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This chapter has provided an introduction to the purpose of public relations. Although the public relations function goes by many different names, it is essential to understand that it is a unique management function that contributes to an organization’s success through its focus on developing and maintaining relationships with key publics. Those publics are generally employees, financial stakeholders or shareholders, communities, governments at many levels, and the media. It is also important not to confuse the overall purpose of public relations with its subfunctions, such as publicity and media relations. These subfunctions will be defined in the next chapter and covered in more detail in Chapter 10 "The Practice of Public Relations".