chapter  1
11 Pages

What is public relations?

ByAlison Theaker

In 1976, Rex Harlow gathered 472 definitions of public relations and many hundreds more have been proposed subsequently. Faced with so many opinions, you may feel that John Marston’s 1963 view of PR is still true today: ‘a brotherhood of some 100,000 whose common bond is its profession and whose common woe is that no two of them can ever quite agree on what that profession is’ (cited in Hutton 1999). Indeed, there is robust debate over whether PR is indeed a profession (L’Etang and Pieczka 2006a).