What is public relations?

What is public relations? It's a question that is asked by various people every day and a question I know I get asked. According to this post, "if you ask 10 PR professionals to define PR, you’ll get 10 different responses."

The PRSA 1982 National Assembly formally adopted a definition of public relations, which remains widely accepted and used today:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

Entrepreneur defines public relations as:
"Using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or your products; cultivating a good relationship with local press representatives."
The PR Maven defines public relations as:
  1. (used with a sing. verb) The art or science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public.
  2. (used with a pl. verb) The methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public.
  3. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The degree of success obtained in achieving a favorable relationship with the public.
Valerie Simon defines public relations as:
"Public relations is an ongoing strategic and measurable effort to create a conversation which builds sustainable relationships between an entity and its public resulting in change, action, influence or reptation management."
Al Golin, of GolinHarris says about PR [from Jeremy Pepper's blog]:
"What we do is a business. Whether it is on the agency side, or on the client side, we represent profit-making companies."
There seem to be SO many definitions for public relations. Is it about image? Is it about measurement? Is it about conversation? What can we really define it as?
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  • What is YOUR definition for public relations? What do you think PR is all about?
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