Defining PR

First published in March 2012


NEWS-BITE | PR | Definitions: The PR Society Of America has completed its previously reported bid to find a new definition for what exactly it is that PR does, having decided that their existing strapline dating from 1982 – “Public Relations helps an organisation and its publics adapt mutually to each other” – was no longer adequate.

And the new definition is – “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics”. You can read more information on why that was chosen after an extensive online debate on the PRSA website here.

So, should the British PR industry now be embracing this definition too? Well, the PRCA consulted its members on that question and the majority weren’t completely happy with the PRSA’s new description, meaning the UK trade body doesn’t feel it can also embrace its American counterpart’s definition.

Says PRCA boss Francis Ingham: “The PRSA is to be commended on its efforts here – they’ve spent a lot of time and effort working to get this right. However, most PR leaders in the UK think that this definition isn’t quite right. So while we are very grateful to the PRSA for their contribution to this debate, we won’t be adopting their definition”.

The PRCA has published some of the UK responses to the PRSA’s new definition here.