Stuart Elliot, the advertising industry beat reporter at the New York Times wrote about an effort by PR pros to rewrite the definition of the job. In, Public Relations, a Topic That Is Tricky to Define – , Elliot highlighted several new definitions that were offered up on the Public Relations Society of America website and voted on by members. While “PR” is one of the services we offer at Tenor and often the shorthand our clients use to describe what we do, the definitions offered up by this professional association were laughable at best.

credit: New York Times

Worst of all each of the top three suggested definitions contained the word publics. Who talks like this? Who understands what that means? How can any industry be taken seriously when they talk to themselves and not to their…wait for it…fellow human beings.

At Tenor we focus on the most engaging, exciting and fulfilling aspect of communication – the fact that it is a uniquely human skill, practiced by real people seeking to understand others and be understood, hoping to learn from one another and ultimately trying to find common interests and aspirations that will connect them.

If the PRSA wanted to redefine PR to reflect the current age of social media all they needed to have done was link to Wikipedia’s definition and leave it at that.