Defining PR – Is it Really that Hard to do?

A recent post at caught my attention.  It was based on the premise that public relations has a definition problem.  According to the author, Frank Strong, if you ask 10 PR pros to define PR, you’d get 10 different answers.

Sadly, he’s right and that’s the issue.  Why are we having such a problem explaining what PR is? As Frank mentioned in his post, the Public Relations Society of America defines PR:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

That definition may have been good, say, 20 years ago.  But it makes little sense now.  Public relations continues to see many changes and that’s not just talking about last five years.  Defining what PR is now would probably be a good thing.

So let’s take a crack at it on this blog.  Here is how I would define PR: “The practice of safeguarding a client’s reputation. Public relations can also be the driving force behind obtaining positive and effective publicity for an event or product.”

Yes, it’s a two-sentence definition. But it encompasses what a good percentage of PR professionals do each day.

No more lipstick on a pig references. Let’s truly define what PR is!

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