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Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations is the idea of creating coverage for clients for free, rather than marketing or advertising. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees and other stakeholders and ultimately persuade them to maintain a certain view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Public relations professionals typically work for PR and marketing firms, businesses and companies, government,government agencies and public officials as PIOs and nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit organizations. Jobs central to Public Relations include account coordinator, account executive, account supervisor and media relations manager. Those interested into public relations should have strong written and speaking abilities, be team focused and creative. A masters in strategic communication will enhance a marketing or communication BS or BA and make prospective employers more competitive in the job market.
Public relations specialists establish and maintain relationships with an organization’s target audience, the media and other opinion leaders. Common responsibilities include designing communications campaigns, writing news releases and other content for news, working with the press, arranging interviews for company spokespeople, writing speeches for company leaders, acting as organization’s spokesperson, preparing clients for press conferences, media interviews and speeches, writing website and social media content, managing company reputation (crisis management), managing internal communications, and marketing activities like brand awareness and event management  Success in the field of public relations requires a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of each of the client’s many publics. The public relations professional must know how to effectively address those concerns using the most powerful tool of the public relations trade, which is publicity.
The history of West Plains can be traced back to 1832, when settler Josiah Howell (after whom Howell County is named) created the first settlement in the region known as Howell Valley. West Plains was so named because the settlement was on a prairie in a westerly direction from the nearest town, Thomasville.
The Courthouse Square Historic District, Elledge Arcade Buildings, International Shoe Company Building, Mount Zion Lodge Masonic Temple, W. J. and Ed Smith Building, and West Plains Bank Building are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.