Should We Define PR For Fifth Graders?

Before late last week I truly was seeing the dim light at the end of the tunnel; now I’m not so sure. My journey to define PR with the most recent post “Is Defining PR Just Jargon?” now has me off on a tangent. At the end of that post, I tossed out a written-in-three-seconds  definition of public relations, but it was this descriptor that prompted many comments.

And, so, we’re here today to try this from yet another angle — should we define PR for a fifth grader, grandma, and anyone else who just doesn’t get what we do?

I just have to say — I’ve always liked it when the rest of the marketing mix didn’t know what it was I did; that way they knew they needed me yet couldn’t do it themselves. It was sort of like a protective barrier, you know?  (But, that was back in the silo days; now we’re all playing happily in the sandbox — well, once we stop fighting over ownership of social media and who writes a press release!)

And, so, I will provide credit where credit is due and see if the school of thought that says we need a simpler definition for the masses can agree upon nonjargonesque wording to define public relations:

I help my employer build authentic relationships with all of the people who help them either succeed or fail in business. ~Beth Harte, The Harte of Marketing

I tell stories about people; I make people look good. ~Erica Allison, @ericamallison

Public relations builds goodwill among businesses, customers and community using an approach that makes people feel actions and opinions are valued. Taqiyyah Shakirah Dawud at Deliberate Ink

Public Relations is the practice of communicating to the public and other audiences. ~Heidi Siefkas, @HeidiSiefkas

Public Relations helps people say the right things to the right audiences at the right time. ~Jayme Soulati (that’s me)

Public relations (uses technology to) creates relationships with everyone, everywhere. ~Jayme and “like” by @GiniDietrich of Spin Sucks

So, who’d like to start…? (IMHO, this does NOT replace the need to define PR for PR; right Patty?)