The old platitude within the Public Relations industry is that PR people are good at communicating for everyone except themselves.
No surprise, then, that the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – the nation’s largest PR organization – last fall spearheaded a campaign to redefine the industry in collaboration with a dozen other organizations. The feeling was – and we at CommCore concur – that in an age of a fragmented news industry, social media, citizen journalists, and high profile celebrity spin doctors, the PR field could use a good makeover.
Since last fall’s call for entries PR professionals submitted 927 definitions. And today the result is in. The winner from among the three finalists, with 46.4% of the votes: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Second place, with 30.1% of the votes, went to, “Public relations is the strategic process of engagement between organizations and publics to achieve mutual understanding and realize goals.” Third place, with 23.6%, went to, “Public relations is the management function of researching, communicating and collaborating with publics to build mutually beneficial relationships.”
None exactly rolls off the tongue, but in fairness all neatly (and similarly) summarize what PR people do every day:
· Public Relations IS a process.
· It DOES require building and maintaining relationships between organizations and their brands and the public.
· And, yes, ideally it IS to everyone’s benefit.
What do you think of the re-definition of PR? Does it correctly describe the discipline?