“ADMAN” or “PRPRO”

Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in CHI Contemplation
Tags: public relations, marketing communications, pr, public relations firms, advertising

Despite requiring an admission of my being a crossword puzzler, I had to comment on this. A recent crossword clue for a five-letter answer was, “publicity person.” Had to be “PRPRO,” right? No. Turned out they were looking for “ADMAN.” Leaving aside the gender bias of that answer, I took exception to the old and still wrong (more wrong than ever, I’d say) conflation of advertising and public relations. But, truth be told, I have to cop to some complicity in this common misapprehension. Too often during three-plus decades in PR I have replied to the “What do you do for a living?” query by taking the easy way out and answering, “Oh, I’m in advertising.” No more. I hereby resolve to advance the cause of public relations through any and all legitimate means.

While the Public Relations Society of America defines and redefines PR – see http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined/ -- I have long held to a simple, four-word  definition of public relations: the art of influence. Time to start using that definition to influence people’s perception of the value, craft and – yes, difficulty – of goals-based, results-driven public relations.


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