Following a productive period of submissions, comments and deliberation, we are pleased today to announce the final candidates for a modern definition of public relations. The definitions you see below have been developed by PRSA’s Definition of Public Relations Task Force, in consultation with our 12 global initiative partners. The candidates reflect nearly 1,000 submissions received last November and the hundreds of comments many of you provided on the draft definitions we presented last month.
Public voting is open from Feb. 13–26, 2012. We anticipate announcing the final winning definition, based on the public vote, the week of Feb. 27, 2012.
How The Definitions Were Developed
From Jan. 11–23, 2012, PRSA hosted a public-comment period for feedback on three draft definitions. Those drafts were based on an analysis of 927 submitted definitions received during the initial crowdsourcing phase, as well as feedback from a variety of blog posts and online commentary.
PRSA then convened a second Definition of Public Relations Summit with our initiative partners to pore over all submissions and public comments, using that information to revise the candidate definitions. What you see below represents the outcome and output of that meeting.
We’ve made a few minor changes to the original draft definitions. We listened to your feedback and made great effort to include that in the final candidate definitions. The wording is tighter, some redundancies have been removed and words that can be construed as jargon (e.g., “stakeholders” and “audiences”) have been replaced by more common language.
In short, the candidate definitions represent the perspective and wishes of the profession. We said from the start that no one entity would “own” this definition; rather, it will belong to the profession. It is up to you to vote on which definition you feel personifies the modern role and value of public relations. PRSA will adopt the winning definition to replace our 1982 description.
We ask you to vote on one of the three candidate definitions below.
Of course, the process doesn’t have to end there. Please free to add further feedback and opinions in the comments section of this post and other online forums. The success that this campaign has achieved thus far — bringing together a global profession to collectively discuss and debate the changing role of public relations — would not be possible without your input and support.
PRSA may be leading this campaign but it has truly taken a village to make it work. For that, we thank you.
Voting closes Feb. 26, so get in your note now!
Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America.