PR is…

By: Kristin Golliher, Brand Building Rockstar, Founder & CEO

I can’t speak for everyone in the field, but as a PR professional I’ve grown accustomed to the quizzical looks I get from those unfamiliar with the industry when I respond to their inquiries of, “what do you do?” by saying, “I work in public relations.” Most people have heard of it, but many are not sure what exactly it means. Judging by the look on their face I always want to say, “did I lose you between the P or the R?”

“Is that like advertising?”

“So that’s marketing, right?”

“Like a publicist?”

Recently, the trend of defining public relations has seeped into the PR world itself, with the Public Relations Society of America taking on the mission to create a comprehensive definition of the field. Their result: “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relations between organizations and their publics.”

While the PRSA’s definition is logical and accurate, for many outside the industry it’s still unclear (and hardly something to recite at a dinner party).

So how should PR be defined? Public relations is diverse, complex and means something different to each organization, but in a nutshell PR helps businesses engage with target audiences.

PR folks tell stories to the right people at the right time using an array of traditional and new social media outlets. By combining PR strategies with applicable marketing strategies you create a more comprehensive, holistic approach.

To us, part of the beauty of the industry is that it’s difficult to define. Oh, a challenge! As long as the focus remains on relationships and finding personalized ways to help businesses foster those relationships, there are endless opportunities for developing solid PR efforts.