Symon Says

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The Future Is A Dirty One For PR

Public relations is a profession that is in a constant state of evolution. From the strictly promotional days of P.T. Barnum, to the multi-faceted global companies like Edelman, the craft has gained in both importance, and in responsibility. However, what can we expect for public relations in the future, and how will it continue to change?

I believe an old idea will begin to take hold among PR practitioners. You see, all students of public relations are taught to be scrupulous, truthful, and moral. However, the reality of this endeavor is increasing unlikely. The truth is clients want favorable representation, no matter if they deserve it. If all practitioners only represented those persons who were the epitome of moral righteousness, there would be an enormous void left for those who are not. And where there is a void, someone will surely be there to fill it.

There is an analogy here that is very fitting. PR practitioners are not unlike bodyguards. A bodyguard protects his client from bodily harm, not matter what. Similarly a PR practitioner’s duty is to provide an advantageous media environment for his/her’s client. But no matter what? I think yes, and increasingly the trend is to do just that.

The simple fact is, that while text books teach young PR students that the world they are soon to join is one with rules, and ideals, the unfortunate truth is that while those rules and ideals exist, they are little more than a theme song, a theme song that holds little weight when the time comes to act. Students are not oblivious to this fact.

I believe this trend will continue to increase for another important reason. Globalization is rapidly bringing more competition in from overseas. These foreign PR firms will not even attempt to hold themselves to some idealistic battle cry, but rather, they will pick up any scraps the American companies are unwilling to take.

As the media becomes more capable, more intrusive, and attempts to sensationalize stories even more, those on the other side of the table will have to rise to the occasion, or perhaps sink. ΣΣ


March 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment