Wednesday, January 12, 2011
PR practitioners are well aware of bad behavior in the media when a tragedy occurs. There is a rush to assign blame, to capture innuendo, to speculate. The same thing happened with the shooting of the Congresswoman in Arizona and the murder of several other victims. Blame was assigned all around, even to the media. The disgusting part of this tragedy was watching supposedly bright people take cheap political shots at one another. The liberal wing of the Democratic party and the conservative wing of the Republicans were in full cry and at each other's throat again. They barely bothered to mourn the dead and comfort the wounded. It was a measure of the ugliness to which humans can descend, and a reminder to PR practitioners, if they needed one, that sometimes rational discussion is impossible. That doesn't mean, however, that PR should stoop to the lowest common denominator of the public discussion. Our role should be to elevate communications, or at least, make the attempt.