PRSA revises campaign to define ‘public relations’ (again)

The Public Relations Society of America will share three definitions of PR on Wednesday, but you can’t vote on them yet, you can only comment.


You’ll have to wait another six weeks for a new definition of public relations.

The Public Relations Society of America, which in December unveiled a campaign to define PR, said on Tuesday that it has again revised the project. Originally, the organization planned to announce the new definition at the end of 2011, but pushed the date to late January. Now, it’s aiming to unveil the definition the week of Feb. 27.

In a blog post, Gerard Corbett, the new chair and CEO of PRSA, said this:

“From the beginning, PRSA’s goal has been to create a definition that the entire profession has a role in shaping, which professionals, organizations and academics alike can appreciate and own. With that in mind, I think it’s appropriate for us to take a refreshed perspective and implement a slightly modified direction for #PRDefined; one that will allow for greater input from our partners and the profession, in a manner befitting the project’s stature.

“Every good PR program is flexible, and this initiative is no exception.”

Here’s how the new schedule will work: On Wednesday, PRSA will reveal the three candidate definitions, which PRSA’s Definition of PR Task Force and global partners developed objectively by analyzing the data collected during the crowd-sourcing phase, according to PRSA’s Keith Trivitt.

“These definitions will be presented in their raw and annotated form (to show why specific words/phrases in the definition were put there) and will be open for public comment for three weeks,” Trivitt explained. “The feedback collected from this public comment period will then be analyzed and provide to our partners once more during the second Definition of PR Summit, which we will host in early February.”

When that’s done, PRSA will put the entries up for a vote to determine the final definition.

“We fully anticipate this to be the final revision to the process plan,” he added.

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