Throughout the history of mankind, people have always been in contact with other people. Ever since man appeared on the Earth, he has communicated and in that process he has often aimed building some kind of consensus. This endeavour could bring about the need for public relations as a profession to emerge.
The fact, that the Information Society comes to the front, and the information has more and more role in the whole society, it is necessary to think like-minded the all person in the society. This recommendation would like to help in this process.

What public relations is?

"Public relations is the conscious organisation of communication. Public relations is a management function. The task of public relations is: To achieve mutual understanding and to establish beneficial relationship, between the organisation and its publics and environment, through two-way communication."

The public relations is the art of the trust's building. Every organisation has to understand, that the public relations is not a miracle, but in the democratic society the public relations is the essential condition of the organisation's function. Public relations helps an organisation and its publics adapt mutually to each other. Public relations provide an organisation with new opportunities because the people involved in public relations interact with more internal and external audiences than anyone else in the organisation. Public relations helps organisations manage change, something they must do to stay competitive and efficient. The public relations one of the most important task, it is the reputation management.
Without knowing the past, one cannot understand the present. This is why it should be pointed out that the public relations' profession and its modern form is as old as the 20th century. From the point of view of the future of public relations' profession it is important to understand that the revolutionary inventions of the last century could not have been created without the immense speeding up of communications. And vice versa: The rapid advancement of communications would have been impossible without the revolutionary inventions of the 20th century. The four basic examples are the Cinema, the Radio, the Television and the Computer.

The growth of the population of the Earth has also contributed to globalisation. And this has involved the development of the communications professions. Efforts made in the interest of globalisation have become the driving force of the public relations' profession. Producing more can earn bigger profit. To have more goods sold, more potential buyers have to be informed and convinced to buy. For this, one needs more public relations methods. Probably, this too has played a role in that tendency which one can see in the public relations profession.

People in the public relations profession have mainly come from two fields: marketing and journalism. But whichever of these areas the PR specialists have come from, the dominance of the Press was noteworthy. The majority of the marketing specialists tried to shape their public relations thinking on the basis of the example of press advertisements. Those who have come from the Press were thinking on the basis of the rules of the printed Press and try to create a new form, new methods and a new profession. The end result is the "PR cake".

The most important slices of the PR cake:


Development cannot be halted. If one looks at the revolution of the computer technology in the end of the 20th century, it can be clearly seen that it is promoting a revolution of the public relations methods. There is a change going on in the media; the role of the printed Press is diminishing, while the importance of the electronic media is increasing, and the same way, the use of the computer technology in the public relations work is also spreading.
The original segments of the printed and electronic media passed. The traditional communications channels such as TV and printed material have a very big visual impact, but they tend to give only one-way communication and rely on manipulation to achieve their goals. However, the interactive methods we employ are more about receiving feedback. We have some new segments. We have to learn some new expressions: ePR, Web PR, Net PR, On-line PR.

What ePR, the electronic public relations is?

ePR includes all form of the conscious organisation of communication, where the participants communicate electronically internal (intranet) or external (Internet). The ePR all form are interactive.

The role of ePR:

1. Informing the public - the public opinion, the environment.
2. Positioning an organisation through understanding and the persuasion of the environment and the public.
3. The co-ordination of behaviour. The co-ordination between the organisation and the public, and the public and the organisation, through interactive dialogue.

We could speak about the ePR only, if the above three criteria exist simultaneously. We could use the ePR as a PR tools if it is content three equal criteria.



The new information and communication technologies have opened up totally new communication channels for pr practitioners on the field of public relations. The ePR is one of the most effective tools of direct communication, not only in business, but also in wider society. ePR is a tool to reach and communicate with new and existing partners. Due to the development of the computer technology, more and more possibility put into practice, like e-market, e-business, e-commerce and the ePR as well.
Nowadays, the first decade of the 21st century we can see the ePR not only a picture- and text collection, but it is the all-important necessity of the societies. Due to the quick development of the computer and Internet technology, it is possible to reach the rapid changing of the society.

Forms of ePR:
· WEB PR



Web PR = interactive- web site, homepage, Web conferences, Web presentations

Of course the Internet and the WEB yourself is not a PR tools. The web sites is marketing communications, sales promotions and advertising tool as well. The WEB has only PR function, if it is interactive, it has a feedback function, or if, it has minimum a FAQ service.
From a public relations standpoint, the web provides an excellent opportunity to distribute information to the public speedily, efficiently and cost-effectively.

