What is PRSA?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) was founded in 1947 and quickly became the largest public relations organization. In order to fully understand the nature of PRSA, it is important to know exactly how PRSA defines public relations. According to the Society’s definition, public relations mutually aid the public and an organization so they can adapt to each other. The organization works with public relations professionals and student members to promote the profession and the professional – whether those individuals represent businesses, technological firms, the military, the government, organizations, associations, schools, hospitals, or other industries.

There are three main areas where PRSA is most influential: advancing the public relations profession, advancing the public relations professional, and advancing PRSA, itself. By advancing the profession, PRSA hopes to become the main source of information on the profession, as well as the educational and research initiatives surrounding public relations. Through advancing the professional, PRSA strives to advance the needs of professional and student members, especially in times of failing economies, to help them become recognized for their hard work and successes. Lastly, by advancing PRSA, the goal is to promote the Society so that it is strong and well-organized and thereby an asset to its members.


Because so much of the profession revolves around special interests, PRSA has a professional interest section in its organizational makeup. The special interests section gives the members the opportunity to communicate about issues that are directly related to a specific practice. It also allows those interested a specialized practice area in which to network. Although there are 19 different specialized practice areas, examples of a few of the practices included as a special interest are associations, nonprofit organizations, corporate, environmental, health academy, international, technology, and travel and tourism.

For those that are seeking a new job, or for those who have a position that they would like to fill in their own firm, PRSA has a career resource center, called JobCenter. It is easy to search for jobs through the JobCenter. The database has a list of public relations positions that are open. In addition, members can add their resume to the database free of cost. Job posts remain in the database for 30 days.

Each year there are a variety of awards that are handed out by PRSA. The Society attempts to recognize those public relations professionals who have excelled in their jobs and therefore encourage and unite those in the profession. Highlighting those individuals who have done exceptional work will encourage others to follow them as role models and, as a result, better the profession.


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Post 2

@Mor - I'm sure that's not exactly what they mean when they say they are going to aid the public to adapt to the company. It seems fairly benign actually and to be honest, there's not a company that ever existed that didn't want to change the public in some way. Even the cleanest, greenest company in the world wants their product to be bought and used which means using some kind of advertising.

And one of the most effective forms of PR is to sponsor a charity or event, which is another way in which companies might be adapting the people around them. By curing their cancer and things like that.

The world isn't black and white and neatly divided into good and evil and companies are made up of human beings. They don't want to destroy the world any more than you do, but everyone has to do their job and that includes PR specialists.

Post 1

Wow, I can't believe that they've summed up the problem with corporations in their stated motto. That public relations specialists are trying to help the public adapt to the businesses when it should always be the other way around.

This kind of entitled attitude is one of the reasons big business manages to get away with so much. Instead of seeing a problem like climate change and thinking, gosh we ought to change our policies so that we don't hurt people, they think, gosh we need to mitigate this PR disaster and make sure we change the public viewpoint about climate change.

Companies which work with the public and adapt to what they want and need are going to be more successful in the long run and they are going to be more moral as well, if that means anything anymore.

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