We explain what public relations is, its types and objectives. In addition, we tell you what public relations campaigns are.

At a press conference, the protagonists answer questions from journalists.
Public relations are part of strategic business communication.

What is public relations?

Public relations (abbreviated with the acronym RRPP) They are the set of actions and strategies available to companies and individuals to strengthen their ties with their public and the press., in order to achieve loyalty, support and a favorable positioning within society. The discipline that studies these communication techniques is also known by this name.

Public relations are part of strategic business communication and usually involve different communication methods that are sustained over time. In that sense, They use marketing, design, politics, psychology, sociology and journalism. About 80% of the information presented by the media comes from the work of a public relations professional.

The father of public relations was the American journalist Ivy Ledbetter Lee (1877-1934), who was hired in 1906 as an advisor to the owners of a coal mine that was at odds with the press due to its treatment of workers and its refusal to give statements. Changing the paradigm of information management, Lee was a public relations pioneer whose success pushed the US government to hire publicists to handle official communications.

However, The first theorist and student of this discipline was the Austrian journalist Edward Bernays (1891-1995), nephew of Sigmund Freud, whose theories on the human unconscious Bernays turned to to design the first formal public relations strategies in history.

You may be interested:  Service Company

See also: Organizational communication

Public relations objectives

The fundamental purpose of public relations is manage the public image of the company or individual in the most positive and convenient way possible. This involves creating and strengthening public trust, through the promotion and dissemination of the organization’s issues, products and positions, the management of corporate social responsibility and the dissemination of its activities to the press.

Likewise, it allows understand public opinion (whether favorable or unfavorable) and react to it The best way possible. At the same time, public relations are also aimed at the company’s staff and its potential partners and allies, which allows the management of internal news and information, creating a feeling of belonging and a positive organizational culture.

Types of public relations

Two types of public relations are commonly differentiated according to their purpose:

  • Positive public relations. They are those that are dedicated to improving and promoting the image of the organization, emphasizing the aspects in which it is better and stronger, and hiding the weaker ones. This is a PR model focused on the organization itself and its affairs.
  • Negative or black public relations. They are those that are dedicated to discrediting and attacking the public image of the competition, either by accessing confidential information or undertaking smear campaigns, in such a way as to reduce the prominence of the competition in the public eye.

Public relations campaigns

The Nikon company organizes an event as part of its public relations.
A public relations campaign is intended to improve the image of the organization.

A public relations campaign is a strategically organized set of actions aimed at improving the image of the organization to the public, through different tools and procedures, such as:

  • Notes and press releases. These are texts emanating from the organization in which it promotes and provides fundamental information about some of its products, services or events, and is aimed at the press and the company’s partners and allies.
  • Events and celebrations. These are more or less massive meetings in which the organization makes some type of demonstration or exhibition of its products, services or even its history, and invites its clients, partners and allies to share and strengthen ties in person.
  • Press conferences and photo opportunities. These are smaller meetings or events, in which representatives of the company are encouraged to meet with personalities from the business, political, artistic or other world, whose figure it is desired to associate with that of the company. They usually have a large media presence and speeches or pronouncements are given.
  • Advertising campaigns. It involves using marketing, advertising and different techniques to promote the image of the product and the organization within public relations campaigns. These campaigns are aimed at the public of the different media.
  • Social networks and loyalty. It is about having a presence on the internet and the 2.0 world. In this way, public relations campaigns strive to take care of the image they provide to their audience through more direct and personalized channels, such as digital ones.
  • Corporate social responsibility. These are the investments that the company makes in improving the immediate environment of its headquarters, community help and promoting its values ​​and principles among the general public, always emphasizing giving back to the community what is received from it.
You may be interested:  CEO

Continue with: Corporate communication


  • “Public relations” on Wikipedia.
  • “Introduction to public relations” by Antonio Castillo at the University of Malaga (Spain).
  • “Objectives of public relations” at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
  • “Public Relations (communications)” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.