A major public relations body is calling on the industry to unite and banish "a preconceived notion of what PR professionals do" in the eyes of the public.
In a comment piece on The Drum today, Gerard F. Corbett, chair of the Public Relations Society of America, says the industry as a whole needs to better communicate what it actually does.
"For a profession on which businesses spend billions of dollars each year, there is remarkably little understanding of what we do," Corbett writes.
"In essence, we in PR admittedly have a PR challenge."
The PRSA is running a campaign called 'Public Relations Defined' (hashtag: #PRDefined) to start a dialogue and debate about what public relations is, what practitioners do, how they do it and who benefits from their services.
Corbett said: "The ultimate goal of this initiative is to develop an intuitive and universal, dictionary-like definition befitting the modern role and value of public relations.
"In order to appropriately and objectively quantify public relations’ value, we must have a simple, universal definition that distinctly encapsulates our work. Anything else will perpetuate the continuing confusion and misunderstanding that exists; much of it of our own making for overlooking the evolving role and nature of our work."