PRSA announces the final definition of ‘public relations’

After months of deliberating and a public vote, this is the definition of public relations. What do you think?

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

The public vote, which took place from Feb. 13 to Feb. 26, drew 1,447 votes. The winning definition received 671 votes (46.4 percent of the total ballots cast). It squared off against two other contenders, which were:

In a blog post on the PRSA website, the organization’s chair and CEO Gerard Corbett said:

“Simple and straightforward, this definition focuses on the basic concept of public relations—as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and emphasizing ‘mutually beneficial relationships.’ ‘Process’ is preferable to ‘management function,’ which can evoke ideas of control and top-down, one-way communications. ‘Relationships’ relates to public relations’ role in helping to bring together organizations and individuals with their key stakeholders. ‘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.”

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