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Good points, Steve. It's amazing (and unfortunate) how we PR pros and marketers have taken the relatively simple concept of "consumers" and bastardized it in a way that we can barely even relate to actual people/shoppers in the real world, it sometimes seems. I think the JC Penny / JCP rebranding effort is a perfect case in point. Like you and Al Ries, I can't think of a single time in my life when I ever referred to the company as JCP. Back home in Missouri, we call it Penny's, simple as that. Rebrandings can work, but only if the new brand concept aligns well with what shoppers expect and think of the brand. If it's a complete 180 then the company just finds itself back at square one a few months down the line.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2012 on We may use P'com, but you never will at RepMan
The line du jour: "So, how many new accounts did Edelman win this week? Reporter: 'The usual. One every 13 seconds.'" Sounds about right for what most (all?) of the PR trade publications are still focused on covering despite the fact the vast majority of their readers could care less about AORs and agency wins. Let's hope this AdAge piece is a wake-up call to the trades that there are far bigger issues to cover and analyze than how many times HP changes PR chiefs or which agency is up in the annual AOR battle. Sadly, I don't put much stock in that happening any time soon.
Steve – Thanks for this tongue-in-cheek yet surprisingly adroit perspective on the “Public Relations Defined” initiative. You are quite right that the task of defining public relations is not easy. It’s a very nuanced problem, one that like effectively measuring public relations, requires far more thought and consideration that simply saying “PR is this _______” and leaving it at that. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re not necessarily trying to outright define public relations but to modernize the existing definition (whatever that may be). Now, that is more than a small challenge, because as you rightly note, there are dozens, if not hundreds of definitions of public relations, each unique in its own way. What we are aiming to do, however, is take the collective wisdom of the profession, along with the insight and perspective of our global partners (up to 11, now that the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations has officially joined) and use that to develop a modern dictionary-like definition of public relations. Combine that with the existing definitions that we have outlined on the PR Defined website ( and I’m confident we’ll get to a point where a unique, dictionary-like definition rises to the top, one that is universal in its applicability yet adaptable enough for various audiences and different needs of those in the profession and beyond. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for submitting your definition of public relations. Very much appreciated. Keith Trivitt Associate Director Public Relation Society of America
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2011 on Defining the undefinable at RepMan
Drew, your response to the terribly misinformed and contumelious Economist article, much like Frank's own response, is precisely why this profession continues to demonstrate such clear value for businesses and the public. As you know, PRSA has fervently spoken out against this piece (, one we feel lacked any sort of comprehensive perspective about PR's true value in the modern business world. It's certainly encouraging to hear that what you see today in the profession bears absolutely no resemblance to what The Economist tries to portray the current state of affairs. Keith Trivitt Associate Director of Public Relations PRSA
I can't help but think this is a case of not being able to please all of the people all the time. While we undertsand the need to use specific and intuitive hashtags during real-time events, we also see ease-of-use benefits in differentiating PRSA's conferences, sections and programming with specialized hashtags. The #PRSA hashtag is widely used for all kinds of general news and information, and specialized hashtags help us reach and engage targeted audiences and develop metrics relevant to those events and programs. We wish you could have been here, Kevin, but we're happy Ashley's here and appreciate the fact you're actively following along in real-time. Keith Trivitt is Associate Director, PR, for PRSA.
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Oct 16, 2010