Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Partially Accurate 

Here is an interesting view of PR at a time when journalists are being fired and are entering other fields. The writer's view of what PR does most often is correct.

Flackery requires putting together credible narratives from pools of verifiable data. This activity is not categorically different from journalism. Nor is the teaching value that flackery provides entirely different from that of journalism: Most of the content you hear senators and congressmen reading on C-SPAN is stuff flacks provided to staffers.

It is highly unlikely, however, that PR practitioners will substitute for investigative journalism. That's pipe-dreaming. PR done right will substitute for some mainstream news that reporters no longer have time to report. The important part of substitution, however, will be credibility. Practitioners must insist on accuracy and reduce spin -- in other words, act like journalists. Most do, but there will always be 10 percent who jeopardize PR by lying, and there will be no way to get them out of the business. PR's image regrettably will continue to be defined by a minority.


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