The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is conducting a little public relations (PR) campaign for PR. Part of that campaign is to (re)define what PR actually is.
The crack, creative, consultative, innovative, productive, collaborative, communicative PR team at Cisco decided to do a little brainstorm and we offer the following as our definition of PR:
“Public Relations is knowing what to say; when to say it; how to say it; where to say it; whom to say it to, to promote and protect the client’s reputation.”
We think this fully encompasses the following components of public relations:
1. What to say: messaging
2. How to say it: strategy
3. Where to say it: channel (social media, traditional media, etc.)
4. Whom to say it to: audience
We all recognized that social media is playing a larger role in communications (and marketing) writ large as well as public relations. PR is about relationships and communications. Obviously, you have to know how to communicate. And, more importantly, you have to have the relationships (or channels) built prior to your need to communicate in order to reach the appropriate audience with your message.
Communications and PR, in my humble opinion, comes down to two simple things:
Without knowing your goal, you cannot have a message or a strategy. Without knowing which audience you want to reach, you likely reach no one. And, as social media’s role increases every day the notion of engagement grows in importance. It isn’t enough just to reach your audience with your message, you also want them to engage with you and your message.
So, there it is…our attempt at letting our parents’ know what we actually do on a day to day basis…in one sentence. So, fellow PR professionals: what do you think of our definition? What would you add? What would you subtract? Or, would you completely start over?
(And, if you haven’t added your thoughts on the definition of PR to PRSA, please do so here by this Friday, December 2!)