Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How Far PR Has To Go 

This article is a perfect example of how far PR has to go to gain some measure of credibility. The quote from Barack Obama's new press spokesperson summarizes what reporters think of PR practitioners.

The thing that really made me feel at peace with the decision is this conversation we had about telling the truth. He (Obama) wants me to tell the truth. Coming from a background in journalism as opposed to PR, that was really the thing I wanted to hear.

The assumption that one has to lie in PR is embedded in the media's thinking, but then in Washington DC, there is good reason for that. It is a town filled with spinners out for short-term advantage rather than long-term gain.

..um...hate to rain on your parade, but when journalists become PRs they are either brilliant or terrible - and Linda Douglass already has the hallmarks of the former because she (or her words) have influenced you to swallow her spin. And it was clear she was able to do it by playing on the media's vain obsession with itself

for example, isn't it comforting to know that despite struggling with her now-admitted democrat-leaning views, she was always 'fair'in her colleagues eyes while a reporter. Newsflash - her media colleagues arent the ones that actually matter. It's the public that matters, and wasn't the public entitled to know of her bias? isn't it up to the public to determine whether she was 'fair'?

and in the same breath as she defends her personal convictions and promises to tell the 'truth', she tactitly concedes she'll need to quash her own views to sprout the party line

and i guess telling the truth doesn't include giving straight answers to questions, because Kurtz uncritically recants the time Douglass used classic spin tactics to deflect an undesirable line of questioning

the real giveaway was the fact that the Post wrote this piece at all. Other than journalists, who really cares whether that a journalist has become an Obama aide? do we really believe that was the most interesting presidential media story this week - of course not, it's just the press's obsession with itself, which Douglass has played beautifully

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