The Conversation

By Shea Andersen

You can hardly fire up your Twitter feed any more without spotting a half-dozen opinions about just what it means to be in public relations.

What does PR mean to you?

At, Steve Cody talks about how hard it is to quickly explain at social gatherings just what it means to be in PR.

Over at The PR Daily, Gini Dietrich is frustrated by the efforts of industry group PRSA to define just what public relations means. The three definitions offered, after much public input, are hard to understand, she says.

She calls them “marketing lingo bingo.”

Mark Ragan, the publisher of PR Daily, often brings up these questions on his Twitter feed. In an interview with Ragan, the CEO of Edelman U.S. tried to get to a definition, and took more than two minutes to do so.

Clearly, the answer isn’t simple. Or is it?

Public relations is a conversation.

Like any conversation, the medium is changing. But one thing doesn’t change: To keep it a conversation, you’ve got to join in. If you leave, you’re missing out on what’s going to be said. The more you want to join the conversation, the more it makes sense to have a professional communicator as a part of your team.

2 thoughts on “The Conversation

  1. See! Why is that so hard? The only thing I’d add to it is the result that it contributes to the business. In some cases the conversation is increased sales or improved margins or shortened sales cycles. In other cases it’s fundraising or reputation management in a crisis. It shouldn’t be as hard as everyone is making it.

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