Then there’s PRSA’s lofty definition: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Notice a perception gap? That’s the result of decades of stupid metrics and bad measurement.
For years, PR people have focused on activities not outcomes. They’ve measured value in column inches and the height of a stack of press releases. The latter is the famous “Thud Factor,” as in the decibels the year’s clip book produces when it lands on the boss’s desk—the equivalent of how many likes you got on Facebook.
PR has come to be defined by what it shovels out, rather than by the relationships it builds.
It’s time to clean out the cobwebs and start fresh.
Let’s begin with relationship building. The need for good relationships with your publics is stronger than ever. Social media has given PR the ability to talk directly to and build relationships with all your stakeholders, not just the media. Relationships today are more likely to get established via a conversation on Twitter, a connection on LinkedIn, or a video on YouTube than they are through traditional media.