CooperKatz is committed to the term “PR” as the best descriptor of what its practitioners do, saying that the meaning of the term is evolving.

Anne Green, president and CEO, says there is a “hot debate today about the relevance of the term public relations and that for many it only implies media relations.”

Anne Green

Anne Green

“Without a doubt, earned media outreach is core to the value we provide our clients – and also remains a process that’s more art than science,” she said.

“Yet in a marketing and media ecosystem that is now nearly fully digital, PR represents so much more--earned media, paid media, content marketing, storytelling, crisis counsel, events and experiential, influencer engagement.

“We partner with CEOs to drive business outcomes, CMOs to support lead generation, CTOs to articulate tech strategy, CROs to mitigate risk, CHROs to attract and retain talent, and more.”

Some agencies, said Green, have dropped any reference to “Public Relations.”

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CooperKatz and other firms have chosen to retain the term. “Over time, it’s never been about changing the name of our field. It’s about recognizing the constant evolution of our approach.”

Boldness Needed in Defining PR

Green called on the industry to be “bolder” and “louder” in defining what it does, resetting expectations and correcting misconceptions. Her description of what PR means today is as follows.

  • PR is leveraging every channel, online and off, to reach all audiences with the most meaningful messages.
  • PR is using strategic insight to achieve organizational or communications goals, and executing with maximum impact.
  • PR is seizing real news, shaping the story, and partnering with the right reporters and influencers to encourage action.
  • PR is transforming dull jargon into vivid language.
  • PR is embracing technology while connecting with the people behind it.
  • PR is collaborating across marketing disciplines in a fully integrated environment.
  • PR is breaking out of silos to let knowledge and creativity guide us to the right solution.

The firm is launching a new website along with a monthly e-newsletter, CK Sidebar, that will address critical issues in communications. These include ethics in communications, fake news, the impact of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, best practices in true integrated communications, and sector-specific insights drawn from its work across such fields as technology, healthcare, financial services, and others.