Public Relations when it was in its roots, was actually understood to be publicity.As (Cutlip, 1994, p. 11) also said that public relations initially was publicity ( Wilcox, 1992, p. 41) where he notes what an early practitioner had to say: "I was in the publicity business. I was a press agent. Very simply, my job was to get the client's name in the paper". (So understandibly why they were considered synonyms!)
It was only much later that Edward Bernays and others found out that public relations was about maintaining a balance of interests of an organisation and its publics.Now we know without any doubts that publicity is a communication function and it also means placing any kind of information in a news medium but public relations is a management function, as also explained by Newsom, Turk and Krukeberg in their book The Realities of Public Relations.
If we look at public relations in India, we are still in many ways practicing being press agents in the PR profession. Arent we?