Public relations defined.

I was happy to see that the new modern definition of public relations went with the strategic communication process choice that I mentioned voting for in my own post about updating the description of PR. As I stated before, I can’t imagine public relations being defined as anything less than a strategic process. Here is the official modern definition of public relations:

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

Gerard Corbett, Chair and CEO at Public Relations Society of America, announced the winner of in a blog post and went on to say the following about the new definition:

“Simple and straightforward, this definition focuses on the basic concept of public relations — as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and emphasizing “mutually beneficial relationships.” “Process” is preferable to “management function,” which can evoke ideas of control and top-down, one-way communications. “Relationships” relates to public relations’ role in helping to bring together organizations and individuals with their key stakeholders. “Publics” is preferable to “stakeholders,” as the former relates to the very “public” nature of public relations, whereas “stakeholders” has connotations of publicly-traded companies.

This is really a beginning, not an ending. The discussion is a work in progress, and we’ve laid the groundwork for future debate. Learn how you can continue the discussion here.

It’s clear to us that the process should not stop with this announcement. For that reason, we will keep this blog up and continue to facilitate the discussion. We’ll publish and promote guest posts from anyone who has something to say on the subject; from those who have conducted their own research to those who have process suggestions to those who simply feel they have a better definition to offer.”


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