Public relations may be called a composition of art and science, the main purpose of which is persuasion.
The "artistic" part of public relations includes the set of methods, which are used to define scientifically derived and focused messages. As Bruce Brough has said, PR artists use their "experience and knowledge to create a building master plan, and then supervise each step of the process as the contractor uses old skills and all available tools along with newest technology to create a structure, turning the master plan into reality". The set of artistic tools they use is really wide: press releases, radio and TV talk shows and news, presentations, Internet news, etc.
The "scientific" side of public relations includes social and linguistic sciences, which form the message itself. There is a set of tasks to fulfill, for example, to define the target audience and what should be used in order to reach this audience.
Some of the PR practitioners consider the process of public relations to be more scientific than artistic. The chain of PR activities may be described as follows:
strategic plan (includes PR plan, corporate vision, etc.) à positioning and key messages (consist of researches of competitors, market space and targets) à draft materials (such as releases, white papers, etc.) à executive trainings (like speaking, presentations...) à trade press briefing (for example press tours, TV conferences) à trade show support (for example, walk-ins, press appointments, different kinds of demos) à speaker opportunities (conferences, seminars, forums) à partnership announcement (distribution, technology) à user success stories (beta users, industry specific) à tracking (coverage, awareness, understanding). This chain was suggested by Cintara and is very easy to implement.
The four basic steps of public relations, which help to make the process understandable and more effective, are: finding facts, strategic PR planning, tactical implementation and management. Moreover, public relations are closely connected with personal relationships, so the term "media relations" means getting in touch with target media people and managing long-term relations with them.
In order to win the battle for corporate understanding and product or service recognition, one should not forget the main three moments of PR: art, science and smooth personal coordination. The art of purposeful persuasion should be learned properly in order to give clients assurance in facing the increasing competitiveness in nowadays marketplace.