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Public Relations and Health Promotion

  • By: Leah M. Omilion-Hodges
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. While public relations was originally rooted in propaganda and asymmetric communication, today it is a multibillion-dollar business practiced by nearly 160,000 individuals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the reasons that public relations is thriving is because all facets of society, including companies, nonprofits, governmental agencies, sports franchises, arts organizations, education institutes, and health organizations, among others, are subject to competition, regulatory changes, public opinion, and security challenges. To that end, public relations practitioners strive to create valued relationships with their stakeholders so that through communication they may educate, change, or reinforce opinions; or encourage ...

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