Before reading the passage, try to answer the questions.
1. Do you know what public relations is?
2. What is the usual abbreviation for public relations?
3. Why do companies use public relations?
Now compare your answers with your neighbours'.
1. When the founders2 of the United States wrote the Declaration of Independence, they said that a "decent respect" for the opinion of people everywhere required the American colonies to tell the world why they were freeing themselves of British rule. The American founder1 believed that their cause could not win unless they had the confidence of other peoples.
2. Public relations, too, tries to win the confidence and goodwill3 of people. No company, government agency, school, hospital, or other institution can flourish if it pays no attention to what the people think of it. Public relations is the activity of giving a business or other organisation4 information about how its actions might affect public opinion -- or how public opinion might affect its actions. It is also the job of the public relations officer to tell the public about a company's activities, plans, or ideas. This is necessary because people are likely to have more confidence in a company if they know something about it.
3. There is not just one big public whose opinion a company has to worry about if it is to survive and grow. Only a few organisations, such as a national government, are so large that all the public has some opinion about their actions. Most companies and organisations have to think about the opinions of smaller groups -- their custom