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public relations (PR) a general means of promoting a business's COMPANY IMAGE with a view to encouraging customers to buy its products and investors to buy its shares, as well, for example, as influencing government policies on issues relevant to the company. Companies often appoint a PR officer to liase with the MEDIA in providing them with information and news about the company's activities and its record on such matters as CONSUMER PROTECTION and environmental pollution. Sponsorship of sport and the arts, etc. represents an indirect way of building up customer goodwill towards the company's products. See PROMOTIONAL MIX.