public relations

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Alternative forms[edit]

  • PR (initialism)


Since the early twentieth century. The term gained popularity as a euphemism for propaganda after that originally neutral term acquired a negative connotation during the political upheavals of the early twentieth century.[1]


public relations (uncountable)

  1. The professional dissemination and management of information by a person or an organization to the public with the purpose of creating a favorable public image.
    • 1960 December, “The Glasgow Suburban Electrification is opened”, in Trains Illustrated, page 714:
      The public relations drive accompanying the opening of Stage I is impressive.
  2. (by extension, metonymically) The favorability of the public image of a person or organization.
    to get bad public relationsto have things happen that deteriorate the public image


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Edward Bernays (1891–1995), the "father of public relations", recalled towards the end of his life, in an interview included in the 2002 documentary The Century of the Self, that he at some point 'decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace. And "propaganda" got to be a bad word because of the Germans using it, so what I did was to try and find some other words. So we found the words "counsel on public relations".'