On the Definition of Public Relations


Even public relations (PR) professionals don’t agree on the definition of PR. As a matter of fact, every public relations professional will give you a slightly different definition, which depends on their history with PR. To prove my point, each country has a different variation of PR. Each person’s view will not only be based on which country they are in, but it will also be influenced by economic, political, social, and environmental matters.

There are some terms used to define PR that will satisfy nearly all PR practitioners. The terms are as follows: “Ethical,” “Socially Responsible,” and “Reliable communication.”

One of the oldest definitions of PR comes from 1978, during the First World Assembly of Public Relations Associations and the First World Forum of Public Relations, both held in Mexico City. The definition still has some very important points:

“Public relations practice is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest”


Media Pitch

What is a media pitch? A media pitch is just what it sounds like. It is an attempt to sell something, usually a story, to a reporter. The formats for a media pitch are email, phone call, fax or letter, and depend on how well you know someone.

The pitch could be for a new product or service, a movie, an event. In other words, nearly everything. The media pitch is the most widely accepted way to make a media representative aware of a story in a clear and concise manner.

Every pitch should be tailored to the type of medium it is sent to. They should also include a specific, unusual angle. Most importantly, the pitch should demonstrate how it is of interest to its viewers, readers or listeners.

Before you send your pitch make sure you know the publication or station. There’s a big chance that you won’t get a response on your first try. If that’s the case, try calling them. Your chances of getting published increase after your first attempt.

There are several ways to approach a media representative with a pitch. Your first pitch should be done through email, fax or letter. It should stand out from the crowd. Address the pitch to a specific person. Not just “editor.” Open with an interesting first sentence that entices the reader to read on. Then explain why the media should be interested in the pitch.

The follow-up pitch should be a phone call explaining to the reporter how it is of interest to her audience. The third pitch should be by mail and include your organization’s media kit. Finally, you should follow up to see the reporter has all the necessary information.

A few of the things reporters like seeing in pitches are relevancy to their beat/area of interest, less promotional, state benefits to their audiences, have strong story ideas, cover the five Ws in leads, and be well written.