Largely centred on crisis management and reputation management, public relations is difficult to define in theory because it encompasses many aspects of modern day communication that organizations- whether profit or not for profit have to consider. From this, we can establish…
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Notably also, public relations is aimed at communicating to donors how resources have been spent and to attract further donations (Gregory, 2004). There is another outlook on public relations where persons tasked with this have to analyse trends, predict their consequences and counsel organizations on the best course of action along with how this will be implemented. This outlook provides credibility on the practice of public relations as it introduces a social science aspect where in the critics have dismissed public relations as being unsubstantial and flawed fundamentally (Butterick, 2011).
Being difficult to define, public relations is a practice that is difficult to underpin its origins as well. One of the American pioneers of public relations, Ivy Lee, looked into policy management citing that good policy translates to good public relations. He went on to extend this definition by stating that public relations deals with everything entailed in expressing the policy or idea of an organization, incorporating the idea or policy expressed as well. For charitable organizations, their main concern is maintaining fruitful relationships between them and donors and this raises the issue of fund raising management. The policy or idea expressed by these organizations is philanthropic in nature that is not for the direct benefit of the organization rather for a societal issue such as public health. Philanthropy, in essence, is a relationship between donor and recipients where this relationship is mediated by cultivating an image of public good. Lee also looked into the ethics of public relations at a time many were against the idea of press releases; he was of the opinion that organizations that sent out press releases to newspapers with the hope of influencing their content were not in the wrong so long as the sources of such releases could be identified. He felt that
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