The deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its Public's is called Public Relation---George F. Meredith
Everything involved in achieving a favorable opinion is called Public Relations--- Institute of PR, London
Public Relation helps an organization and its public's adapt mutually to each other---Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), 1988.
Process of Public Relations:
Public Relation (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its public's. Keeping this in mind, one can safely say that the process of Public Relations involves four steps. They are Research or information gathering, Planning, communication and evaluation. They are discussed as follows;
The first step of the process of public relations is Research. Research is conducted to become fully aware of the situation at the grass root level. For the purpose of research, the role of social/community mobilizers is very important at the field level depending upon the type of project. Research is launched in the form of opinion surveys of public and study of economic and social trends. Research requires very careful and diligent search for discovery of facts because it is the first step towards planning or policy formulation. Opinion surveys by gallop international are very popular. Surveys are also done on regional level by various media groups or national and international NGO’s on various issues.
Once research is done in a careful manner, the second step in the process of Public relations is Planning. Data collected during research helps in determining objectives and policies of PR besides a complete program of communication. To achieve those objectives, various steps may be taken e.g. formation of core groups, work breakdown structure, precedence, assigning responsibilities to personals; all these are part of planning.
The third and most important step in the process of Public Relation is Communication. Lack of communication and coordination among the entire stake holders of an organization leads to failure. Coordination between different elements is necessary for success. These elements may include management staff, field staff, administrative staff, and technical staff in fact all those who in one way or the other are associated with the organization.
It is the final step of the process of public relations. In this step, an evaluation is being done of the practical and concrete steps which were taken to launch the program of communication. It is the point of culmination of public relations.
The polio campaign (a source of improving PR) example can be quoted here. Various steps taken for the polio campaign are;
Identifying the target areas or highly risked areas and collection of data by Field Assistants/ social mobilizers (Research)
Formation of core groups, selection of speakers and fixing dates etc (planning)
Coordination among the field coordinator, social mobilizers, speakers on the campaign day (Communication) Checking for the number of refusals or polio cases, number of children vaccinated etc (Evaluation).