The definition of traditional public relations is PR 2.0

“Public relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”

“public relations means relations with the public”

“Managing the strategy and tactics of communications as an integral part of a business’s policy making and decision taking and is also about managing the reputation of a business. Ultimately, PR is concerned with the management of behaviour – the behaviour of organisations and of publics important to them”

“Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”

Lots of different definitions of traditional public relations. Definitions of PR 1.0. They all say broadly the same thing. Somebody please tell me how PR 2.0 is different to what is contained in these definitions. Perhaps PR 2.0 types would prefer a Wikipedia definition (health warning – like most of Wikipedia it is bit too USA-centric):

“Public relations is the art and science of building relationships between an organization and its key publics. It is concerned with communications management.”

… or maybe not since it says much the same thing as the first few culled from dog-eared 1980s PR text books and today’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations website.

The problem with PR 2.0 is it only works on people who don’t understand PR 1.0 or only see or practice a small part of traditional public relations. Yes, maybe for press relations agencies things are different. For public relations professionals they aren’t. What was bad public relations practice in PR 1.0 is what is bad public relations practice in PR 2.0.

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.