HMA Public Relations is very fortunate to be connected with some very smart public relations professionals from around the globe. Through our active participation in PRSA, we’ve gotten to know Lisa Cutter. Lisa is in the Denver area and is currently the chair of the Western District for PRSA. We’ll be heading her way in March for the annual conference. We asked her to tell us, in her words, “what is PR?”
Let’s start with what it is not.
Public relations is not being a greeter at a car dealership, as the want ads suggested when I was a young job seeker.
Public relations does not involve “spinning” the truth. Although I do, at times, feel as if I’m spinning several plates in the air!
And public relations is not being a publicist. Publicity is certainly a subset of public relations, but as those of us engaged in public relations know, it is by no means the definition.
What it is, is much more difficult to define. Here’s my attempt.
Public relations is telling stories, solving problems and creating relationships. It is telling stories in a way that resonates with people and creates a positive and lasting impression. It is creating connections between an organization and its publics, then nurturing and enhancing those connections for mutual benefit. And it is problem solving – helping organizations navigate through issues and crises with that most basic and essential of skills, good communications.
The idealist in me wants to make an impact – lend myself to something bigger than me and change at least my little corner of the world for the better. While I don’t kid
myself that I’m saving the world, I do believe that what we do as public relations practitioners can change the world for the better.
Clear, consistent and honest communications could serve to move us through difficult times in a positive manner. So in a world full of miscommunications and misunderstanding, maybe I am doing what I can to change my little corner.
Update: As one of the longest-operating Phoenix public relations agencies, HMA Public Relations' values and goals align with those of Lisa Cutter's.