As social media changes PR, the need to redefine the field has become too great to ignore. According to the vague definition created by the Public Relations Society of America in 1982, PR “helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”
To modernize that, the PRSA's Definition of Public Relations Task Force has launched the “Public Relations Defined” initiative, complete with the slogan “a modern definition for the new era of public relations.”
A meeting of representatives from various interested organizations, held September 30 in New York, was the campaign's launch pad. Interested groups included the Institute for Public Relations, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management.
The PRSA has also listed the core elements of its campaign on the PRDefinition.PRSA.org website. Anyone can log on to the site through December 2 and suggest his or her own definition using the template “Public relations (does what) with or for (whom) to (do what) for (what purpose).”
All words entered in the blanks will be stored in word clouds. The Task Force will later announce the three top definitions and allow industry professionals to vote for their favorites. The group expects a new definition by the end of this year.