Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Not For PR 

This article on the strategies and results of lying is interesting. It is nothing PR practitioners should do for one reason. We are expected to lie. Therefore, we shouldn't -- ever. The strongest strategy we have in building relationships with the media and publics is telling facts as they are and providing context to interpret them. People may not always be happy about what we say but eventually they trust us. For those who are cynical about PR, truth-telling is confounding and provides leverage for persuasion. One shouldn't expect cynics to be converted, however. They are forever looking for hidden explanations that limn the worst of humanity. Truth-telling neutralizes them for a time, but that may be good enough.

Make no mistake. It is not easy to stick with facts, especially when they are unfavorable to a client, but PR should play for the long term and not momentary advantage. The image of the PR practitioner in "Thank You for Smoking" should be exactly wrong. It is regrettable that it isn't.


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