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Why redefining PR is not unlike herding cats

By Linda Forrest

The PR industry has been aflutter with activity in response to the recent efforts of the Public Relations Society of America to crowd source a new definition for PR.

Rather than leave it open ended, PRSA has gone with a fill-in-the-blank (in this case, parentheses) approach:

Public relations (does what) with/for (whom) to (with/for) for (what purpose).

If you wish to weigh in, submissions will be accepted at the above link until the end of the week, with a new definition targeted for publication before the end of the year.

It has indeed been quite some time since the term has been defined, nearly 20 years, during which time the means by which public relations is conducted has evolved markedly from dead trees to digital zeros and ones, shifting from a one-way conversation to a multi-stakeholder conversation.

From the PRSA website:

The PRSA 1982 National Assembly formally adopted a definition of public relations, which remains widely accepted and used today:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

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Recent Comments

  • Francis Moran : Hi, Jo. Thanks for the comment. I had hoped to attend the conference but it was sold out. Maybe next year. Not sure if your collaboration comment was directed at me or CCDI. If me, please drop me an email at francis@francis-moran.com and tell me more about what you have in mind.

  • Jo Head : I share your disappointment with the Expo - it was barely reflective of the ambition of the organisers and not at all reflective of the excitement, passion and creativity that I have come to love. I thought I was going to the Expo and booked the conference in error - the biggest & best mistake I have ever made. I feel inspired to see how I can help to deliver the Expo objective and to open the gateway. I enquired as to the export process through the CCDI ( Cape Craft and Design Institute ) whose role it is to promote export - they asked me what I meant by process. Their database (when you can access it) is even more disappointing than the Expo. Is there an opportunity to collaborate?

  • Is your leader a “Rob Ford”? | : [...] – See more at: http://francis-moran.com/startups/is-your-founder-a-rob-ford/#sthash.bX2ARK8k.dpuf [...]

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