Public Relations is described as “a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communication”. It seems beyond doubt that public relations and strategic communication are growing in prominence everyday, and when used effectively can have a huge impact on an organization’s growth and success.

Prior to reading this chapter earlier in the semester, I had no idea how many things fit under the umbrella of Public Relations. I was astonished by how many functions the text lists for PR. Public Relations always seemed like such a vague term to me; I thought it pretty much encapsulated media of every kind, such as advertising and marketing. I was interested to read that advertising & marketing are distinguished by their promotion of a certain product or service, while public relations promotes an entire organization. People always loosely throw around terms like public relations, advertising, marketing, and publicity as if they all mean the same thing. The main thing I took from this chapter was the clearing up of the differences between these things, and the defining on what exactly PR entails.

Other than this differentiation, I found this chapter to be kind of bland. This is probably because I read this chapter after we had already discussed most of the material in class. But the first chapter of any textbook always seems inevitably boring. It lays down a basis for what we’re going to learn as the semester goes on. Considering that it’s now April, and the semester is nearing its end, I can confidently say that the information in Chapter 1 is crucial to things we’ve learned since then; while it may not be the most interesting stuff, it’s valuable nonetheless.