Credibility, integration, proactive, influence, and connection.
These are just a few of the words that 31 PR pros—including me—have used to describe the profession. Heidi Cohen, who blogs about marketing, collected the definitions to help explain how the profession has evolved.
She started with a definition from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA):
“Public relations helps an organization and its publics
adapt mutually to each other. Public Relations broadly applies to organizations as a collective group, not just a business; and publics encompass the variety of different stakeholders.”
Here’s my description of the profession that Heidi used:
“Using traditional and digital media (free of charge) to educate and inform public masses about relevant issues and stories that are worthy of sharing and that have an impact on people. Public relations requires a creative, compelling, and concise approach, with a deep sense of the art of story-telling through our emotions and humanity. We have the power to move and influence people through the news and media.”
And one from Peter Shankman, the founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO):
Advertising: I walk into a bar and tell the first hot girl I see how amazing I am in bed. The hot girl doesn’t go home with me. PR: I walk into a bar and a friend of the hot girl sees me and tells her friend how great I am in bed. The hot girl goes home with me.
Read the rest of the definitions (plus the comments) at Cohen’s blog
As Meryl Streep said in The Devil Wears Prada
, “Doesn’t everyone want to be us?”