One of the best explanations of PR we've seen as an operational and strategic function appears in an introductory article by UKPRwire, "Public Relations as a Management Tool."
It's graced by, what else, a quote from Shakespeare's "Richard II": "The purest treasure mortal times afford is spotless reputation; that away men are but gilded loam or painted clay."
"A company can survive without PR," the article begins, but with a planned PR programme the company can expect better results and an enhanced reputation."
The piece goes on to sketch how to accomplish these goals with PR as a focal management function.
Without Shakespeare's talent, any enterprise should pay heed.