Define: Public Relations

There are many definitions of public relations floating around. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, public relations is “the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution.” However, the most widely practiced definition today was introduced by the PRSA 1982 National Assembly. It reads, “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

In recent years, PR professionals has felt that this definition is not all encompassing or sufficient enough to inform the public of what PR practitioners do. This is primarily because since 1982, PR has done a 360. In 1982, social media did not exist. Now, it plays a major role in PR strategies and tactics. In response, PRSA has decided to redefine public relations by starting the “Public Relations Defined” initiative. Public relations practitioners are welcome to send in their definition of public relations in an effort to put out a more standardized definition.

If you would like to submit your definition, PRSA has suggested that you phrase it in the form of they [DO WHAT] with/for [WHOM] to [DO WHAT] for [WHAT PURPOSE] and fill out The Definition of PR Submission Form. Good luck!

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