The Best of Times, The Wurst of Times

Poor Otto.  Bismarck’s timeless quip that “laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made” seems to have lost its bearings in current discourse.  Thus, Gerard Corbett, chairman of the Public Relations Society of America, discussing the search for a new definition of public relations in today’s New York Times — “it was basically an exercise in making sausage.”  Huh?  In any event, we can certainly celebrate this effort that resulted in the warm and only slightly moist sentence “Public relations is a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”  Celebrate because, in the current first flush of social media’s youth, it has finally become obvious again that “PR” is about building and nourishing relationships not “communications consulting” or any of the other seventeen things it has been called since people started fretting that “public relations” was insufficiently dignified for such an august profession.  So, three cheers for the committee and may “a thousand flowers bloom.”  Well, actually, Mao Tse Tung’s campaign was the “Hundred Flowers Movement” but never mind.  Let’s get back to making sausage while the sun shines.


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One Response to “The Best of Times, The Wurst of Times”

  1. Lionel Stanbrook Says:

    NIce thought Peter, except I don’t think I agree with you! I think this definition has got too smooth and shiny, (that must be the moist parts) and believe that unless Public Relations wakes up, it will be repeating this definition in another 60 years time and another 60 even while all things media and communications change again and again. L

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