PR Definitions Past & Present

            In the beginning of this year, my blog about public relations reflections included what I thought public relations was, without researching anything about it. What I have said was, “I reflect upon public relations as the idea of networking and getting ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions, and more out in the open; where people can then analyze and prioritize among them.” I believe this to still be a true factor within the definition of public relations. Though, throughout the year I have learned about PR in much more depth. I learned the multiple different factors that are included within a public relations campaign and how to create, execute, and assess things in the proper way. I have also learned how to identify the difference between strategies and tactics much more thoroughly than what my original thoughts and ideas consisted of.

            Public relations entails a great deal of organization and management within all different positions people may acquire. “The most common definitional components appear to be “management,” “organization,” and “publics.” Practitioner definitions tend to focus on “management,” “organization,” and “publics” as well.” (Hutton, 1999). This probably makes sense to most people in the PR field considering their duties may relate to managing one thing or another, which requires organization, and of course you can’t have public relations without the publics.

            Another way to think about public relations is to think of it within the behaviors of people as a result of PR. “One vehicle that provides such an alternative basis for conceptualizing public relations is the symbolic interactionism of Herbert Blumer.” (Gordon, 1997). To think of public relations within a symbolic interaction is quite awkward at first. But if you think about it, PR images are everywhere. It is especially hard to avoid these images when they are constantly popping up everywhere you go. Not only is it difficult to just avoid being exposed to these images, but it is also very hard to completely ignore the images. One way or another, many images can take a toll on a person. They can be influenced by symbolism of one item, culture, idea, or another. People have their own opinions and favorite symbols, including brands and logos within clothes, companies, or other types of marketing.

            The media is constantly exposing us to a great amount of images and ideas. Public relations has a vast, yet very specific definition, or definitions for that matter. Unless you examine all parts of PR, it is hard to create a concrete definition because of the many different aspects it contains. I believe PR consists of organization, management, and publics, as well as the idea of symbolic interaction. All of these ideas can have a role within each other. In fact, it seems difficult to have management without organization, or to have symbolic interaction without publics. As you can see, it is clear that public relations contains a wide range of concepts. Though, as extensive as these concepts may be, it is clear the ideas are significant factors to one another.

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Gordon, J.C. (1997). Interpreting definitions of public relations: Self assessment and a symbolic interactionism-based alternative. Public Relations Review. Vol. 23 i.1, 57-66.

Hutton, J.G. (1999). The definition, dimensions, and domain of public relations. Public Relations Review. Vol. 25 i.2, 199-214.


Social Media Opinion Piece


I use social media in a few different ways. One way I use it is for leisure and pleasure, as well as to find out new and interesting information about random facts.  I also use social media websites to follow brands and companies or organizations that I like.  As most college students have, I have a Facebook and Twitter. I also have an account for Instagram, WordPress, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Skype, Foursquare, and Stumble Upon.

I use these social media sites for fun and finding out information about activities that I enjoy doing or learning about, such as soccer, yoga, vegetarianism, art, painting, traveling, advertising, environmentalism, media and more.  I usually follow companies and brands that I favor, to view their posts and updates about news or other information.  I enjoy following companies that share/post articles and world news updates, for example, with the way I use Twitter.  I follow a diverse number of professional news companies, or companies in general about advertising and public relations.  I also follow job postings to be able to stay informed for my future of finding jobs in my field of study.

I see people use social media websites, in similar ways as I do, as well as the complete opposite way.  I have seen people use their Facebook as an agenda, where they begin (and never stop) listing what they are doing every hour of every day.  I feel that this is very pointless. Though, this is not to say that posting information about random things is pointless, but I think that if you are going to post something, to have it be something interesting or informational in some way.  I see younger people that have very unprofessional pages or profiles, where they do not monitor what they are posting.  I believe this could be harmful to them in the future if they continue to post freely, because they will build a reputation from what they post.

The most beneficial aspect within the use of social media is that these sites are a great way for companies, businesses and organizations to get their word out.  They are able to reach more of their target audience(s), if not those in the target audience that they have not yet been able to reach.  Social media along side of traditional advertising is helpful to these advertisers because of how it helps grab the target audience by getting them physically involved in some way.  For example, advertising on Facebook could be a good way to intrigue your audience.  A study shows that there is interest in the advertising messages by the Facebook users, that the content of the advertising messages are viewed both exciting and reliable by them, that these messages motivate them to buy, and that Facebook represents a successful medium for products promoting (Yousif, 2012).  As stated in this article, Facebook is essentially a good way to promote products and services, along side traditional advertising.

A detrimental aspect to social media sites is the fact that people will spend hours on end on numerous amounts of social media websites, and get nothing accomplished.  Of course, it is always nice to be able to use things for leisure, but sometimes you can’t limit yourself to one medium.  Even though social media is fairly new, I have witnessed some changes in it over the past few years.  From the short amount of time when social media first became very popular to now, there has been definite changes, upgrades/updates, and additions.  A number of different social media mediums are constantly being used as well as constantly changing as time goes on.



Ateljevic, J., & Martin, F. (2011). The use of location specific advertisements on facebook: Can they help entrepreneurs solve problems associated with banner advertisements? Paper presented at the 17-32. Retrieved from


Yousif, R. (2012). The extent of Facebook users’ interest in the advertising messages. International Journal of Marketing Studies. doi:http10.5539/ijms.v4n3p122