Please excuse my bluntness, but there has been a lot of tiresome nonsense talked recently about the need to redefine PR for the modern age.
Industry trade bodies have come together to engage in an extended navel-gazing exercise with a view to redefining PR in the age of social media.
But a recent very welcome catch-up with the PR legend that is Mr Harold Burson put the issue quickly and neatly in perspective for me.
Harold wrote a very sensible and thought-provoking blog on the subject last year, which included the following simple definition:
Public relations (pub'lic re-la'shuns) n. sing. An applied social science that influences behavior and policy, when communicated effectively, motivates an individual or group to a specific course of action by creating, changing or reinforcing opinions and attitudes.
That works for me. It's not rocket science after all.
The tools, channels, and techniques PR pros use to achieve this have changed over the years, but the essential meaning of the above hasn't. Social media may have revolutionized the conversation and brands' and organizations' role within it, but it hasn't altered the basic premise behind communications activity.