So, What is PR Anyway?

nogoodThe most recent flap about what PR is, stemming from the July 5 “Spinning the Web” New York Times story, still bothers me somehow.

Why? I think I have already nailed the idea that the article only portrayed a small slice of what PR is, a part that makes me pretty uncomfortable when it is decoupled from other tactics and more strategic input. But so what? Move on, right?

What I thought was missing from my response and many others was corrective action. There is no definition of PR that enough people agree on. There are too many simplistic and even negative stories out there.

We are great at talking amongst ourselves (isn’t that what I’m doing here?), shouldn’t we make a concerted effort to talk- as a group- to the outside world? Should it be PRSA, or a separate group of leaders?

Do we need to get messaging right first? Yes. Maybe I- and others- should try to define PR once and for all and go for it.

Lots of questions. Asking out loud, I hope we can start making answers.

Audio Post:

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  1. Doug, as I indicated to you yesterday, a systematic study of existing definitions (from variouos sources) of public relations has already been conducted by the Canadian Public Relations Society; CPRS’s board formally adopted a new definition earlier this year (Flynn, Gregory, Valin).

    In particular, interested individuals should check out the wiki, Defining Public Relations, established by the Flynn, Gregory, Valin working group, where they examined a double-digit number of existing definitions and showed their working process in determining the new definition. See my recent post, Introducing a new, maple-infused definition of public relations, in both official languages, for full details.


  2. Judy- thanks!– one of my unspoken questions was: has anyone tried to undertake this yet. My next question: have these efforts been fruitful? I need to click over and read.

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