PR is absolutely fabulous
The PR profession leaves itself regualrly open to multiple forms of abuse from the media and others. The barriers to offering ‘PR’ services have always been low and the advent of the Internet has lowered them even further. The other problem for PR is the breadth of its service.
PR is employed in every field of commercial (and non-commercial) endevour. From Haute Couture to nanotechnology, PR people work hard to promote their clients’ brands. Many of these sectors demand fundamentally different type of PR activities, so different in fact, they might as well be different professions. And that’s the problems.
People typically group us all together in whatever PR-field they percieve PR. For many it’s the Absolutely Fabulous, gin and tonic swilling party-goer, for others it’s the percieved sinister political spinning. Like any profession these are the extremes, not the norm.
I found an article (registration required) in last week’s UK Sunday Times that made my blood boil. It’s a piece of journalism that illustrates why some journalists need to get their own house in order before they high-handedly attack PR people. The article, and I use the word advisedly focuses completely on the world of ‘fashion’ PR. It doesn’t explore the diversity of PR, just focuses on parties and giveaways. In summary it doesn’t in any way reflect the career I have worked hard in and enjoyed for well over a decade.
Yet while it only represents one small piece of the PR industry, it purports to profile ‘PR’ as a profession. There’s no balance, no third party views.
Its a great example of a journalist, who in attempting to mount a crusade against a profession on the basis that it’s lightweight and fickle has in her efforts highlighted the fact that her own profession is not without reproach when it comes to standards.