what it is, areas of expertise and job market! – WAU

Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds relationships of mutual benefit between organizations and their audiences.

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Every business needs a good reputation to succeed and prosper. As a company grows, it is increasingly prominent in the community in which it operates.

And although this depends on several factors, such as quality and reliability, Public Relations is one of the pillars for managing a company’s reputation.

It allows you to communicate your brand and your values ​​in a broad way and create narratives around your products and services.

A well done Public Relations job allows the public to understand what your company has to offer.

It looks incredible, right? But do you know what Public Relations is?

Social Communication studies are divided into three main fields: journalism, advertising and Public Relations (affectionately abbreviated as PR).

And although many people know – or at least have a notion – what a journalist or an advertiser does, the question often arises: what exactly does a public relations professional do?

That is the subject that we will address in this post!

You will understand:

  • What is public relations
  • How public relations came about
  • What the PR professional does
  • What is public relations in marketing
  • Labor market
  • How is the public relations course

What is public relations?

In simple terms, the PRSA (American Public Relations Society) defined Public Relations as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences.

We will unravel this to facilitate understanding and better understand the defining elements of PR.

  • Organizations: a group of people around a common cause. An organization can be a company, a government, a party, that is, it can take many forms.
  • Public: like organizations, audiences are multiple and encompass diverse social profiles. We can think of them as groups of people who interact with a particular organization.
  • Communication process: like any form of communication, PR activity involves at least two parts (in practice, they are multiple parts). These parties, which are organizations and audiences, relate in different ways to establish exchange processes.
  • Non-linear processes: quite the contrary: they happen spontaneously and multilaterally. Public relations appear as a way to understand them and optimize the relationship between the various agents involved.
  • Exchange ratios: organizations and audiences are related all the time through different dynamics that can add value to both parties.

In this sense, Public Relations appear as a way to organize the relations and exchange processes between organizations and publics, generating benefit and value for both parties.

Organizations benefit to the extent that they are able to convey their message and generate a positive perception of the brand and services.

The publics, on the other hand, manage to have a more transparent view of the organizations and charge them for the services offered and positions made.

How did public relations come about?

One of the greatest scholars of public relations, James E. Grunig, points out that the Chinese aristocracy had already practiced a rudimentary form of public relations for 5,000 years.

But public relations as a professional field has been studied since the beginning of the 20th century, that is, about 100 years ago.

As we can see, this field of study is relatively recent.

It emerged in the USA from the need that companies saw to communicate with their audiences to generate a positive image.

At that time, an accelerated era of growth was underway, marked by the mechanization of processes and the exploitation of workers.

The labor movement was increasingly articulated and speaking out against large companies.

As a result, these companies felt the need to communicate a better image to the public.

The first public relations professional that communication scholars consider is Ivy Lee.

In fact, it is considered the father of public relations.

Ivy Lee founded her own public relations office and worked for large corporations to improve their image and increase their profits. Him reinvented the way organizations put themselves in the world.

He preached the humanization of business models and defended transparency, preaching the maxim: “The public must be informed”.

To this day, this is how the public relations are seen by communication scholars: an activity to optimize the relationship between audiences and companies, with the aim of improving the experience of these audiences.

As it is a new area – there was no course in colleges and no form of specialization – public relations were built from practice.

For the same reason, the professionals who worked for companies in this role had other training, mainly related to the areas of administration and management.

Thus, public relations – which did not even receive that name – emerged as a technical position and focused on a gestational aspect.

With the evolution of the field, the need arose to organize studies to prepare new professionals. We will see later the structure of the courses in public relations, but first it is important to clarify:

What does the public relations professional do?

The PR has the function of analyzing the organization in its various dimensions and possibilities to establish strategic plans that convey the best message and image of the company. He is a communication manager and acts strategically in the most diverse fields of the company.

This professional is key piece for a company: the different communication demands are centralized, which together affect the business environment.

All of these demands make up the schedule of the PR, which is then charged with making them happen in the best possible way. This means protecting, maintaining and / or creating a good image through the media with the public.

He needs to relate directly and clearly to the public, in order to strengthen relationships and avoid noise.

The main activities of the RP include:

Develop an organization’s communication plan

This may seem like a very broad topic. And, in fact, it is.

Developing an organization’s communication plan is not easy and requires dynamism, critical sense, responsibility and a lot of flexibility.

The public relations professional has a great responsibility to outline a plan that covers both internal and external communication of the company.

Therefore, it is essential that he has a holistic view of the company, your values, services and goals, and be able to convey that in your planning.

And this is done through the alignment of the company’s communication team (advertising, marketing, design and journalists). It is clear that the RP does not perform each of these functions and does not even need to have deep knowledge about them, but it is he who will get these teams to work together in the same direction.

Finally, these efforts result in communicational actions, such as branding, positioning on social networks, the creation of internal communication vehicles (such as TV and corporate newspaper) and the way of communicating with the press.

All of this contributes to the organization being able to position itself before the public and for the objectives to be met.

Writing press releases

The press release, or press release, as its name suggests, is an advertisement or information for the media about the company’s activities.

While it may seem simple, writing and publishing a press release is not an easy task.

The press release can be just something that the company wants to communicate, like a new service or a new brand positioning, but it can also be a reaction to some previous fact (a controversy, for example).

