The Public Relations Society of America gives public relations a more modern definition
Emily writes for CorpComms Mag, follow her tweets here @EmilyAVNicholls
A new definition of public relations has been announced by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) that if feels more accurately reflects the industry today.
The definition, which was based on a public vote, states: 'Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics.'
Gerard Corbett, chief executive of the PRSA, said: 'Publics is preferable to stakeholders as the former relates to the very 'public' nature of public relations, whereas 'stakeholders' has connotations of publicly-traded companies.'
More than 900 submissions were received by the PRSA when it announced plans to replace its 1982 definition of public relations, which stated: 'Public relations helps an organisation and its publics adapt mutually to each other.'
The move followed a PRSA led summit, involving 12 professional organisations and trade associations, last September when it was agreed that a new definition to better reflect the modern scope of public relations, including the profession's evolution into social media, word-of-mouth marketing and integrated marketing communications, was required.
The summit reconvened in January to whittle down the entries to just three definitions, which were put to the public vote between 13 and 26 February. Over 1,600 votes were cast, and the winning definition received more than 46 per cent of the total.
Voters were also asked whether the word 'ethics' should be included in the new definition: more than 60 per cent said no.