Public relations is taking steps to positively impact the way society views a person, company or brand or to impact popular opinion about the person, company or brand.
Common Goals of Public Relations
- Motivate new behavior
- Modify negative behavior
- Reinforce existing positive behavior
Basic Beliefs of Public Relations
- The rule of rewards, a principle from psychology, states that people will only do those things for which they feel recognized and rewarded.
- The rule of participation, also based on psychological research, tells us people will only support programs, initiatives, or ideas they believe they had a voice in creating.
- The rule of abuse, an idea with roots in sociology, states that people who believe they have been mistreated by a person or organization must have their feelings acknowledged before they will listen to what the party in question is trying to say.
- The rule of cheerleading, a principle from anthropology, tells the public relations professional that every successful organization has a smaller group within it that must urge the others to succeed.
An example of public relations is when the press agent for a celebrity covers up the story about him going to rehab and instead spins a nice story about the celebrity having a volunteer position abroad.