Communication and Public Relations

Public relations refers to the practice of enhancing an organization’s reputation in the eyes of public, stakeholders, employees, investors and all others associated with it. Public relations experts are specially hired by organizations who work hard towards maintaining brand image of organization.

Communication plays an essential role in effective public relations. Two way communication between both the parties is essential and information must flow in its desired form between the organization and public. The receiver must understand what the sender intends to communicate for an effective public relation. The receivers (public, target audience, stakeholders, employees, investors) must clearly understand the sender’s message. (organization in this case).

The message/information needs to create an impact in the minds of customers for an effective brand positioning. Communication needs to have a strong influence on the target audience for them to remain loyal towards the organization.

In public relations, the receivers play a crucial role than the sender. The sender (organization) must ensure that the receivers interpret the information correctly and also give necessary feedbacks and reviews. It is really essential for the sender to understand its target audience. Public relations experts must do extensive research and gather as much information as they can before planning any public relation activity. Public relation activities would go unnoticed if receivers to not understand it well. Public relation activities must be designed keeping in mind the benefits of the target audience for a better brand positioning.


In cases of hospitals, public relation activities would ensure a smooth flow of information between the hospital authorities or management and the patients and their immediate family members or relatives. Public relations experts from a hospital in a rural area must plan and design their activities in the local language for receivers to interpret and respond well. If the hospital authorities interact in a language not understood by the patients, no real communication takes place and eventually the effect of public relation activities get nullified.

Further the needs of the target audience must be understood well. Remember public relation activities are designed to position an organization in the best light. This happens only when the target audiences are fully satisfied with its services/products. Understand what your target audiences expect from you to design public relations activities for the maximum and desired impact. Make sure your target audiences understand what you intend to communicate.

Let us understand the role of communication in public relations through a simple example.

Peter planned for a vacation with his family to an unexplored destination. He made sure he had map of the particular place which would help him with the directions and roads of the place.

What is the map doing in the above example ?

It is just guiding Peter about this new place. In other words, the map is communicating in an effective manner so that Peter does not get lost.

What if Peter does not understand the map ?

Communication is incomplete

What if Peter understands the map ?

This is a case of two way communication where Peter is able to interpret what the map intends to communicate. A simple example of two way communication.

Public relation experts must ensure:

  • Message reaches the receiver (public) in its correct form.
  • Audiences agree to the message
  • They respond accordingly and give necessary feedbacks.

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