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PRSA Response to PR Definition Criticism

By: Guest | February 15, 2012 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by David C. Rickey, chair of the PRSA PR Defined Task Force, in response to Redefining Public Relations by Gini Dietrich.

The discussion and debate around the Public Relations Society of America collaborative “Public Relations Defined” initiative, in which PRSA and 12 allied professional organizations have given public relations and other communications professionals a platform to shape a modern definition of public relations, has been robust, spirited and, perhaps most of all, strongly opinionated — all good things for the profession.

With the release of the three final candidate definitions for public voting, and with the winning definition to be adopted by PRSA, more strong opinions now are being expressed.

We certainly anticipated a diversity of opinions and our fair share of criticism, and public relations professionals never disappoint with their passion.

While the objections to the finished product are not overwhelming, there are certain themes of dissatisfaction we have noticed among detractors.

1. You hate them.

  • “Sweet mother of confusing sh*t.”
  • “They all ‘suck.’”
  • “I’ll vote for #4 (none of the above).”
  • “None of these even come close to hitting the mark.”
  • “We did a better job on my blog.”

In response to these criticisms, we would simply respond: Of course it is; they do; you can; they don’t; and you did.

Nothing more clearly illustrates the reason why the profession hasn’t arrived at a “de facto” definition in more than a century of existence. If someone came up with a definition everyone loved at some point over the past 112 years, would we be having this conversation?

A cursory look at the individuals in PRSA leadership positions at the District, Chapter, and Sections levels shows only about 15 percent of them have the words “public relations” or “PR” in their title or company name, which also speaks to the difficulty of coming up with a single definition that describes the entirety of every role and function within the profession.

2. You can’t stand lingo and jargon.

We didn’t just make this stuff up. It was very important to the Task Force the definitions be true to the research, whether we liked it or not. A crowd-sourced approach seemed to be an appropriate methodology, given the affect social media is having on our profession, and the increased participation in their favorite brands and companies that people expect today.

Rather than PRSA dictating what its members saw as a modern definition, we wanted the profession’s contributions to drive the conversation and result.

The top 20 words which were included in definitions suggested by the professionals who participated in the effort were:

  • Organization
  • Public
  • Communication
  • Relationship(s)
  • Stakeholders
  • Create
  • Mutual
  • Understand
  • Build
  • Audiences
  • Inform
  • Management
  • Brand
  • Company
  • Business
  • People
  • Engages
  • Client
  • Awareness
  • Benefit

Jargon-y? Perhaps. But right or wrong, these are the words public relations professionals like you and me felt best described what it is we all do for a living. And while you may hate the word “publics,” would you have preferred “stakeholders?”

3.     They won’t change the profession’s image. 

That’s true. But this initiative was never about changing the profession’s image.

What will change public relations’ image, though, are some of the other outcomes PRSA is focused on achieving.

Things such as encouraging ethical conduct on the part of public relations professionals.

Creating a more diverse profession.

Developing measurement and evaluation techniques that are widely understood, accepted, and implemented.

Demonstrating the public good served by the profession.

And helping current and future business leaders understand and appreciate the vital role of reputation management in their marketing mix.

4.     They aren’t particularly “modern.”

Many in the profession have suggested the definition of public relations didn’t need modernizing at all; that, the principles applied in the days of Bernays and Barnum still apply today.

Those folks should take comfort, then, that the three definitions resulting from the PRSA “Public Relations Defined” process are reminiscent of some of the most-well respected and widely adopted definitions of the profession that currently exist.

James E. Grunig, Ph.D., professor emeritus of public relations at the University of Maryland and author of 250 articles, books, chapters, papers, and reports, says,

Public relations is the management of communication between an organization and its publics. Its purpose is to cultivate relationships among organizations and publics.

And Scott Cutlip, Allen Center, and Glen Broom, in their seminal public relations text book, “Effective Public Relations,” state,

Public relations is the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends.

Regardless of what you think of the final candidate definitions, you can rest easy no one is forcing you to adopt the “winning” definition. PRSA will, and if you’d like to do the same, great; if not, that’s fine too.

Finally, let’s remember that we will be judged by our performance and our results, not by how we define ourselves.

