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Call to pour cold water on profound new thinking that could transform PR, Comms, and Advertising?

Can you pour cold water on profound new thinking that could transform PR, Comms, and Advertising?

Mention redefining public relations and eyes start to glaze over at the prospect of endless navel-gazing.

Yet, what if someone could demonstrate that much of current PR and communications thinking is a bit like the ancient astronomers who wrongly defined the universe with the Earth at the centre of it?

What if we used the 21st century revolutions in digital technology, neuroscience and psychology enable us to transform our thinking and doing?

Too many public relations practitioners it seems are stuck in a halfway house when delivering integrated communications or delivering reputation management. They have responded ad hoc, incrementally adding to an old school way of public relations, centred on media relations, creating a Heath Robinson-like vehicle for delivering communications or behaviour change.

Many use the word ‘Comms’, yet when you search online for definitions for it, you’ll only find ‘integrated marketing communications’ - and surely what PR people do, via ‘Comms’ is much more than this.

Words are tools and theories are maps. What if a new, easy-to-use guide provided you with new theory and definitions offering the precise words and accurate map to take you on a quick, yet profound journey to transform how you do PR and ‘Comms’?

That’s the aim of the Dublin Conversation, an intellectual version of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, inviting anyone around the world with an interest in the future of communications to pour cold water on the proposed ‘Dublin Definitions’. These provide new definitions for advertising, public relations, brand and what is commonly called ‘Comms’, with supporting theory based on science along with supporting strategies and tools.

The independent, non-commercial grassroots driven initiative spans practitioners and academics. It is planning over 100 conversations over the span of 100 days, which anyone can join in, to road test the proposed ‘Dublin Definitions’.

By encouraging people to challenge the ideas will make the resulting thinking more robust, inclusive and smarter to transform future communications practice.

The draft ‘Dublin Definitions’ aims to provide greater purpose, self-belief, and confidence for public relations practitioners like you to enable you to seize more opportunities, either in PR-led integrated communications or in specialist roles.

By making greater use of what the draft Dublin Definitions proposes is public relations’ prime quality - that of earning trust for effective communications or behaviour change - enables public relations roles, such as reputation management or employee engagement,  to be more potent and resilient.

The draft ‘Dublin Definitions’ create for the first time a formal definition of ‘Comms’ which goes beyond existing definitions of ‘integrated marketing communications’ providing a springboard for PR-led Comms practice.

The draft ‘Dublin Definitions’ provide a way forward for making better sense of your world and guiding your responses to it. At the very least the draft ‘Dublin Definitions’ provides a better alternative to existing definitions of advertising and public relations. If you care about the future of communications should you be making a ’journey to Dublin’?

The Definitions are the product of extensive academic research and real-world practice among leading thinkers and do-ers in the communications industries. They explain a 120 year plus failure to establish accepted definition of ‘public relations’.

Communications practice urgently needs new thinking to transform its responses to an increasingly polarised, mistrustful society. What was once an academic debate about how communications works, or what is advertising or PR, are now critical issues to address either for professional communicators seeking new direction, or for our society in declining levels of trust.

Anyone interested in joining in the conversation, running an event, having a chat, or obtaining a copy of the draft Dublin Definitions White Paper or pamphlet can visit a number of forums supporting the idea including

This is one conversation you need to be part of.