If I had a dollar for every time I had been asked those questions, I'd have my car, credit cards, and hefty student loans paid off. But in these questions we find a serious red flag. Public relations isn't what it was 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago. With rapid changes in consumer expectations and the introduction of social media/web tools, the communications industry as a whole is changing.
Since 1982, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the industry's largest leadership organization, has described PR with a vague definition, "Public relations helps an organization and its public adapt mutually to each other." Doesn't really say too much, does it? The PRSA has set out this month and next to redefine PR. They are polling their membership, practitioners in a wide variety of settings and positions, academics, and key opinion leaders to formulate a new definition which is slated to be unveiled in January. For us in the mass media, this is big.
|PR efforts represent an organization to its internal and external audiences. |
(Image courtesy of skograndpr.com)
How do I define PR? Public relations is the development and cultivation of a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and its varied internal and external stakeholders. Relationships are formed through regular two-way communication and multimedia representation. Public relations allows organizations and their stakeholders to mutually connect and understand each other.
To learn more about the PRSA's redefinition project or to submit your own suggestion, visit the official PR Definition Campaign website.
-- Matthew Plooster