15.3.14

IN THE NEWS: WHEN PR GETS BAD PR

As part of my PR degree, and life in general I have been making a conscious effort to read the news more. I regularly check out the Sky News and BBC News app on my iphone, but I have been trying to pick up a paper every day (the Independent is my paper of choice, it’s not too heavy to read and it gives some great understandable explanations) to absorb what’s going on aside from the main headlines. I also purchased the Guardian on Saturday and The Times on Sunday, but I was so overwhelmed with the supplements - I will try again this weekend!

On Wednesday, 3 articles really jumped out at me. 3 pieces, that were a negative reflection on the industry that I am investing four years and £25,000+ to get into, Public Relations.


Public Relations getting bad press isn’t anything new. The lack of agreement when it comes to a clear definition, the inability to produce lots of quantitative proof of its effectiveness, and the big one, of negative, ditzy, celeb obsessed “air heads” or lying deceitful spin doctor stereotypes that dominate television and film. 

So, the three pieces in question:
Clifford ‘was a pervert’ says his alleged victim  
This of course relates to the recent sexual abuse allegations that “PR Guru” Max Clifford is currently facing. None of us can deny that Max is succesful, in the sense of lots of money and a glitz lifestyle, but I know that many people in the PR profession and some on my course, can agree that, it isn’t worth it. Clifford, is renowned for his dishonesty and his blatant lies, his malpractice and contribution to the general dislike of PR professionals. I was unfortunate to miss a Guest Lecture by Max at Leeds Met last year, but it was one I would have loved to see. For me, I think PR is about building relationships in a genuine, honest fashion. I love working in the Public Sector because it is not all about making money, and it definitely isn’t about lying to people. Cliffords bad press is a reminder to me, to always be honest and bring some skill and intelligence to the PR industry.
PR Campaign for HS2 has cost nearly £600,000 
The high speed Railway Line that is being suggested to improve links between the North and London, is something that particularly effects the villages around where I live. Personally, I think it is a good idea - but it has had so much bad attention and disagreements, and for me, this article is almost mocking the fact that despite all this money being spent to put a “positive spin on High Speed 2” it has been completely unsuccessful. I’m sure I can speak for most PR practioners, and all those on my course, we all want to be successful in what we do. for me this is so important, and if something isn’t working, you need to find another solution, another tactic to create success. I hate doing something if I cannot see that there is a very clear effect, or just to tick boxes. It is important for me to get a job where I can see my work is thorough and effective and I am not having to convince people of my worth, or justify my pay!
For disservices to PR
This is the story of Lord Laird who was filmed by Panorama discussing a retainer for asking Parliamentary questions and has now being expelled from the CIPR. This little article was of interest to me as I am currently writing an essay on Pressure Groups and unlawful access to Parliament. In a way, this is a good example of how the CIPR are monitoring the behaviour and practices of their members and enforcing regulations, and procedures. But it does suggest again, that PR practitioners are dishonest and untrustworthy. 

I really hope that, with this whole new generation of modern, hard working and University educated PR Practitioners, the PR profession and industry can start to revolutionise the public opinion. I am determined to practice an honest and successful living, and naturally avoid being caught up in failed campaigns, sexual abuse claims and bribery! 

It is so ironic that the masters of press and publicity find themselves shed in a negative light over and over again, it’s about time that this started to change. No more should I be sneered at for studying a “leaflet distributing” degree or facing “spin doctor” accusations. I will continue to be proud of my degree and my profession and hopefully my future career can be a shining example how great working in PR can be!

M x
(All extracts were taken out of The Independent on Wednesday 12th March 2014)











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