PR and Reputation, It’s Time to Take a Stand!
In the modern world of on-demand and instant gratification, it is extremely hard to please people, especially when it’s part of your job description. According to Wikipedia, Public Relations is “the art of managing communication between an organization and its key publics to build, manage and sustain a positive image.” Simply stated, we act as liaison between our clients and the media. By nature, we are people pleasers who rely on others to get their job done in order for us to complete ours. Public Relations is a fast-paced career that exists in a fast-paced environment. It’s easy to get caught up in the fluff if you’re not careful, especially to outside observers.
Studies are beginning to show that the PR industry is developing a sour reputation. A recent survey done by PRSA reveals that only 33% of all adults 18 and over trust PR professionals, and 3% of that same demographic completely trust PR professionals. Another alarming statistic declares that 83% of stakeholders believe that PR is just another tool that companies use to market their products or state their positions on certain issues and 79% believe that PR professionals only disseminate information that helps their clients make money.
Businesses, however, have slowly begun to recognize that they cannot promote and protect their company, single handedly. In turn we, as PR professionals, are charged with streamlining this process. According to PRSA, business executives are more likely to view the PR industry with more positivity than consumers or Congressional staffers. We dedicate long, hard hours to help corporations meet their business goals. We strategically promote their companies and secure them meaningful coverage. We coordinate coveted speaking opportunities, help executives win awards and highlight their expertise in their industry.
While Public Relations is still in its “Golden age” and has been for quite some time, I think it’s time to address the misconception of our “spinning the truth” and take a stand for the honest, hard work we do!
So I ask …Are you surprised with the reputation PR is developing as an industry? Why is this happening? How can we change this view and enable people to truly see the value that PR provides?