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How Do YOU Define PR? Here Are Some of the Best
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Are people confused by what you do? According to PRSA: "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” B-o-r-i-n-g but necessary. Here are some slightly more pithy descriptions of PR. In fact, some of the best…

It’s not easy to pinpoint what exactly is public relations. Many have tried and a few have succeeded. As practitioners, we struggle every day to define our profession to others. Is it media relations, social media, or brand awareness? Is it Jimmy Fallon’s hashtags, BuzzFeed’s Top 10, the latest viral video or that vaunted front-page mention in The New York Times?

Even PR pioneer Ivy Lee had a hard time summing it up in the 1900s. When asked about his role in a hearing with the United Transit Commission, he said, “I have never been able to find a satisfactory phrase to describe what I do.”

If you’re at all confused, here are a few quotes that have done a fairly good job of summing up what is possibly one of the world’s most misunderstood professions.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.”
Daniel J. Boorstin
“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”
John D. Rockefeller

“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”
Richard Branson

“Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”
Benjamin Disraeli
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Oscar Wilde

"Publicity, publicity, publicity is the greatest moral factor and force in our public life."
Joseph Pulitzer

"An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service."
Daniel J. Boorstin
“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory."
Arthur Ashe​​​​​​
“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”
Richard Branson
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”
Malcolm X

“The idea that we measure our value by a 30-year-old practice of measuring results in mainstream media column inches is to miss the reality that our programs are evaluated by sophisticated clients using the latest research tools on social sentiment, keyword analysis and overnight pulsing of consumers.”
Richard Edelman

“I suspect in most companies, the public relations person is down at No. 20 in the pecking order. But here, he is fighting incredibly important battles. If a negative story starts running away with itself in the press and is not dealt with fast, it can badly damage the brand, and so we put enormous weight on our PR people.”
Richard Branson
“Senior PR people need to maintain their press connections in order to give good advice to clients.”
Richard Edelman
‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”
Warren Buffet

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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