Archive for PRSA

Update on Social Media Certification — the Pros and Cons

As you can see from the comments under my recent post Is a Certificate in Social Media Necessary and Worth the Price?, professional certification is a hot topic.

"social media certification"I decided to start a discussion on several LinkedIn Groups and asked, “Do you think social media professionals should be certified?”

I received dozens of comments – most were in favor of some sort of certification – but exactly how it would be structured and who should do the certifying was up for grabs.

I did learn about at least three other current programs. San Diego State University and San Francisco State University offer social media certificates. The Social Media Academy offers a Social Media Strategist Certificate.

Of course, there were naysayers, who thought certification was a waste of time and that your work should speak for itself.

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PRSA Uses Crowd Sourcing for New Definition of Public Relations

The old definition of public relations is out. Public Relations Society of America will adopt a new definition by the end of 2011. You can chime in with your version of PR by December 2nd at Definition of PR Submission Form.

PRSA is crowd sourcing the public for help with the definition. My, how electronic communications has changed everything. The race to a definition began on October 31st with the launch of the Public Relations Defined Initiative.

Here is the old definition adopted in 1982:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

In almost 30 years we’ve seen the Internet radically change how we communicate so it is more than time for a new definition. Here is the form that PRSA is asking members of the public to complete:

"Public relations defined"

Public relations defined

I submitted my definition but thought I’d be able to review it after I hit the Submit button, but I couldn’t. So write yours down before submitting if you want to save it to compare to the final definition selected.

PRSA began accepting submissions on November 21st and created this word cloud after the first two days that shows the words most often submitted are public, communication and organization:

If you decide to submit your definition I would love to know what it is. Just leave it in the comments box.

Connecting With Strangers

I’ve been haunted by the term, “stranger network,” which I came across in the transcript of a recent PRSA digital conference. Tom Smith, Founder and Director at Trendstream, a digital consulting firm based in London, was the author of the a presentation he gave called “How Did We Come to Trust Strangers?” The audio of his talk is located at His remarks led to an “a ha” that I’d like to share. In his new perspective on the world:

1) We trust total and complete strangers
2) Strangers drive our knowledge, ideas and decisions

Just think about that a minute and examine your own recent relationships. How did you connect? Have you met them? I’m now taking a 12-week webinar course led by a woman I have never met, who was recommended by a colleague who has never met her. I’ve never met the consultant who works with me on my website/blog. Yet they both have become important people in my life. Another consultant friend works with a virtual assistant half way across the country — they were working together for 10 years and had never met. Then the VA planned a trip to New York and they finally sat down face to face. Guess what? It was a totally awkward conversation and they found they had almost nothing to say to each other outside of their virtual connection.

Who are the strangers you trust? Have you ever been let down, disappointed, betrayed?