Three candidates for new PR definition

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The PRSA-led global initiative to find a new definition for public relations has moved into an interesting phase as it extends the time for deciding on what will be the one.

Rather than the PRSA and its global partners choose from three candidate definitions, those candidate definitions have been posted publicly to encourage further public discussion.

In an update posted earlier this week, incoming PRSA president Gerard Corbett said practitioners have until January 23 to express their initial reactions to these draft definitions, adding:

[…] We’ll then aggregate and analyze your feedback in preparation for a second “Definition of PR” summit meeting with our international partners, from which three final definitions will arise for voting by the profession. This additional step, we feel, will engender greater input and, ultimately, ensure we achieve the broadest possible consensus on — and satisfaction with — the new, modern definition of public relations.

So, here are the three #PRDefined 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. (Annotated version here.)

Definition No. 2:

  • Public relations is a strategic communication process that develops and maintains mutually-beneficial relationships between organizations and their key publics. (Annotated version here.)

Definition No. 3:

  • Public relations is the engagement between organizations and individuals to achieve mutual understanding and realize strategic goals. (Annotated version here.)

If you have a view, add your voice in a comment to Gerard Corbett’s post (there are over 100 comments there already). Remember, the deadline is January 23.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Keith Trivitt

    Thanks, Neville, for sharing with your readers the three candidate definitions for the PRDefined initiative. The opening up of the candidate definitions for public deliberation has been a very interesting and enjoyable exercise as it has allowed us to get a terrific sense of what it is that PR professionals really want in a modern definition of PR and what it is that may be nice to have but could be left out.

    As you note, there are more than 100 comments (161 comments as of Jan. 22) in response to the candidate definitions. Those express a wide range of opinions, suggestions and ideas as to the proposed definitions themselves and what people believe should comprise a modern definition of public relations. Upon close of the public comment period (Jan. 23), we will collect all of the feedback, analyze it and present that to our global partners in this initiative at a second Definition of PR Summit on Feb. 7. From there, the candidate definitions will be revised, based on the public’s feedback, and we’ll then place those for a public vote in mid-February.

    We’re entering the final phase of the campaign and it’s looking to be a very exciting finish.

    Keith Trivitt
    Associate Director
    Public Relations Society of America

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