My thoughts on PRSA defends the candidate of “public relations”

The article, PRSA defends the candidate definitions of “public relations”, was an interesting one. When I think of how I would define the term “public relations”, a number of words pop up in my head. That being said, that is why this article was written; we have not come to a conclusion on a definition of the profession in which everyone agrees on in he last112 years. There are four reasons why:

 The first reason from the PRSA, “You hate them.” People usually have something negative to say about the modernized definitions PRSA has come up with, with responses like- they don’t, you did, you can, and they do.Only about 15 percent of PR companies have the word “public relations” or “PR” in the name of the business, which makes it confusing to come up with one solid definition when there are so many roles in the feild.

The second reason from PRSA, “You can’t stand lingo or jargon.” After results came in from a crowd-sourced approach, it seemed as if too many disliked words were found to describe the profession, such as “public”, or “audiences.” People complain about the PR field having lingo, yet the appropriate term “stakeholders” probably wouldn’t want to be used etiher.

The third reason from PRSA, “They won’t change the profession’s image.” PRSA has many improvements to look forward to, such as creating a more diverse field or work, coming up with new measurement and evaluation techniques, and so many more.

The fourth reason from the PRSA, “They aren’t particulary modernized.” Out of the many definitions that were introduced, the final three that have been selected as options, are all principles that were used by 2 of the most sought after men in the field of PR, Barnum and Bernays.

Two out of the three final definitions are-

“Public relations is the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends.”

-Scott Cutlip, Allen Center, and Glen Broom ; “Effective Public Relations”


“Public relations is the management of communication between an organization and its publics. Its purpose is to cultivate relationships among organizations and publics.” 

                -Dr. James E. Grunig


The thing that I found was the most intriguing was at the end of the article, in which the author David C. Rickey wrote, “Finally, let’s remember that we will be judged by our performance and our results, not by how we define ourselves.” I think Rickey is absolutely right, however, it seems like people need definitions for everything these days.


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