Tuesday, February 01, 2005


It is essential to remember as PR practitioners that evil is in the world and sometimes people are not amenable to any relationship other than your destruction. Not that we should be paranoid in our business, but only fools forget there are people whose intents are not for the greater good. They are haters.

That's why I am eager to see this movie, which just won the major documentary honor at the Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 through the eyes of a Canadian general who headed the UN Peacekeeper force and witnessed the killing. According to what I have read so far, the monstrousness of the slaughter -- 800,000 people in 100 days -- destroyed him emotionally because he was not authorized to use his troops to stop it nor could he get the world to pay attention. As we know now, Rwanda belongs alongside the Holocaust for the evil let loose upon the earth.

It is unlikely any one of us will see such hate and horror in our careers, but we must remember that the ability and willingness to commit wickedness hides in the hearts of humans. Its expression in a "civilized" world might be backstabbing and duplicity, but it is evil and lives are injured, sometimes permanently.

At no point in our careers as PR practitioners should we appease one who is destructive. It doesn't matter if this person is a boss or CEO or client. There is a limit that we should never dare to cross in maintaining relationships. In the case of the ex-general, the limit was destroyed by blood lust rarely seen in our day.

It happened just 10 years ago and will happen again.


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