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The Public Relations Handbook, 5th Edition by Alison Theaker

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Chapter 1What is public relations?

Sarah Roberts-Bowman

Chapter Aims

This chapter attempts to define public relations and its complexity. There is a brief history of the discipline to explain how it emerged and to provide context. An overview of the sector follows that looks at the structure, skills and tasks and what distinguishes it from other disciplines. It concludes by looking at the different ways of understanding public relations and introduces the idea of theory.

Introduction

If you asked a hundred people to define public relations, you would get a hundred different answers. Ian Burrell, the Media Editor on The Independent, called it one of the most misunderstood professions (2014). From popular culture who are the role models? In ...

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