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PR's Real Role Isn't Media, It's Change
By: Doug Bedell
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Another prod for PR people to become current on what the profession's about — or put another way, change what they're measuring as results — comes in a PRWeek podcast by Mark Westaby and Philip Sheldrake. Both attended the recent International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication conference (AMEC). "A real problem is the PR industry thinks its job is to get media coverage or run a good event — that's not the case," says Westaby, director at Spectrum Insight. 

"The PR industry's job," Westaby insists, "is to influence and change behaviour of consumers and stakeholders." Sheldrake adds that "For too long public relations has been synonymous with media relations — whereas media relations is just a subset of public relations. So much of the work done so far has been about how to measure the media and broadening that out is critical to AMEC's work " in the next two to three years. 

The only difference in the past 20 years, Westaby states right off the bat "is that the words social media appeared on a few slides." The full PRWeek interview is here.  

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About the Author
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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