The WEB PR has many advantages. Because the Internet is easily accessible, it can broadcast the message directly to an audience. The information, as a news - formulated message, can be updated as often as the receptive, the customer demands. This is especially useful for news sites because they publish stories as they happen. It can also use an effective PR technique to allow reporters to see the company's point of view when the journalists write the story, the articles.


· NET PR
Net PR includes chat rooms, e-mail (Net) Press Releases and the use of interactive Intranet.

The Net PR has an important role in the present. For example, at Press conferences the Press Releases or photos and illustrations are handed out on floppy or CD. It is a fact that in the film industry, the video Press releases will be handed out on CD or floppy. This is a challenge to be met very soon. For example, in the practice of making PR films, the filmmakers will have to learn a completely new - old film technology. The spreading on the non-linear editors will turn this into a daily routine. This is an everyday practice in the digital Radio broadcasting. The computer will rule the public relations' profession.

The forms of interactive Net PR:
· Net communications
- Chat rooms
- Forum - lists
- E-Newsletters,
- Intranet
- Virtual organisations, Job finder etc.
· Net media services
- Net press release (video-, audio- or audio-visual presentations. b-rolls, video-press release films etc.)

· ON-LINE PR

 

The forms of the On-line PR:
- On-line media
- off-line - on-line media
When the media has originally off-line version and it is reachable on-line (on-line edition of magazines, newspapers, and radio- TV stations).
- on-line - on-line media
When the media no off-line version and it is reachable only on-line (electronic magazines, newspapers, radio- TV stations).
- Portal sites
Access to more than one off-line and on-line sites (Magazines, newspapers, and radio- TV station).
On-line press room
- "Press - Friendly " media section of the web site (with or without password). Navigational links should be easy to find. This information includes background info and other elements to give about the organisation
- On line conferences
- On-line voice and/or video conferencing
- On line database
- On-line libraries
- E-education (distance learning)
- On line education real time
- On line education on demand
One does not have to be a prophet to forecast that the Internet, the ePR will propel such a large-scale development that the latest means of PR, the WEB PR, the NET PR and the On-line PR will surpass the success of all previous PR means. Already now, one can see that those people do not get a job in our profession who are unable to use the Internet and E-mail.


ePR effects on PR practice:

· The intranet can be one of the most effective tools of Internal PR
· Informing employees
In the field of the communication between leaders and employee, leaders and leaders, employee and employee, and the different organisations of the employees
· Shareholder (Ownership) relations
· Interactive communication interdepartmental, inter-site, global
· The interactive web, net and on line PR is one of the most effective external tool
· Consumer relations - product-, services-, activity PR
· Financial relations
· Professional relations
· Industrial relations
· Public Affairs - Community-, Minority Relations, Government Affairs
· Issue Management
· Media relations
· Organisation Aid-, fund raising- policy, philanthropy

The ePR also effective in every day public relations work:
· Counselling
· Planning
· Research
· Evaluation
· Monitoring
· Events organisation etc.

What is the future of public relations?

At the beginning there was the smoke-sign, the drum beat and then the messenger and his more modern form, the postal pigeon - well, all these mark the beginning of the development of communications. And then came the miracle called the Gutenberg age. And when the cinema and radio replaced the reign of printed communications, man was surprised. But when TV and not all that long ago the communications age of the computer emerged, we were not even surprised. These are natural elements of our life. Let us recall the way we used to work in the office without computer!

Access to information is now demanded as a right: The days of limited access and push communication are over. In every field of public the pr experts collect and send information they want to be available, simultaneously with the birth of information. The challenge for further relations' pr practitioners is to use the new Information communication technology tools to satisfy the demand.

One of the communications experts on the beginning of the last decades of the 20th century forecasts that the next century will be the time of the telephone. As communications will primarily be (carried) mediated via the telephone line.
According to prophecies, we shall do interactive shopping from home sitting in our armchair via television and that will also be the way we pay our bills.
The time is not far away, when the speed of communications will be so great that the though or the message, due to the development of the telephone and the computer, will appear on the screen of the receiver the moment it is born. The output of the message - that assumes the value of news - is the duty of the people in the public relations profession.