Well, defining public relations is no easy task.
Someone once tried to count the number of suggested definitions of public relations, but he or she allegedly gave up after finding 2,000+ different attempts. Sure, this might just be an urban industry legend, but the point remains the same: There sure are a lot of suggested definitions out there.
It’s such an irony that a profession with ambitions to help humanity to communicate more efficiently should have to struggle so much.
The ultimate public relations definition
Whit that in mind, what kind of PR blogger would I be if I didn’t throw my hat into the ring as well?
So, here’s how I define public relations:
PR (public relations) = the strategic use of communication to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders, influencers, and publics.
A few clarifications:
- stakeholders — people or organisations affected by the brand’s business objectives (see also What is public relations?).
- influencers — people or organisations who affect the brand’s business objectives (see also How to categorise influencers).
- publics — groups with similar communicative behaviours (see also The publics in public relations).
And these are the typical stakeholders in PR: