The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. Such a discussion is called public debate and is defined as the expression of views on matters that are of concern to the public; often, but not always, with opposing or diverging views being expressed by participants in the discussion. Public debate takes place mostly through the mass media, but also at meetings or through social media, academic publications and government policy documents. The term was originally coined by German philosopher Juergen Habermas who defined the public sphere as a virtual or imaginary community which does not necessarily exist in any identifiable space. Communication scholar Gerard A. Hauser defines it as a discursive space in which individuals and groups associate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgement about them. The public sphere can be seen as a theater in modern societies in which political participation is enacted through the medium of talk and a realm of social life in which public opinion can be formed. Describing the emergence of the public sphere in the 18th century, Juergen Habermas noted that the public realm, or sphere, originally was coextensive with public authority, while the private sphere comprised civil society in the narrower sense, that is to say, the realm of commodity exchange and of social labor. Whereas the sphere of public authority dealt with the state, or realm of the police, and the ruling class, or the feudal authorities (church, princes and nobility) the authentic public sphere, in a political sense, arose at that time from within the private realm, specifically, in connection with literary activities, the world of letters. This new public sphere spanned the public and the private realms, and through the vehicle of public opinion it put the state in touch with the needs of society. This area is conceptually distinct from the state: it is a site for the production and circulation of discourses that can in principle be critical of the state. The public sphere is also distinct from the official economy; it is not an arena of market relations but rather one of the discursive relations, a theater for debating and deliberating rather than for buying and selling. These distinctions between state apparatuses, economic markets, and democratic associations are essential to democratic theory. The people themselves came to see the public sphere as a regulatory institution against the authority of the state. The study of the public sphere centers on the idea of participatory democracy, and how public opinion becomes political action. In public relations and communication theory, a public is distinct from a stakeholder or a market. A public is a subset of the set of stakeholders for an organization, that comprises those people concerned with a specific issue. Whilst a market has an exchange relationship with an organization, and is usually a passive entity that is created by the organization, a public does not necessarily have an exchange relationship, and is both self-creating and self-organizing. Publics are targeted by public relations efforts. In this, target publics are those publics whose involvement is necessary for achieving organization goals; intervening publics are opinion formers and mediators, who pass information to the target publics; and influentials are publics that the target publics turn to for consultation, whose value judgements are influential upon how a target public will judge any public relations material. Public relations is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public in order to affect the public perception. Public relations and publicity differ in that PR is controlled internally, whereas publicity is not controlled and contributed by external parties. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations aims to create or obtain coverage for clients for free, also known as earned media, rather than paying for marketing or advertising. But in the early 21st century, advertising is also a part of broader PR activities. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders, and ultimately persuade them to maintain a positive or favorable view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Public relations professionals typically work for PR and marketing firms, businesses and companies, government, and public officials as public information officers and nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Jobs central to public relations include account coordinator, account executive, account supervisor, and media relations manager.