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The Gift of Gab: PR Redefined
By: Maya Jordan
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Public Relations is not just about being talkative, possessing great written and oral abilities, or having an overflow of business contacts hanging out of your Rolodex. It is way  more scientific than you know, like how negatively charged particles attract to positively charged particles. Follow my drift? B-O-N-D-S, people.

Day in and day out, new digital marketing networking platforms are being brought to the forefront. Yesterday, it was Facebook, at midday it was Twitter, at present it is Pinterest. Does anyone know what the day holds for the  future of PR and social media? With that said, the ever-so evolving industry of PR is steadily changing. And by means of change, the ways in which we communicate our brands. The foundation that was once laid by men like PT Barnum, Ivy Lee, and Edward Bernays has found itself to be remodeled.

As a result, digital marketing is providing a show-stopping assist in the way we communicate. It is only right that PR has gone through reconstruction. The birth of PR was led by Edward Bernays; he defined the former spindustry as "counsel on public relations"; as a "practicing social scientist" whose "competence is like that of the industrial engineer, the management engineer, or the investment counselor in their respective fields." To assist clients, PR counselors used "understanding of the behavioral sciences and applying them—sociology, social psychology, anthropology, history, etc.

I’m not really sure what that means, but thanks to the practitioners over at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you and I will have a crystal-clear understanding soon. They have decided to give new meaning to the field in a campaign that started last November to redefine  exactly what it is that PR pros do in layman’s terms. The campaign, entitled Public Relations Defined, has one goal, and that is to help everyone in this digital age understand the inner and outer workings of the PR field.  

Out of 920+ definitions submitted and voting polls  from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2, it all boiled down to three final definitions. They were:

  • “Public relations is the management function of researching, communicating and collaborating with publics to build mutually beneficial relationships.”

  • “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

  • “Public relations is the strategic process of engagement between organizations and publics to achieve mutual understanding and realize goals.”

At the beginning of this month, the final definition that encompasses what us PR pros do (drumroll) was agreed upon.

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”



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About the Author
Maya Jordan is a young, ambitious PR enthusiast looking to break into the field. In her spare time she enjoys live concerts, spoken word, and traveling. For more, check out www.MayaJordan.com, and connect with her on Twitter here.

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