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Hi Gary, Actually, PRSA agrees that “public engagement" is functionally agnostic. Which is why it’s disingenuous and odd that you would rely on the expressed view of a single individual (who may or may not be one of PRSA 32,000 members), at a single PRSA-hosted event (out of thousands), at a single PRSA Chapter (out of 112 across the country) to triangulate our organization's view and, on that basis, sound a clarion call to disband it after more than 60 years in existence. PRSA trains public relations professionals (we “represent” individuals, not agencies) to use social media as a means of achieving their clients’ and organizations’ objectives. And while we often note that the typical skills used by public relations professionals are particularly well-suited to working in social media, that doesn’t mean we believe that only public relations professionals should use social media. If it doesn’t work that way in our own organization — where cross-functional teams collaboratively “own” social media — why would we suggest it work that way in yours? (BTW, if you ask us whether public relations is a “legacy discipline that no longer has relevance,” we have an opinion on that, too … regardless of the definition du jour chosen in support of your argument.) But for someone who is not and never has been a PRSA member to say that we have lost our relevance on the basis of a single individual’s views; and that our ethics, diversity, advocacy, learning, mentoring networking and awards programs thereby have no discernable value; and that we should take the AMA and 4As with us when we go … frankly strikes us a great example of social media’s failings. If Steve Rubel was available, none of this would have happened. Arthur Yann Vice President, Public Relations PRSA
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Apr 5, 2011