I’m looking into healthcare communications! I am also interested in the nonprofit industry. I have experience with fundraising, charities, and would love to get behind a company that does good for the world.
I finished by PR minor during the Fall semester, so I may be a little rusty on the scholastic side but here we go.
To break down public interest: it’s what’s best for the average person.
Public interest and public relations intersect when it comes to ethics. Practitioners are hired to represent a client’s interests, but they can not make their client look better at the expense of the public’s trust. It is an abuse of ethical PR codes to lie, misrepresent, misinform any information decimated to the public, because it does not benefit the population to be deceived. This is especially important when there is a critical need to inform the public (think car/toy/food recalls, Tylenol tamperings, BP oil spill)
The most basic way a company can demonstrate respect for public interest by not lying, whether through omission or misrepresentation of facts. It is not in the public’s best interest for a company to lie. A misinformed public is unfairly positioned to make decisions (such as purchasing a product or voting for a political candidate) based off false information, the consequences to which could have harmful effects.
Public interests & Public Relations don’t always have to be about ethics violations either. The public has an interest in hearing about news worthy events, positive or negative. This is where the line between PR practitioners and journalists forms. PR people have loyalty to their client. Journalist have the public. PR will send out press releases to news outlets in hopes of gaining visibility and because they believe they have something of newsworthy interest. (Another line: Advertisers pay for their space, but can say whatever they want. PR is free, but at the mercy of journalists and their unbiased editorial voice). The journalist receives their press release and also gets to decide if the issue is newsworthy. Does the public benefit by knowing whatever that press release contains. It could be as heartwarming as an animal adoption story from a nonprofit or as serious as a major manufacturer announcing layoffs. Either way it the public would want to know.
I hope this explains it. Let me know if you have any more questions!#public relations