Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pondering Three Candidate Definitions for PR

One week ago, PRSA released three candidate definitions for PR on their 'Public Relations Defined' blog. They are now in a public comment period that will last through January 23. Next is to
"Analyze [the] feedback in preparation for a second “Definition of PR” summit meeting with [PRSA's] international partners, from which three final definitions will arise for voting by the profession."
Fair enough. So let's look at their three candidate definitions:


Definition No. 1:

Public relations is the management function of researching, engaging, communicating, and collaborating with stakeholders in an ethical manner to build mutually beneficial relationships and achieve results.
I like PR as a management function and the reference to ethics.
I don't care for stakeholders. I know it's probably a decent word choice, but it's just cold to me.


Definition No. 2:

Public relations is a strategic communication process that develops and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their key publics.
I like PR being equated with strategic communication.
I don't really care for the recycling of mutually beneficial relationships concept. I get it, it's a great standard, but I'm not sure it works for what we're trying to do now.


Definition No. 3:

Public relations is the engagement between organizations and individuals to achieve mutual understanding and realize strategic goals.
I like that this definition is only 17 words, it's clear and pretty concise in my opinion.
I don't care for the fact that there is no mention of management function or strategic communication process. That being said, I think No. 3 has the greatest chance of being understood inside (and outside) the industry and captures the logical and distinguishable character of PR.

What do you think? Are any of these three candidate definitions close to being a new solid modern definition for public relations? The comments are yours. (Also, don't forget to share your thoughts on the PR Defined blog via comments before January 23.)

Keep up with the conversation by following the #PRDefined hastag.

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