public relations

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Influencing the public so that they regard an individual, firm, charity, etc., in a favourable light in comparison to their competitors. In business a good corporate image is an important asset. Some media personalities, large companies, and national charities employ their own public relations officers (PROs) to deal with the media, provide information in the form of handouts, and to represent their principals at press conferences, etc. Others use public relations agencies to fulfil these functions. PR does not involve paid advertising, which is a quite separate activity. While an advertising agent will plan an advertising campaign, charging a percentage of the money spent, PR agencies, for a flat fee (plus expenses), will seek to promote their principals by persuading newspapers to feature them in articles, by obtaining publicity for their products, by arranging for TV and radio personalities to interview them, and by lobbying. PR agencies also handle unfavourable reports and rumours.

Subjects: Marketing.

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