The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) claimed in 1988: “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” According to the PRSA, the essential functions of public relations include research, planning, communications dialogue and evaluation.
Edward Louis Bernays, who is considered the founding father of modern public relations along with Ivy Lee, in the early 1900s defined public relations as a management function which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures and interests of an organization. . . followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”
Building and managing relationships with those who influence an organization or individual’s important audiences has a central role in doing public relations.
An earlier definition of public relations, by The first World Assembly of Public Relations Associations, held in Mexico City, in August 1978, was “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest.”
Others define it simply as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.
The European view of public relations notes that besides a relational form of interactivity there is also a reflective paradigm that is concerned with publics and the public sphere; not only with relational, which can in principle be private, but also with public consequences of organizational behavior  A much broader view of interactive communication using the Internet, as outlined by Phillips and Young in Online Public Relations Second Edition (2009), describes the form and nature of Internet-mediated public relations.
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