On so many blogs I see the definition of public relations is confusing to folks, especially since the advent of social media. I’m not surprised; I’ve spent the last 26 years educating people about what I do and expect to spend the next 26 years doing the same.
What I can share is my passion:
- I’m the most fortunate woman to have landed in a profession (quite by chance rather than choosing) that is always evolving and allows me to learn so little about so much.
- I dabble in all industries and all shapes and structures of companies and organizations.
- The explosion of new channels to communicate allows public relations to assess metrics, monitor the conversation, measure, and adjust strategy to engage tiered audiences.
- Limitless opportunities exist to influence business goals with strategic and creative marketing public relations strategy.
- My passion for public relations is palpable; every day, week, month, year are different and energy-filled – no sameness, no boredom, just a never-ending quest for higher learning.
That’s my somewhat description; let me share an author’s opinions who wrote a book on public relations in 2000. Leonard Saffir is author of “Power Public Relations, How to Master the New PR.” In his book, he references Thomas L. Harris, author of Value-Added Public Relations, who brought us the term “marketing public relations,” which I love and am now using to show the blending of marketing with public relations.
- Chapter one, line one in Mr. Saffir’s book states “In the corporation of the 21st century, public relations will rank higher than advertising.” Line two states “CEOs of major companies will come out of the public relations field.” (I love these powerful book-opening statements!)
- I wrote in a recent blog post “Public Relations Drives Marketing.” If that’s so, which I firmly believe, then what drives public relations? Mr. Saffir says “Creativity and ingenuity drive public relations.”
- More insights from Mr. Saffir include:
- “Public relations has grown into a full-fledged discipline with the power and reliability to influence perception.”
- The primary goal of public relations may be to “shape the broader context within which publics in general or specific target publics form opinions and make decisions.”
- “While marketing identifies customer needs and satisfies them at a profit, public relations produces goodwill among various publics whose goodwill is important to the organization.”
- Here’s a comment that might raise a few hairs – “Public relations is a discipline and marketing is a task to be accomplished by various disciplines in the corporation – sales, sales promotion, merchandising, marketing research, advertising and public relations.” (Interesting! Do you agree?)
What’s your definition of public relations? On the flip, perhaps it’s not necessary to clarify; mysticism is good!