What is the public relation? Many scholars have their own definition of public relation. According to one website Public Relation (PR) is a medium or a way to maintain public image for high profile people, commercial business and organizations, non-profit associations or programs.

I could not agree more with this finest thought because some website serves the basic definition about PR. However PR for maintaining the image not like corporate communication like what Zulhamri (2007) said that corporate communication is the strategy of communication to maintain reputation and image and we can say that PR it is the part of corporate communication. Do not be confused with the definition because what I am trying to give is the basic and yet, I will give more detail about PR.

Next, I am really attracted to the definition given by Rex Harlow (2009), he is the one of pioneer public relations educator and the founder of Public Relations Society of America. He said

Public relations is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptances, and cooperation between an organization and its public; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound ethical communication techniques as its principal tools”.

This definition tries to explain that PR is not just to maintain relationship of business but with public especially in public opinion. And I believe so those political leader also use PR for maintaining their image and also relationship with their voters. According to Vanhorenbeeck (2006), political leaders use the media to maintain their image and also as their main part in their political campaign. This claim also support by Marshall McLuhan (1911) in Vanhorenbeeck (2006) which he stated that all media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.

In other hand, the failure and success depends on how the organization uses PR (Broom, 2009) this show that, PR is very important to control organization and it is become priority tool in organizations and nowadays, PR always established in internet and also in press conference. We can relate that, PR can be known in printed or in hypermedia like internet.

Even we have many definitions PR, we also must consider the key words of PR because in order to understand PR, we must know certain or main keywords (Broom, 2009) like Deliberate, Planned, Performance, Public Interest, two-way communication and management function. First key word is Deliberate, stakeholders will get intentional when PR activities in progress and it focus more on how organizations to gain understanding, influences, provide information and get hold of information (get feedback from those attend or participate in activity)

Planned, all the PR activities must be in well organized and PR practitioners will find out solution to problem and we can get thought from everyone involve in an activity. Then, PR activity will be in systematic progress and it is need research and analysis. Next, Performance, to get effective in PR, we must know actual policies and also performance. For example, political campaign, Barrack Obama, use Yes we can which represent the community or citizen can change the country policies.

Next, as a PR practitioner, we must have do an activity which give benefit to organizations and also to the public because it can have public’s interest and concern and also organization’s self-interest. When the problems occur, two-way communication is needed to get solicit feedback, as Jim Osborne , former vice president of public affairs at Bell Canada, says “ The primary responsibility of the public relations counselor is to provide (management) a thorough grasp of public sentiment”. Finally, we will get effective PR when top management have great or strategic and integral part of decision making because it involve counseling and problem solving at high level.

As I can conclude that, PR is very strategic way to maintain an image and reputation which harm by problems. PR also can understand by six keywords and I should call this term 6 basic key of PR.

Looking forward to your comments, thoughts and critics especially PR practitioner and communication scholars.



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2 Suko Qechek :

  1. I agree that reputation can easily damaged with social media. I used to read status update in my facebook's wall complaining on products and services of certain malls which does end up with a lot of comments.

    And with Facebook and Youtube, you are able to share videos easily. So, anything caught on camera, we really have to be aware on that, nowadays.

    I am involved in business and I do notice there're posts in new media that condemn our products. Therefore, during gatherings with our consumers and distributors, we have to highlight and correct them for any misunderstanding or misinformation so they will gain trust again with our products.

    I think companies nowadays have to be alert with new media so they can keep on track of what's going on with their audience.

  2. Assalamualaikum..
    Relating with what Nadhirah said:
    I agreed that social media can be used as a main tool to maintain image and reputation of an organisation. However, social media can also become a dangerous threat to the good image of the organisation.
    Everybody is using the social media in their daily life so everybody can do whatever that they want with the technology whether to bring good or bad to others. Therefore, as a mankind we should be good and use this tool wisely...

    p/s: sorry if the comment is irrelevant with the topic.ty