David C. Rickey, APR, is PRSA secretary and the chair of its PR Defined Task Force.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

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74 Comments on "PRSA Response to PR Definition Criticism"

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dariasteigman
dariasteigman
4 years 4 months ago

Thank you, David Rickey. I’m not a PR person, so I leave others to quarrel over the definitions. But I appreciate that you’ve laid out the challenge and how PRSA arrived at where it is in this process–and acknowledged that any solution will be at best imperfect.

The first rule in good communications (PR?) is to be honest and acknowledge the good, the bad, and the ugly. So kudos!

Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago
David: PRSA’s crowd source methodology was to have the community fill in the blanks on a sentence that was already three-quarters complete. That’s a leading question and suggest to me the researchers started with a prejudicial definition. That is not research and I find it absolutely mind-numbing that PRSA publicly agrees – as you’ve stated above — that these proposed definitions are sub-optimal, yet has resolved to stay the course. Scholarly citations are useful for a literary review, but a poor substitute for a thesis: Grunig, Wilcox, Kent, Taylor, Hugh Rank (my personal favorite) et al., are indeed all great… Read more »
FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
4 years 4 months ago

@Frank_Strong What’s wrong with thought leadership through Mad Libs?

drickey
drickey
4 years 4 months ago
@Frank_Strong Frank — I appreciate your interest in this project and your passion. All of us here want to further the profession to which we’ve dedicated ourselves. As I said, we’ll be judged by our performance, and not by how we define ourselves. We did employ the brains of some of the top leaders in our field as we wanted counsel on how it was best to synthesize 1,000 different suggestions into three definitions. The 12 organizations cooperating with PRSA on this project noted that the “standard” dictionary definitions of marketing and advertising contained the same basic elements: they [DO… Read more »
Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago
Dave, I did let my membership lapse…when I was handed orders for a year-long deployment overseas, which I am still on at this very moment. Didn’t make sense to me to shell out $300 for a membership of little use while away from my home and job. I’d point out that with a little digging, you’d find my fingerprints quite a few measures of support and participation. In public, a quick Google search will show I’m fairly active in PRSA’s content on social media – often among the first one to advocate for PRSA when the Times or the Economist… Read more »
drickey
drickey
4 years 4 months ago
@Frank_Strong While we may disagree on this, I do appreciate your service to our country, and I mean that sincerely. I hear you and understand that a number of people are dismissive of the proposed definitions. But a larger number of people contributed their proposed definitions to the process and have felt good enough about the definitions as they exist to vote on them. The definitions we put forward accurately reflect the larger group’s views. The research is sound. Does that make them wrong, because you disagree with them? At the end of the day, you’re asking us to jettison… Read more »
Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago
@drickey Service is a privilege, but thank you all the same. You’re mistaken if you think I’m the sole voice opposed to these definitions. I’m but one small voice. Look at the comments on this blog. Consider the fact PRSA went on the defense with this very post…you have a groundswell. Leadership sometimes means choosing the hard right over the easy wrong. If you are serious about continuing the discussion, I’d challenge PRSA to pull out all the stops. 1. Publish all the notes, interviews and data you’ve compiled. 2. Invite bloggers from all ranks – make it big –… Read more »
maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago
@drickey@Frank_Strong I think it’s very dangerous to think that this new definition only matters to members of the profession. You already know what you do – it’s the rest of us who need the clarification. I look at @AshlynBrewer ‘s comment to this post, where she says she deliberately doesn’t use the term “public relations” when she talk about her own work. And she’s a Millennial, so I can bet she knows many, many people who feel the same way. This is the future of your profession and your association. This is your future PRSA member. What happens when she’s… Read more »
Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago

@maddiegrant @drickey@AshlynBrewer An outstanding point. I agree wholeheartedly.

DoctorJones
DoctorJones
4 years 4 months ago

Slow clap for that response, David. Well played.

Shonali
4 years 4 months ago
I think most, if not all, of us agree that we should be judged by our performance and results. But the definition is an issue, because no one seems to understand exactly what “PR” is; after all, isn’t that why the Task Force was set up in the first place? @Frank_Strong has pretty much said everything I would, so I won’t duplicate his excellent comments. Personally, I very much appreciate what PRSA is trying to do. However, I don’t see evidence of the more contemporary facets that make up our work (“community,” “stories,” to give just two examples). I’ve been,… Read more »
DannyBrown
4 years 4 months ago

David – get @Frank_Strong on your committee and give him the position of PR Common Sense Holder, because clearly he gets what the issue is while you seem to be intent on continuing to ignore it.

