The local news broadcasts a segment on the availability of music, games and internet options via a new cell phone service or a national magazine covers a story about the amazing new cancer drug being developed by a biotech company-these stories are the end results of successful public relations (PR) campaigns. These campaigns most likely included writing press releases, contacting the media, and creating a buzz about the client to entice the media to report on it. While the advertisements produced by ad agencies are easily recognizable, the work of PR firms is much less conspicuous. Public relations, like the title implies, is about managing the public's perception of clients. PR firms work for politicians, entertainers and sports teams as well as corporations.
In addition to trying to get their clients noticed by the media, PR firms also keep track of how and how often their client companies are mentioned in the press. They comb through various publications and other media, clipping articles and compiling the information. PR firms are also called into action when there is a crisis that requires a client to take a public stance. For example, in the case of product tampering decisions need to be made about pulling products from the shelves, assisting victims and their families, and strategies for buoying consumer confidence in the company and its products. A public relations firm will assist their clients in good times and bad to manage their public image.