I admit it: I am greatly influenced by tons of readings on the topic. But more and more I feel that my understanding of the two expressions “communications” and “public relations” is shifting.
Until fairly recently I considered communications – or corporate communications if you like – as the overarching and more powerful concept than public relations. Public relations, in my opinion, was the part where you would do your job happily planning and communicating (and, at least in some smart organizations…) also handle strategic aspects of corporate communications.
But then Grunig (and others) tried to convince me that public relations and communication are synonyms.
I won’t argue with Mr. Grunig. But the longer I think about it, the more I feel that corporate communications is a rather tactical task while public relations is taking care of relationships with publics, which, basically, is very strategic. So PR is the dominant discipline and communications execute what PR, in line with the other folks from the C-suite, defined as the strategy.
What do I take away? I am no longer a communication professional. I am a PR guy!