-way communication for the promotion of a brand, product or organisation to its various publics, it entails not only excellent interpersonal relations but group as well as media relations. Public relations can be better described image-making, image projection and protection. It sees image as a mirror, if you smile at it, it smiles back at you. One of the few professions that give more credence to competence than certification is public relations, as practitioners are recognised and rated based on knowledge, performance and professionalism. This is not without training, continuous training and re-training undergone by practitioners from time to time.

Public Relations—where employed and duly recognised— propagates brands, organisations, establishments, institutions, corporations and states. Since it is a profession that makes use of all variables to follow trends, analyse issues at hand and make recommendations through professional counselling, PR sees beforehand what other professions may not easily pontificate. This is the profession.

What PR is

· PR is a link, a bridge between the organisation or brand and its audience/loyalists referred to in the profession as publics.

· PR is planning—it evolves strategic planning; all we do in it is planning and proactive, prompt implementation with measurement of results: evaluation.

· A PR practitioner is a researcher, a thinker, a bookworm, a planner, a propagator, a believer, a motivator, a wordsmith and a classic. He combines a number of positive attributes to communicate effectively what a brand, organisation, product, state etc stands for.

· A bona fide public relations professional, aside being a repository of knowledge and information of what he represents, is the 'eyes and ears'. He or she sees everything and hears everything from his or her vantage position.

· PR does not exist without writing—records, putting pen on paper, fingers on keyboard, professional e-mails and smses. In fact, 60-70% of what we do in it is writing—the planning, the script, news releases, broadcast, house journals, newsletters, web contents and other appurtenances—all are products of writing.

· Feedback is one veritable tool of PR. Opinion measurement is for action plan.

· Good public speaking.

What PR is not

a) Propaganda—this is synonymous with falsehood. PR thrives on true information.

b) PR is not an instrument of fire brigade method. It is not an afterthought. It is a deliberate, planned method.

c) PR is not a product of undue advantages. Quite unfortunate that most charlatans or those who misconstrue the profession often refer to bribe, kickbacks or gratification as “PR'. This is distasteful and nauseating to the profession.

d) Errand boy/underdog. A PR practitioner is a vital stakeholder, rather than errand boy as perceived by most organisations or executives. A chartered PR person is on the same pedestal with other chartered professionals in accounting, law, advertising, architecture and surveying.

e) A PR practitioner is not exactly the same with a reporter, broadcaster, advertiser, public speaker or sales promoter. Oftentimes, his job may encompass all or some of these professional communicators. A PR man is not an island because other allied professionals play vital roles at the implementation of his planning.

f) PR is never an instrument of vendetta, activism or incitement against the constituted authority. This is as much as it does not romance with incompetence or mediocrity.

g) PR is not crisis management. It prevents crisis, recommends plan of actions and project peace. In PR practice, crisis management comes as a last resort.

Some Qualities of a PR Practitioner

Apart from putting up a good appearance at all times, truth is the watchword of any practitioner of the job always. A PR practitioner does not malign information or personalities.

A public relations professional is a repository of information. He should know something about everything and everything about something. This applies especially to the brand or institution he represents.

A public relations person is she who after receiving your telephone call, you always long to meet interpersonally. This is through courtesy and good mannerisms extended over the telephone line even without having seen her in the first instance. A PR person will never treat people harshly on phone whether on official or personal call. Above this, A PR practitioner is a superb interpersonal communicator.

Public Relations is akin to appreciation. The profession appreciates good service, good performance, customer relations and dedication of members of staff to duties. A good practitioner recommends awards of recognition to staff who perform the most—on quarterly or yearly basis perhaps—on their jobs. At times it may be verbal commendation, letter of appreciation/commendation or presentation of mementos.

As a corporate profession, reliability, punctuality and time management are hallmarks of the noble profession.

§ IIdris Katib, a chartered public relations and advertising practitioner, can be reached via [email protected]

Your Comment
 
 
 

