Wikipedia defines public relations as:
A set of management, supervisory, and technical functions that foster an organization’s ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, and respond to those persons whose mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessary if it is to achieve its missions and values.” (Robert L. Heath, Encyclopedia of Public Relations).
And Dictionary.com defines it as:
1. the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc.
2. the art, technique, or profession of promoting such goodwill.[Origin: 1800 10]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, * Random House, Inc. 2006.
So what does all of this mean to you? How does one get through the fluff and down to the definition that makes sense to you?
Public relations can simply be defined as the art of getting your product, company, or service into the public eye via the media, at no or minimal cost.
One must understand that marketing, advertising, sales, branding and all of the associated tasks, tools, and processes within are all co-related and for true success a company ultimately should be engaging in all of the arts at once to gain optimum brand which equals sales.