The public image - Facets and stages in its creation

AuthorCorina Radulescu
PositionAssociate Professor, Faculty of Administration and Business, University of Bucharest, România
268 Lex ET Scientia. Administrative Series
Public image is the representation or the idea that the public envisages as to an
institution/organization and that special literature coins as: institutional image, en terprise image,
prestige publicity, brand image, product image, institutional communication – all of these phrases
representing multiple ”facets” of the public image whose unique goal is to create a positive
representation of an institution. These facets – which are essentially different – often overlap.
Thus, in this paper, we intend to distinguish between the multiple facets that the public image
implies and, in order to do this, we firstly refer to the definition, characteristics and structure of
the public image, so that we separately analyse its forms of manifestation and reveal the specific
difference of the institutional image – which in its pure form aims at creating in the
consumer’s/citizen’s mind an identity and a clear organizational representation, which is
particularly different from commercial mark images. In the conclusion section to our paper, we
indicate the steps that have to be followed in order to create a positive image for an organization.
Keywords: public image, organizational cu lture, institutional image, identity, brand image,
product image.
Public image is a generic concept which comprises multiple facets and, from this point of
view, one can mention the following forms under which image can be identified: the image of an
enterprise, the organization of an institution, prestige publicity, brand image, product image,
and institutional communication. These facets interweave and influence each other resulting in
the creation of an entire whole whose common goal is to build a positive representation of the
enterprise / organization / institution and of its offers, in other words, to create reputation or
prestige, which represents a generally aimed at ideal. However, one can see that these
different”facets” of the image often merge into one another. For example, brand image and
institutional image often overlap; in fact, they are complementary; at the same time brand image
and product image also overlap, though in reality, a brand mark can create a particular image, and,
on the other hand, the products themselves can create a particular image thanks to the inner
qualities they have.
Consequently, in this paper we intend to conceptually define each facet of the public image
so that we could more accurately point out the specific difference of the institutional image –
Associate Professor, Faculty of Administration and Business, University of Bucharest, România (email: This work was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/89/1.5/S/62259, Project ”Applied
social, human and political sciences. Postdoctoral training and postdoctoral fellowships in social, human and
political sciences” cofinanced by the European Social Fund within the Sectorial Operational Program Human
Resources Development 2007 – 2013”.

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