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September 26, 2014
PR Remains Foremost, Because Relationships Come First
Following up handily on our post yesterday on the difference between PR and advertising comes a dispatch from Fast Company by Jarone Ashkenazi on the continuing evolution of PR itself. The official definition of PR, crowd-sourced by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) only two years ago, needs revisiting in light of the rise of social media, Ashkenazi notes.

"Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media outlets," he writes, "have transformed the relationship between the members of the public and those communicating with them." Ashkenazi concludes that "At its core PR is still about great storytelling but the future of PR is about creating a shareable experience. Measuring only media coverage is a way of the past. PR professionals must now target to engage their clients' audience and have them be a part of the news cycle."

Still relationships, although "every PR campaign must be supported by an appropriate sales and marketing strategy in order to be effective." Sure, PR can and should support advertising messages, but it's primarily about relating well, not selling, come what may. 

We're sticking with this subject because it's critical that PR does not become viewed as a synonymn for advertising and marketing. It's about the all-important prior stage of relating well, of building, not exploiting, identity.

No technique in our immensely challenging, ever-evolving world functions without an understanding of the underlying relationships, authentic ties and interests first. Reality comes before selling. 

(Graphic accompanies a guest post by Bonnie Conklin on Investor Relations.)

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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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