”Love it or loathe it, PR is here to stay”

PR is central to freedom of speech in a modern democracy. Love it or loathe it, PR is here to stay” – Goldsworthy & Morris.

I find it particularly ironic that PR – the management of reputation – still has such a stigma. It can change the image of an organisation, so why can’t it do it for itself? Are the media partly to blame for reinforcing the negative propagandist image? Look in any newspaper and you’ll find some form of it, even the newspapers are writing about other news corporations using propaganda. Take this article in The Telegraph for example, they note how the BBC has been accused  of ”peddling propaganda for the Queen”.

Image can be found at The Telegraph.

Image can be found at The Telegraph.

Personally, I believe PR will never fully detach itself from the negative stigma it holds today. Even if all the practitioners in the world behaved ethically, I still believe the public would need some convincing just because its roots are deeply fixed in the history of propaganda.

What does that mean for the future of PR?

PR is definitely here to stay. A world without PR would be a world in which new ideas and ideologies wouldn’t possibly be able to emerge. Right now PR is growing from strength to strength thanks to our little friend (or should I say gigantic friend?!) the internet.

The internet has opened up a new realm of news consumption, one where brands cannot hide. If a customer or client isn’t happy with a product, they can inform their friends who can then inform their friends until the news spreads across nations via platforms like social media. It’s harder for companies to hide, which means they need somebody to manage it all and that’s where we come in!

The internet has opened up a new realm for PR professionals.

The internet has opened up a new realm for PR professionals.

Of course, the internet is the perfect place for the likes of the propagandist to spread rumors, ideas and create perceptions, whilst hiding behind a computer screen and watching as it saturates the web. Which means, more than ever, practitioners have got to strive to be ethically responsible.

Ethical PR can be beneficial to everyone, as Bill Gay writes in Public Relations Professionals on LinkedIn; ”our first obligation is to the broader society and to the truth. Ethical public relations can further public discussion and assist the public in making proper decisions”.

As noted by Moloney, ”PR is treated as  a progressive evolution to better times”. And now with such a big emphasis on ethics in the study of PR, I hope that in the next 10, 20 or even 30 years I’ll be able to say I’m extremely proud to work in such an ethically responsible discipline that is public relations.

 

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Posted in PR

5 thoughts on “”Love it or loathe it, PR is here to stay”

  1. I do hope PR does stay; it allows people to express their rights, their opinions in our democracy which everyone can do, and I applaud that. However, do you feel that by allowing people to share any negative comments on a business/corporation they have used could have a negative or off-putting effect for businesses? If I personally saw comments or complaints posted by consumers for an organisation it would be make me rethink my options.

    • Well, that’s where PR comes in. PR is used as a tool to avoid negative comments which diminish a company’s positive reputation. PR is all about reputation management and so they are tasked with making sure they address complaints properly on social media.

  2. I like how you mention that the internet has greatly benefited the world of PR but also how damaging it can be. I think many people fail to remember that they shouldn’t believe everything they read in the papers and on line as rumours and lies can spread so easily. However, having said that how do you expect people to be able to distinguish between genuine and false statements on the internet?

    • I think the Internet and social media in particular is something which PR practitioners are still getting used to. It’ll take a while before they know how to deal with new issues that arise everyday. With all this new technology, it opens doors to issues people have never dealt with before. It’s a learning curve.

  3. I agree with you here. Sadly but true the PR industry will forever (by some) be viewed negativley as a key aspect ofour job involves us trying change peoples opinions from one which is neagtive to positive, as you say it just means as PR practioners we need to make sure we always work ethically.

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