BrianCarter
4 years 4 months ago

I’m a PR outsider. I like your response, but I’m not sure you’ve resolved the issue. Jargon sucks. Publics is a ridiculous word. Do you mean audiences? What’s the difference?

Open it up for contributions from scratch and at least TRY to put it in 6th grade USA TODAY non-jargon language. Even if you don’t use it- do it because it’s worth learning to be clear, and unclear statements from an org who represents communicators is a bad example.

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
4 years 4 months ago

So essentially you’re saying PR is a Rorschach blot. Then what’s the point of this exercise?

maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago
So let me get this straight. 1. You’re fine with people hating the definitions – but that speaks to the “difficulty of coming up with a single definition that describes the entirety of every role and function within the profession”? Is that what you were attempting to do? Go big or go home, as they say. You had a goal to modernize the definition – not describe every role and function. Do you really, truly think the final definitions achieved the goal? If they don’t – start over. there’s nothing wrong with that. 2. Just because a bunch of jargoony… Read more »
jeffespo
4 years 4 months ago

@maddiegrant How about the facilitation of humanizing a brand or entity through conversational mediums and traditional media outlets?

DannyBrown
4 years 4 months ago

@maddiegrant BOOM! Awesome points, Maddie.

jamienotter
jamienotter
4 years 4 months ago
WOW! I’m not a PR person, but I have some things to say. Definitions matter. They are powerful, and they’re hard. But the days where glorious definitions were centrally created I think are over. True, that used to be the association’s job. We gathered the experts in the smoke filled room and came out with something better than the “rank and file” could. And people listened. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way any more. “Crowd-sourcing” funneled through a task force isn’t the answer either. The PR community doesn’t need a single definition (from the perspective of this outsider anyway). You… Read more »
Fiskey
Fiskey
4 years 4 months ago
Frank — I appreciate your interest in this project and your passion. All of us here want to further the profession to which we’ve dedicated ourselves. As I said, we’ll be judged by our performance, and not by how we define ourselves. We did employ the brains of some of the top leaders in our field as we wanted counsel on how it was best to synthesize 1,000 different suggestions into three definitions. The 12 organizations cooperating with PRSA on this project noted that the “standard” dictionary definitions of marketing and advertising contained the same basic elements: they [DO WHAT]… Read more »
Fiskey
Fiskey
4 years 4 months ago
I believe Dave, like many of us who have worked on this initiative, was trying to convey that in the age of crowdsourcing and social media, we’re going to encounter criticism, and that’s a good thing. No matter what we come up with, there will never be 100% consensus. I find myself disagreeing with dictionary definitions of the most mundane of words when working with my kids on their homework. That said, it is a starting point that was conceived with democratic collaboration. We’ve invited everyone to the proverbial table. We’ve asked for input and feedback every step of the… Read more »
maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago

@Fiskey So why stop collaborating now? Why not keep collaborating until the goal is reached?

Anthony_Rodriguez
4 years 4 months ago
I don’t understand. Rickey agrees that every single criticism has merit and explains how they have merit but PRSA is still continuing with this exercise despite several professionals with tons of experience telling him that the definition is the wrong way to go. This defies logic. Should this even be a priority initiative of the PRSA? Improving ethics seems to be the more overwhelming goal that needs to be achieved. If we, as public relations professionals, expect people to understand what we do and what its purpose is, a definition should not make people’s eyes glaze over and 1) not… Read more »
Anthony_Rodriguez
4 years 4 months ago

Oh, and if PRSA adopts a definition that professionals don’t feel represents their view of the profession, doesn’t the PRSA run the risk of alienating the very people they are supposed to advocate for and becoming an organization that loses clout, and members?

maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago

@Anthony_Rodriguez Yep, losing the right to represent members of their profession… a big risk to take, IMHO. I still think they would be absolutely justified to stand by the definition they choose – if they actually took a stand and explained why they were choosing this at the risk of losing members. I could respect that a lot. But instead saying “we know you hate it, and we know it doesn’t do the job of modernizing but you can all suck it?” not entirely sure that’s the best plan of action.

drickey
drickey
4 years 4 months ago
@Anthony_Rodriguez Hi Anthony, I think you misinterpreted my intent. My intent was to say, we expected the criticism. We also expected expressions of support, which we’ve received. In terms of ethics as a PRSA priority, since you mentioned it, PRSA hosted in September its annual “Ethics Awareness Month,” which seeks to inform and educate the public relations profession about ongoing issues and concerns regarding ethics. PRSA wrote a series of commentaries and blog posts, held discussions, hosted webinars and developed other events that helped public relations professionals, as well as the clients they serve and the public they interact with,… Read more »
Jhennezzey
Jhennezzey
4 years 4 months ago

I believe the definition is quite simple. In short, when asked to define my role in Public Relations my answer has always been, “I aggressively engineer perception”.

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
I am one of those who said, “we did it better on my blog” a year ago — nearly exactly. I crowdsourced globally for four weeks on this definition — did an entire series on What Is PR and then attempted to conclude with a definition. Did we succeed? To an extent, we did. This exercise is practically doomed from the get go; however, it must occur (as it is) because the alternative is the archaic 80yo definition PRSA is using now. I just went back to the three choices PRSA is providing in the voting. Tried to copy them… Read more »
drickey
drickey
4 years 4 months ago
@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Hi Jayme, hopefully, having attempted to do the same thing that we’re now doing, you can empathize with the difficulty of developing a single definition that everyone can agree on. And, I truly didn’t and don’t mean to be dismissive of your effort in any way, but let’s talk about your proposed definition. A few people liked it, and a few people commented but didn’t endorse it either way. I didn’t comment, so shame on me, but I personally don’t like it, and couldn’t see using it to explain to my boss what it… Read more »
Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
@drickey Thanks for responding. As said in my comment above down low, I do applaud your efforts as I went through it on a smaller scale myself. My outcome, whether you like it or not, was crowdsourced and an attempt to include, consider, and broaden the definition in simpler terms taking into consideration what all of us do every day. What I did was facilitate a process; I didn’t come up with that conclusion on my own nor would I ever assume I can be the one to define PR for the masses. In addition, my effort with many, many… Read more »
AdamHarrisBerkowitz
AdamHarrisBerkowitz
4 years 4 months ago

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @drickey “What I did was facilitate a process; I didn’t come up with that conclusion on my own nor would I ever assume I can be the one to define PR for the masses.” Yes, but that’s EXACTLY WHAT PRSA DID. Except with exponentially more respondents. I’m not sure, if you were a third party, you would see your objection to PRSA’s efforts and your endorsement of your nearly identical efforts to be congruent.

Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago

@AdamHarrisBerkowitz @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing@drickey PRSA has a far greater responsibility for getting it right (because they do represent the masses) than a handful of bloggers, however esteemed, are in developing their own opinions and publishing them on their own site. THAT is the point.

AdamHarrisBerkowitz
AdamHarrisBerkowitz
4 years 4 months ago
@Frank_Strong @AdamHarrisBerkowitz @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing@drickey Oh, OK. That I get. It just seemed like @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing was criticizing the process itself, despite its being identical to her process, which seems rather odd. But, no, it appears the process was acceptable, but the result are not, if I understand correctly? In terms of the process of garnering input itself, how would it have differed in an ideal world? So, for instance, if you were PRSA, how would you have gone about this? If it wouldn’t have been crowdsourcing (both PRSA and Soulati’s approach), do… Read more »
Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing

@AdamHarrisBerkowitz @drickey Let’s be clear. I have never objected to PRSA’s efforts; I object to the outcome within these three definitions as a result. The process? I ask that it be taken to more levels to vet wider and further and longer.

