Thursday, June 29, 2006

Man The Measure 

During the past week, I read two books and an article from a science magazine that curiously all dealt with the same issue -- objectivity. One book was the measure of the meter done at the time of the French Revolution. The other book was about the American artist, Thomas Eakins. The article was about the ability of bird's and reptiles to perceive ultraviolet light. All came to the same basic conclusion -- seeing is an act limited by the observer. We cannot escape perception no matter how hard we try, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. This issue, of course, is at the heart of PR work and arguments over whether one should "spin" facts or offer them. One can present them or smooth them to fit personal bias. I have always believed PR's primary obligation is to present rather than smooth. Others differ. In the end, both points of view can succeed or fail in the PR business, but one lends to credibility and the other doesn't over the long run. And, whether or not one examines the question, sooner or later each PR practitioner ends up in or the other camp.


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