PR has a PR problem: The Truth About What We Do

Many people think of public relations as “spinning,” twisting facts or shading the truth to get people to do something —- buy a product or service, vote for a candidate, support a cause. These abuses occur every day but they no more reflect the true essence of public relations than bias reporters reflect journalism’s core values.

A true public relations pro helps build positive relationships with constituencies that matter to a business or cause. The best ones create compelling clarity for what you do and why you are the best alternative in the marketplace. They also understand the most effective and cost conscious ways to distribute your message so it produces tangible and quantifiable results. PR will always be about content, distribution, and effectiveness. No amount of technology will ever change that.

Public relations begins with a vision, seeing something clearly that your client either does not see or does not know how to express. It is about uncovering truth, not manufacturing it. It is honest storytelling. Too often, attempts are made to cover the holes in the story with slickness or omission. That’s a mistake. Core problems cannot be fixed with PR.  Resolution comes from candid assessment and corrective steps that ensure accountability.

The best way to produce a good story is to build one properly in the first place.