Thanks for taking a moment to participate in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s “Public Relations Defined” initiative.
While PRSA is leading the charge in developing a modern definition of public relations, the eventual outcome will not be exclusively “ours.”
One of the reasons our profession struggles with the question, “What is PR?” is that existing definitions tend to reflect the nuances of the professional or academic niche from which they originate, while giving short-shrift to the commonalities that bind us all. You can read some of the other challenges of achieving consensus on a “de-facto” definition here, and get a sense for the many different definitions that currently exist here.
Our goal is that the modern definition developed through this process will be owned by you and by countless other public relations professionals. And by our partners in allied associations, who participated in our “Definition Summit” in September. And by academics and text book authors. And by the media.
If you’d like to own part of the modern definition of public relations (and we hope you do), here’s how you can get involved.
Modernizing the Definition of Public Relations
You will find a submission form on this website, the idea for which originated at our summit meeting. Some of the “standard” definitions of marketing and advertising the group collectively liked had the following basic elements: they [DO WHAT] with/for [WHOM] to [DO WHAT] for [WHAT PURPOSE]. The group thought it best to adopt a similar approach for a modern definition of public relations.
So consider this your invitation to get involved. Enter the words and phrases that represent your definition of public relations in the submission form. When you hit submit, an updated word cloud will appear, to give you a sense of what the larger community is thinking.
Submissions will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. All submissions are and will remain anonymous, and no personally identifiable information will be disclosed or used by PRSA or third-parties. (See blog policy here.)
Once submissions have closed, a PRSA Definition Task Force will evaluate the final word-cloud results and craft three possible definitions, based on the results. Those definitions then will be presented to the profession for a vote on PRSA.org, and PRSA (and, we hope, others) will formally adopt the “winning” definition and use it in all communications moving forward.
Thanks again for being a part of this initiative. We look forward to arriving at wherever the submissions lead us, and appreciate your participation.
Please feel free to add your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below and chat online using the hashtag #PRDefined.
Suggested Tweet: #PRSA is modernizing the definition of #PR. Add your definition here: http://bit.ly/PRDefined #PRDefined
David Rickey, APR, is chair of PRSA’s Definition of Public Relations Task Force and will begin service on the PRSA’s Board of Directors in 2012.