In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science, psychology, marketing, and advertising. In public relations and communication science, it is one of the more ambiguous concepts in the field. Although it has definitions in the theory of the field that have been formulated from the early 20th century onwards, it has suffered in more recent years from being blurred, as a result of conflation of the idea of a public with the notions of audience, market segment, community, constituency, and stakeholder.
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Famous quotes containing the word public:
“The structure was designed by an old sea captain who believed that the world would end in a flood. He built a home in the traditional shape of the Ark, inverted, with the roof forming the hull of the proposed vessel. The builder expected that the deluge would cause the house to topple and then reverse itself, floating away on its roof until it should land on some new Ararat.”
—For the State of New Jersey, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“Literary confessors are contemptible, like beggars who exhibit their sores for money, but not so contemptible as the public that buys their books.”
—W.H. (Wystan Hugh)
“John Eliot came to preach to the Podunks in 1657, translated the Bible into their language, but made little progress in aboriginal soul-saving. The Indians answered his pleas with: No, you have taken away our lands, and now you wish to make us a race of slaves.”
—Administration for the State of Con, U.S. public relief program. Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore, and People (The WPA Guide to Connecticut)