What is Public Relations? (Infographic)

From Beyond PR

In a world of constant communication, PR is once again taking center stage … but in a whole new way. To get a clearer idea of what modern PR looks like, we went to the source and asked you, our audience. About a month ago, we took to the PR streets of social media and asked our friends and followers to complete the sentence “PR is ____.“  The conversation took off at the 2012 PRSA International Conference, and continued on Twitter, under the hashtag #PRis. The response was so incredible and insightful, we put together this infographic  to convey the diversity and depth of the your answers.

A special thank you to everyone who joined in the conversation!

Author Jamie Heckler is a senior multimedia designer for PR Newswire.  She’s also the creator of this infographic.

The evolution of PR – related reading:

Earning more media through brand streaming (free white paper)

PR Trends – collected blog posts on the most recent trends in public relations



  1. Jim on November 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I have found that business leaders are unable to articulate what they do and how it benefits their customers/clients. Our job is to translate that message into understandable language that generates goodwill and business development for our clinets. Listen. Translate. Communicate. We must also cultivate our relations with the news media, designers, printers and distributors of the written word. Then we must execute professionally. Most important in my business is follow up after execution.

  2. Clive Court on November 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Public Relations is building understanding between people.
    Or the two-word version:
    Building Understanding.

    I taught PR for twenty years at the university level and
    that was the simplified definition
    I followed.

    • Clive Court on November 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      That last comment has an error and should read “understanding”

  3. Clive Court on November 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    What do PR people do?

    They design strategic communication programs
    to achieve measurable
    attitudinal and
    behavioural change

  4. Clive Court on November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    There is an old-school collective (mainly former journalists) who believe that PR is all about writing. However, it is really about strategic planning (to meet
    measurable communication objectives).

    • fays on November 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. We’d welcome your comments into your own op-ed contribution. If you’re interested, please contact me at your earliest convenience. I’m FayS@commpro.biz.

      Much appreciation!