November 22, 2011
PRSA Launches Global Initiative to Modernize Definition of Public Relations: Industry Association to Utilize Collaborative Commentary Platform for Development of New Definition of Public Relations
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) this week launched a collaborative, industry-wide initiative to modernize the definition of public relations. The "Public Relations Defined" initiative is hosted at a new PRSA website, PRDefinition.PRSA.org. From Nov. 21–Dec. 2, 2011, PRSA will curate commentary and insight from public relations professionals around the world to develop a new global definition of public relations. Public relations professionals can submit words and phrases they believe should comprise the modern definition of public relations at PRDefinition.PRSA.org. Submissions will be pulled into specially built word clouds that will form common themes based on the following sentence structure: "Public relations [DOES WHAT] with/for [WHOM] to [DO WHAT] for [WHAT PURPOSE.]" "The 'Public Relations Defined' initiative is an important undertaking for PRSA and the public relations profession," said Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, PRSA chair and CEO. "As recognition of the profession's value has grown in recent years, it has become increasingly important that we find a universal definition befitting the scope and modern role of public relations. Doing so in an open, collaborative format seems appropriate given the impact technology and social media have had on the profession."
PRSA's Definition of Public Relations Task Force, chaired by David Rickey, APR, has oversight of the initiative. The Society's Board of Directors established the Task Force to evaluate current definitions of public relations, including PRSA's definition, and how those relate to the modern role of the profession.
The Defintion Task Force will use a summary of all submissions to develop three proposed definitions. Industry professionals will be asked to vote on the final definition in early December on the PRSA website.
PRSA will unveil the new definition of public relations in late December.
Examples of current definitions, along with background information about the initiative, are available on the "Public Relations Defined" website.
PRSA is partnering with 10 global industry organizations and associations in support of the initiative. They include:
- Public Relations Student Society of America
- Arthur W. Page Society
- International Association of Business Communicators
- Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management
- Institute for Public Relations
- International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication
- Canadian Public Relations Society
- Word of Mouth Marketing Association
- Hispanic Public Relations Association
- National Black Public Relations Society
Those organizations, along with PRSA's Definition of Public Relations Task Force, met at the Society's New York headquarters Sept. 29, 2011, to discuss the need and process for creating a modern definition of public relations.