Now public relations can get on with being whatever the craft was before it was officially defined by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). PRSA sponsored a noble, crowd-sourced effort to "define" the elusive relational spirit behind PR. The result, just announced, isn't bad. Consider what it means to you, and move ahead.
PRSA's official definition is: "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics."
"Simple and straightforward," PRSA says, "this definition focuses on the basic concept of public relations- as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and emphasizing 'mutually beneficial relationships.' 'Process' is preferable to 'management function,' which can evoke ideas of control and top-down, one-way communication. 'Relationships' relates to public relations' role in helping to bring together organizations and individuals with their key stakeholders. 'Publics' is preferable to 'stakeholders,' as the former relates to the very 'public' nature of public relations, whereas 'stakeholders' has connotations of publicly-traded companies."
Not bad. PR is surely a strategic, disciplined, relational process. Get out there and relate well. That's the key challenge. Always has been.
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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