Public relations is the managing of outside communication of an organization or business to create and maintain a positive image. Public relations involves popularizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes, and many other activities. The First World War also helped stimulate the development of public relations as a profession. Modern public relations uses a variety of techniques including opinion polling and focus groups to evaluate public opinion, combined with a variety of high-tech techniques for distributing information on behalf of their clients, including satellite feeds, the Internet, broadcast faxes, and database-driven phone banks to recruit supporters for a client's cause.
Although public relations professionals are stereotypically seen as corporate servants, the reality is that almost any organization that has a stake in how it is portrayed in the public arena employs at least one PR manager. Large organizations may even have dedicated communications departments. Government agencies, trade associations, and other non-profit organizations commonly carry out PR activities.
Public relations should be seen as a management function in any organization.