In both cases, it is essential to caution in the choice of words, the spokesperson for the message, the tone of voice and even when the press release is made.

A poor press release can cause disagreements, adverse reactions and even crises in the organization.

However, if done well, it results in great moments for the company and a positive view and speaks of the media and audiences.

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Organize events

The company’s internal and external events have several objectives, and making them well-executed and enjoyable is essential.

The RP organizes all the logistics so that it works in the best possible way and meets the objectives of the event for the company.

Conduct market research

Understanding the market is fundamental to public relations work.

It’s needed understand the behavior of consumers, potential customers, people who interact with your brand through a mapping of audiences.

Therefore, market research is very useful. They are made in conjunction with other professionals and teams, and PR is fundamental in the process of elaboration and management.

The surveys will show which audiences he is dealing with, in addition to showing trends and market preferences.

Thus, the actions taken in the company will have more potential to work, as they will be based on facts.

Manage contacts and relationships

A company needs good relationships. And, after all, that couldn’t stop being a public relations task, right?

It is important to emphasize that when we talk about relationships, in the plural, there is a good reason.

An organization does not relate to a single group of people. Are several groups, which we call audiences. For this reason, diverse and interconnected relationships are established between organizations and their audiences.

Which audiences are these? We can divide them into three major groups:

  • internal community, that is, employees;
  • external community, which includes consumers, potential customers, product lovers and any other people who, in any way, relate to the company and / or the brand;
  • media, which are the vehicles of communication and the people who represent them.

All of these audiences must be carefully worked through networking, partnerships and strategic actions.

Content production

Yes, content marketing is closely linked to public relations work.

Writing content is part of a PR routine. But, of course, the content production process is not restricted to that.

The PR manages to have a understanding of brand language and positioning and broadcast it on different channels, both internal and external.

Although the RP is not responsible for all content production, it takes care of the entire process that includes blogs, social networks, websites and videos, as well as the publication of materials about the company in external vehicles.

Managing crises

No company is free of errors and, consequently, of criticism and crises, whether internal or external.

The PR has to deal with adverse reactions and control damage, working the situation in the best possible way so that it does not have serious consequences for the organization.

Dealing with opinions, comments and criticisms

This topic is related to the previous one.

Nowadays, it is even easier for people to express their opinions. This is very positive, both for consumers and for companies, so that the relationship becomes closer and both achieve mutual understanding.

At the same time, the ease of users to express their opinions can generate unexpected scenarios for the company.

Responding to positive comments is easy, but negative opinions are not that simple.

The speed and advertising of social networks and complaints sites, for example, mean that the response time has to be accelerated. And it goes far beyond that: care in language, with past information and with the involvement of other people is crucial.

Accepting opinions and criticisms and resolving situations arising from them can be much more complex than you think.

And the most difficult part involves anticipating the impacts of actions. Much more than dealing with criticism, the PR has to assume that every action of the company will have reactions. It is your duty to anticipate the scenario and prevent unpleasant situations.

Communication advice

Finally, several of these activities are included in the communication advisory, which is often headed by a PR.

Communication consultancy is a sector that makes the connection between the company and the public. A company can have its own advisory team or hire a company to do this.

The press office takes care of all the communicational part of an organization, and therefore it is necessary to plan a PR. Among the activities of the press office are: press office, social media management and image management.

What is public relations in marketing

A well-done relationship job is one that helps the public to understand a company, its values, its goals and what it has to offer.

But any good marketer can read that sentence and identify with it.

In fact, these two activities come together. Both aim to establish relationships of trust and exchange between companies and audiences through enchantment. Most importantly, they provide lasting benefits.

But each of them has its own operating logic.

Public relations work in a more direct, logistical and strategic way. Marketing acts mainly with the new and the risky, and with indirect elements. But the important thing is that both are important for a company and it is essential that the teams work together.

We can think that, while a PR works directly with employees, the marketer is concerned with endomarketing strategies, for example.

Labor market in public relations

Many people claim that the job market in any communicational field is getting smaller and worse.

But the truth is that the ease of communication makes many companies understand the urgency to hire professional solutions for this sector. This is no different with the PR professional.

The market is constantly professionalizing, as it is a relatively new activity, as well as pointing to more opportunities. We have already described the main activities that PR professionals perform, but we will list some positions that a PR professional can occupy:

  • Communication adviser
  • Customer relationship
  • Institutional communication

These are just a few options. It is clear that, as in any other profession, the PR will not perform all these functions. We are presenting possible fields of action for this professional.

How is the public relations course?


The course’s curriculum includes subjects of social communication, management and administration. These three main areas are essential for the formation of a good professional and offer an overview of the field of knowledge.

Subjects include:

  • Public Relations Processes
  • Organizational communication
  • Communication advice


The course lasts approximately 4 years and the grade is concentrated in a single period, allowing for an internship.


The area of ​​communication is very wide, and Public Relations is one of the main fields.

Combining strategy, knowledge of communication, economics, management and administration, the professional has a holistic view of the organization and is able to make the best decisions for the organization.

If you liked this area, it is worth knowing more about the colleges available and which ones are most interesting for your professional goals, since the field of action is very wide.

One is to work in the community marketing area. Don’t you know this field? Read more about it in this full post on the subject.