KASUMU KANYINSOLA | 1/9/2015 3:02:00 PM
Public relations practice has rapidly grown over time at such it has in so many ways increased the life standard of many nigerians . if we are to alight a few advantages of public relations job opportunity would definetely not be left out .
olatunji racheal | 1/20/2015 3:52:00 PM
Public relations is the protection of an organization image and providing the standards of the publics,Public relations help in such a way that it has so many important life standard of many pubblics,and we have too operate a few merit stage of public relations because it gives the individual job opportunity .OLATUNJI RACHEAL ABIMBOLA,MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT,CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA LAGOS STATE.
UKEKO OKEOGHENE .C. | 1/18/2015 4:09:00 PM
MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ,CALEB UNIVERSITY . This article emphasis on what public relations is and is not . We are made to understand it serves as a link between the organization and it's publics thereby maintaining mutual understanding between them . Public relations officials have become very important for an organization because they create a good image for the organization . He / she counsels the organization ,analyse trends and predict consequences . public relation activities are planned , it is not accidental . Every effort to public relation is systematically designed . They are not propagandist ,they give truthful information to their publics . They are different from an advertiser , public speaker or sales promoter . They are representatives of their organization . Public relations officials helps to promote their brand and product through two-way communication and they get feed back from their publics .
DORIS NKUMAH NWANNEK | 1/19/2015 10:30:00 PM
The main aim of Public Relation is the protection of an organizations image and maintaining it in good standard such that the public perceive it to be "perfect". A public relation officer ensures that everything in an organization runs smoothly and handles situation during crisis management. Every effort to public relation is systematically designed in such a way that there is no mistake. Without public relation in an organization, such an organization would suffer loss in every of its department because public relation is the eye and ear of the organization. MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT, CALEB UNIVERSITY, IMOTA, LAGOS.
OJUKWU BENJAMIN | 5/18/2015 1:01:00 AM
Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. Customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists and regulators can have a powerful impact. They all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with - whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organisations. In today's competitive market, reputation can be a company's biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with all organisation stakeholders. Implementing a successful Public Relations strategy is a very complicated process. It involves a number of techniques used in other forms of marketing; which seems to confuse many of today's up and coming business owners. Understanding its importance is the first step you need to take. From there you can begin developing the strategies, or possibly hiring the right people; to get the job done effectively, PR as a marketing tool also allows you to gain credibility for your business. Reason being, PR presents people with information from a third party. DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION 200LEVEL CALEB UNIVERSITY, LAGOS.
NWAGBARA CHIDINMA | 5/19/2015 3:58:00 PM
This article i can say covers the main basis of public relations, it started of with what public relations is that is the definitions and then the relationship with other terms and also the qualities of a good PR personnel. In the course, mas 206 - writing and production for PR it teaches that in any corporate working organisation the image of the company whether good or bad can do wonders but this is not restricted to just organisations alone as people, products, goods and services also need a good image and reputation to survive in the global market. Public relations is the protection of an organization image and providing the standards of the publics,Public relations help in such a way that it has so many important life standard of many publics,and we have too operate a few merit stage of public relations because it gives the individual job opportunity.Public relations practice has rapidly grown over time at such it has in so many ways increased the life standard of many nigerians . if we are to alight a few advantages of public relations job opportunity would definetely not be left out . We are made to understand it serves as a link between the organization and it's publics thereby maintaining mutual understanding between them. Without public relation in an organization, such an organization would suffer loss in every of its department because public relation is the eye and ear of the organization. This article is educational because it teaches the basic principles of PR. NWAGBARA CHIDINMA CYNTHIA, 200L, MASS COMMUNICATION, CALEB UNIVERSITY IKORODU ROAD, IMOTA LAGOS.
Oluwafemi Motunrayo | 5/19/2015 5:17:00 PM
This article focuses on what public relation is and is not. It started with public relations is,the relationship with other terms and the qualities of agood PR practitioner. Public relation as profession is very important to all organisation and institution, it serves as the heartbeat of an organisation. No organisation can survive without PR. It serves as a link between the organisation and its publics thereby maintaining mutual understanding between them.PR officials have become very important for an organisation because they create a good image for the organisation, they counsel the organisation, analyse trends and predict consequences. They are representatives of their organisation, they help to promote their brand through the two way communication and they get feedback from their publics. PR involves a number of techniques,you need to first understand its importance before developing your strategies to get the job done effectively. We can say that this article is educational because it enlightens us more about basic principles of PR. OLUWAFEMI MOTUNRAYO. CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA LAGOS.
ONUH MARTHA | 5/24/2015 6:38:00 PM