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
@AdamHarrisBerkowitz @Frank_Strong It’s the result for me. The resources PRSA has amongst its members and global business partners provides an amazing forum for this exercise. It launched the effort the way it needed to. With the objection to the three final candidates to define our profession, it seems to me they should take it back to that process and refresh and refine some more. Will everyone be happy? No. But, can everyone be satisfied with a core definition they can tweak according to the new approach of delivering public relations? I hope so. Again, for the record. This is a… Read more »
AdamHarrisBerkowitz
AdamHarrisBerkowitz
4 years 4 months ago

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing@Frank_Strong OK, got it. Thanks for the clarification. I didn’t mean the engagement to be hostile, it was just rather unclear to me.

Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago
@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @AdamHarrisBerkowitz@drickey Likewise, I am highly critical of the process. Fill in the blanks is hardly a proper method for crowd sourcing. Doing something because that’s what everyone else did previously is not a strategy for modernization. The process should be conducted in multiple stages including intensive research surveys and qualitative interviews — all publicly accessible. Updates should be provided along the way to stimulate dialogue and feedback. I was releived when PRSA delayed the announcement — I thought “great, they are going to fix this the right way.” I’d expect an outcome should be… Read more »
Lisa Gerber
4 years 4 months ago

Hi everyone,

Some great comments here. I’ve asked David to come back and respond, so hopefully he will soon!

– Lisa

drickey
drickey
4 years 4 months ago

@Lisa Gerber Sorry, Lisa. Trying to keep the Alabama legislature happy and responding in between.Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 4 months ago

@drickey HI Dave, thanks so much and no need to apologize, I just wanted everyone to be aware we weren’t ignoring them. 🙂 I appreciate your taking the time.

Lisa

AshlynBrewer
AshlynBrewer
4 years 4 months ago
When I graduated from college in 2010, I was excited to work in “public relations.” Now, only two years later, I almost exclusively use words like “strategic communications” and “reputation management” because those terms seem to communicate the strategic part of what we do better. PR does have an image problem — it DOES need to be redefined, or we risk losing the term all together. This post makes it sound you’re giving up on the vision of finding a common ground definition that gets us excited to use the term again. Don’t! Don’t lose sight of the vision because… Read more »
maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago

@AshlynBrewer Amen.

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing

I was asked for my post, By Jove We’ve Defined PR, by someone in this stream (via Twitter), so thought I’d come by and share it for anyone wanting to see the culmination of some really hard work by member in this community, too.

http://soulati.com/weve-defined-PR-by-jove

For those who don’t want to see how this came to fruition, here’s what we, collectively (not just me) came up with:

Public Relations helps people say the right things to the right audiences at the right time and in the right way.

Thanks, Gini. @Anthony_Rodriguez

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[…] these are earth-shatteringly different or good. And reading the Spin Sucks guest post outlining the PRSA Response to PR Definition Criticism didn’t inspire me […]

DeborahInComms
DeborahInComms
4 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure this is helpful but it is funny (at least I think so, remember I’m British) and may help to deal with Gini’s “what do I say at a cocktail party when people ask me what I do” dilemma http://sarahsfav.es/2012/02/16/fave-meme-what-people-think-i-do-what-i-really-do-pr-consultant-edition/.

By the way – I love the idea that Gini goes to cocktail parties – over here we’re so poor we just drink at home…(according to today’s Times anyway).

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
4 years 4 months ago

In a way, this process and the resulting cacophony is itself the definition of PR. Any of the official and unofficial candidates discussed in this thread would work.

We’re in the business of telling stories, and it’s our job to help divergent audiences find the same meaning and truth, no matter what words or methods we use to convey them.

If we can’t settle on a single definition, perhaps that’s because it’s neither possible nor desirable.

PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR
4 years 4 months ago
RANT WARNING…okay, you want a well thought out reason why PR needs to be redefined, check in with @Frank_Strong – he says it best. You want alternative suggestions, they are easy to fine, here is a good place to start @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing http://soulati.com/weve-defined-PR-by-jove. There are lots of well thought out and articulate opinions about why, PR should be re-defined, what is wrong with the current process and what should be done next. This isn’t one of those. This is raw emotion from a PR guy that has been in the industry almost 20 years, has had… Read more »
Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago
See that’s what worries me about this process Paul: everyone’s going to check out. And then we have this ridiculous definition that season PR vets say they don’t understand. Even the UK’s CIPR has checked out – and last November, they were singing about partnering with PRSA on this redefining project (http://thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/02/13/cipr-ceo-wilson-responds-prsa-search-new-definition-pr). Guess for CIPR co-adoption of the new definitions wasn’t “mutually beneficial.” **If no one adopts a definition, then by definition, it’s not a definition.** 100% consensus? Of course not. But I’d bet they don’t have a simple majority — because people took one look at those proposed definitions,… Read more »
PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR
4 years 4 months ago

@Frank_Strong I hear you. Walking away from this doesn’t feel right, but until it is taken up by a different organization, I have no confidence. I’ll keep watching and am willing to be involved, but just not in the current form.

