To most people, PR is that somewhat shady process of getting the media to pay attention to what you’re trying to push on them, while distracting them from the bad stuff your organization is probably doing.
Then there’s PRSA’s lofty definition: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Notice a perception gap? That’s the result of decades of stupid metrics and bad measurement.
For years, PR people have focused on activities not outcomes. They’ve measured value in column inches and the height of a stack of press releases. The latter is the famous “Thud Factor,” as in the decibels the year’s clip book produces when it lands on the boss’s desk—the equivalent of how many likes you got on Facebook.
PR has come to be defined by what it shovels out, rather than by the relationships it builds.
It’s time to clean out the cobwebs and start fresh.