The article says what public relaion is all about. For any organisation to be successful it most have a public relaion practitioner because the public relation practitioner does the work of promoting an organisation, a public relation practitioner interacts withe the public in other to creat a good image of the organisation to the public and also promote the brand. A public relation practitioner has to research, think and plan in other to have an effective communication with either the organisation and the public. A public relation practitioner does not bring crises to the organisation instead it projects peace like the article says the profession appreciates good service, good performance and customer relation. the artice has educated and elightened me more on what public relation ia all about. ONUH EBUBE MARTHA. CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA LAGOS.
AROWOLAJU DEMILADE | 5/24/2015 6:10:00 PM
According to the article above, it gives various definitions of what public relations is, what it isn't and the qualities of a good public relations practitioner.For the good success of an organisation or a firm, it has to employ the hand of a public relations practitioner, as he serves as an intermediary, middleman,and mediator between an organisation and its publics Without public relations in an organisation, suuch organisation wouldn't know the likes and dislikes of its publics. Effective public relations sees that the name and image of an organisation does not go into the soil.It ensures solid reputation for such organisation because what is an organisation without a good name or reputation.Another good thing about public relations is the fact that it helps maintain strong relationship between an organisation and its publics.Many people today confuse public relations with advertising, sales promotion, marketing and propaganda which is not supposed to be so because of all these disciplines only public relations seeks to create a good image, reputation, establishment and maintainance of mutual understanding.AROWOLAJU DEMILADE OLAMIDE.CALEB UNIVERSITY' IMOTA LAGOS.
ONWURAH UCHECHUKWU | 5/25/2015 12:12:00 AM
This article simple defines what public relations is all about and gives us definitions of what public relation is all about. Public relation is the practice of managing the spread of information between and individual or an organization such a buisness,government,agency or a non profit organization, public relation may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news interest and news items that require direct payment. The aim of public relations is to inform the public prospective customers, investors,partners,employees,and stakeholders, and ultimately persuade products or of political decisions. Every organization should have an good image and mutual understanding between one another in other to make the organization grow, public relation stand as an unbreakable bridge between the governed and government, The role of a pr practitioner role is to maintain, create, build relationships with an organization's publics, they are so ethical, being misleading or lying can not only damage the reputation of a practitioner but it can also damage the reputation of whatever organization the practitioner represents. This article makes us no more about PR. ONWURAH UCHECHUKWU, 200 LEVEL, MASS COMMUNICATION, CALEB UNIVERSITY IMORA, LAGOS.
Nsofor Chinenye | 5/28/2015 12:24:00 PM
This article talks about different definitions of public relations, its relationship with other concepts and the qualities of a PR personell.The course "Writing and production PR" explains that the way the image of an organization is projected can make or mar that company.In other words certain strategies need to be adopted by the PR personell in order to project a good image as well as establish and maintain mutual understanding between the organization and its publics. NSOFOR CHINENYE MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT CALEB UNIVERSITY LAGOS.
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ADEYEMI OMOBOLANLE.B | 2/12/2016 1:09:00 PM
A brief introduction to PR including tools and techniques used to create and maintain a positive publicity and the skills needed to become a PR specialist.. Every effort to public relation is systematically designed in such a way that there is no mistake. Without public relation in an organization, such an organization would suffer loss in every of its department because public relation is the eye and ear of the organization. ADEYEMI OMOBOLANLE BINEY,DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION
EZUMA PEACE,CU IMOTA | 2/13/2016 12:22:00 PM
Public Relations is a much misunderstood term. PR according to the British institute of Public Relations may be defined as the deliberately planned and sustained effort to maintain and establish mutual understanding between the organisation and the publics. In the past PR have been described as mere lies but recently, it have been confused to be goodwill,fine appearance, friendliness, annual parties,cash bonuses, free gifts etc, all these are essential aspects in creating and maintaining an effective relationship between the publics and the organisation. DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION
OYEWOLE AYOMIDE .O. | 1/18/2017 1:57:00 PM
this article has thrown more light on PR.Public relations, this subject has been overly discussed. It is quite unfortunate that most charlatans or those who misconstrue the profession often refer to PR as an avenue to collecting bribe, kickbacks or gratification.PR is not an avenue for making friends and brainwashing people with smiles.PR is a link, a bridge between the organization or brand and its audience/loyalists referred to in the profession as publics.
ALI FAITH OSALUESSE | 6/29/2017 6:03:00 PM
As rightly stated in this article, PR is a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to maintain a mutual relationship/understanding between an organization and its public. This article is good and educative because it tells us what PR is and what it is not. This helps to cancel the misconceptions of PR from people's minds. For example, PR is not only about putting up a good appearance at all times, truth is the watchword of any PR practitioner always.
SEGE | 1/21/2018 8:10:00 PM
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IMU | 1/21/2018 8:45:00 PM
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