GalaxyKannanGtp
GalaxyKannanGtp
4 years 4 months ago

When will this come to an end??? when will there a solution to this search????

Bensie Dorien

prcompanionpr@gmail.com

http://www.prcompanion.com

trackback

[…] else. Then, three definitions appeared on @SpinSucks, and Gini’s community erupted. PRSA wrote a rebuttal in a guest post and the dissension was even louder; kinda like […]

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[…] have been sounded. Even the chair of the task force behind redefining public relations agrees the criticisms have merit. Those criticisms include they suck, the jargon is mind-numbing, they don’t help change the image […]

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[…] Amnesty Int’l's New Campaign Uses iPads [Adverblog] PRSA’s Response to PR Definition [Spin Sucks] Texas Schools Turn to Ads for Money [NY Times] Coca-Cola Testing Timeline for Brands? [Mari Smith] […]

Trace_Cohen
Trace_Cohen
4 years 4 months ago
It’s kind of interesting that PR professionals who are supposed to be the go to for level-headedness and clarity in times of crisis like this, are the ones kind of freaking out. I’m guilty of it as well, I was the one that voted for #4. So their is definitely an added level of respect for writing such a tempered article in light of all of this. With that said, I’m going to look at this as if you were my client. From the looks of it you are trying to launch a new product and want us, your PR… Read more »
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[…] I applaud PRSA for launching the PR Defined initiative. Even though, as Gini Dietrich pointed out correctly, the three final crowdsourced definitions are […]

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[…] a smaller level you can see acts of the Fifth Estate everywhere. Whether its combatting PRSA’s new definition of public relations, the continuing Occupy Wall Street movement, or life and times in Pakistan, citizen journalism […]

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[…] I’m not making light of this situation at all—defining PR is a huge undertaking and the PRSA took up said unfavorable task and has had to address the subsequent backlash. […]

arthury
arthury
4 years 4 months ago
@ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @maddiegrant @Anthony_Rodriguez @DannyBrown @PaulRobertsPAR @Shonali @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing We know our Public Relations Defined project has caused angst and even some indignation among communication professionals. We tried to approach the project with fresh thinking, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. But, that’s how innovation happens, and how we learn to do better in the future. We’ve read the articles, blog posts and comments like these, which have made it clear to us the discussion mustn’t stop with the vote on three candidate definitions that currently exist. PRSA is going to keep its Public Relations Defined… Read more »
maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago

@arthury

Whoo hoo!!!! That is awesome news! Thank you!

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing

@arthury @ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @maddiegrant @Anthony_Rodriguez @DannyBrown @PaulRobertsPAR @Shonali CONGRATULATIONS! I’m in. Thank you for listening.

Frank_Strong
4 years 4 months ago

@arthury @ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @maddiegrant @Anthony_Rodriguez @DannyBrown @PaulRobertsPAR @Shonali@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing It’s certainly much much improved from saying, “Regardless of what you think…” I hope PRSA is sincere — that this is a starting point — not an endpoint. I sincerely believe that PR is in fact definable, and we can gain consensus.

Shonali
4 years 4 months ago

@arthury This, THIS is why I think so highly of you and PRSA. Thank you. You rock. @ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @maddiegrant @Anthony_Rodriguez @DannyBrown @PaulRobertsPAR @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@arthury Arthur, THIS is the perfect example of the types of things we counsel clients to do. Listen, really listen, and consider additional options. Sometimes it helps with a new product or service. Other times it helps perfect the customer experience. In this case, it helps move an industry forward. Thank you.

PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR
4 years 4 months ago
@arthury @ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @maddiegrant @Anthony_Rodriguez @DannyBrown @Shonali @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Thank you for the comment. I appreciate the acknowledgement that the process has been met with – let’s say – less than universal enthusiasm. While I want to be optimistic that this project will get back on track, I’m having a very difficult time getting beyond the line… “For those reasons, we’re going to move ahead with the voting, and we’re going to adopt the winning definition — at least for the time being.” It’s like a politician saying a tax increase is temporary. Reality is, once… Read more »
maddiegrant
4 years 4 months ago
@PaulRobertsPAR Personally, I’m ok with that. I think if the definition is incrementally better than before (which I know is debatable) and satisfies some of the original participants, then it’s ok to close that first loop and not just leave them all hanging. But it seems pretty clear (not just from these discussions but from the deafening silence in support of the definition) that that’s just closing the loop on step 1, which the important work might be yet to come. I think the fact that the PRSA is not just “allowing” more discussion but actively hosting it and providing… Read more »
PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR
4 years 4 months ago

@maddiegrant Thanks for the reply. I do get that. Yours is a very fair way of looking at this. I’m just not convinced. I hope I’m here a few months from now saying that I was wrong and that they had the best of intentions from the get go. But, I’m not there yet. If I’m proven wrong, I’ll be the first to admit and I’ll be thrilled to be wrong.

arthury
arthury
4 years 4 months ago
 @PaulRobertsPAR I’m not sure we’ve thought that far in advance, but would it be fair to say that it should take more than just the number of folks in this forum? Also, is it more important to have the “right” people endorse it, or have a larger number endorse it? And, just what does that endorsement look like?   Should we go back to the professional organizations with it? To PRSA’s Chapters, as some have suggested? I think we’d like the group’s opinions on those issues, and maybe we kick off the next phase of this project by making some… Read more »
PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR
4 years 4 months ago
 @arthury All good questions and probably questions that should be answers before finalizing a vote on the three finalists. Where you and I will probably disagree (which is okay) is the involvement of the PRSA Chapters. You probably should have some interest in their opinions and I’m more interested in the large group of PR folks that are not members, but are long-time PR pros. Maybe that is for selfish reasons as I’m in that group.    I’d err on the side of having a large over the ‘right’ people in part because I don’t know why you consider to be… Read more »
arthury
arthury
4 years 3 months ago
 @PaulRobertsPAR Paul, we’re going to complete the process we began, as Dave Rickey noted in his blog post on PRSAY (I believe you commented there, as well). As he noted, though, we no longer view this as the end of the discussion, but as a chance to move forward from it. If we can arrive at a better definition through the continued work of individuals such as yourself, and a broad majority coalesces around that definition, then PRSA will support it.   BTW, we don’t disagree at all on the involvement of public realtions folks from all walks of the profession, which should and… Read more »
arthury
arthury
4 years 3 months ago

 @PaulRobertsPAR By the way, I’m on vacation out of the country next week, just so you know that I’ve not bailed on the discussion. I’m sure my colleage, Keith Trivitt, will be picking up where I’ve left off. If I’m not back in a week, though, don’t come looking for me … : )

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[…] dissension, and PRSA was doing its level best to disperse task force members to respond and issue guest posts on the most important blogs with the largest […]

opjacklucy
4 years 4 months ago
Hello Spinsucks: It looks like they took down my post. I’m trying it again with no mention of Dave Rickey. The important point is that PR people should be interviewing critics like David Carr, Andrew Cohen and Gene Weingarten instead of talking among themselves. Those three writers have millions of people in their audience.   This discussion of the meaning of PR excludes any input by reporters. None was sought. There’s no doubt many in the press are angry at PR. We have covered PR 43 years via our website, newsletter and magazine and have never seen such a gulf… Read more »
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[…] you been following the discussion and controvery surrounding PRSA’s effort to redefine public relations? If so, what do you think? What are […]

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[…] a response from an executive of the organization that was leading the effort, David C. Rickey, who described the criticism thusly: “Nothing more clearly illustrates the reason why the profession hasn’t arrived at a ‘de […]

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[…] a response from an executive of the organization that was leading the effort, David C. Rickey, who described the criticism thusly: “Nothing more clearly illustrates the reason why the profession hasn’t arrived at a ‘de […]

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