Tag Archives: ethics

The APR: My Experience

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To practice public relations there is no board or exam. The practitioners are lumped in together- the good, the bad and the ugly. The Accreditation in Public Relations process is elective. You can choose to sit for accreditation or you cannot without any consequences. And if you pass there is no real effect on your job and you won’t get an extra zero on your next paycheck.

However, I just checked the mailbox and my official letter of passing has just arrived. There is something that feels so good about having three little letters behind my name that I can’t help but be excited.

The desire to take the APR has to come within. You have to want to go through the process to further your career and to separate yourself with the designation in the pool of resumes. Continue reading

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Stop Worrying and Start Innovating

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For the most part, I find the PR industry’s trade publications — PRWeek, PRNewser, PRNews, etc. — to be good standard-bearers for effectively covering the ins-and-outs of this diverse and growing industry. Sure, they tend to focus too much on AOR announcements  — the old-time stock ticker-tape reports of PR — but they do the job.

So I try to do my best not to critique. Look, reporters and editors have a tough job at those publications. They are reporting on the very people — PR pros — who know how to promote a cause or a person better than anyone. So I imagine there is quite a lot of pushback and calls for fluffier fluff pieces than at your standard trade reporter’s job. Continue reading

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Has PR Become a ‘Lightning Rod of Mistrust’?

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Lord Tim Bell, head of the U.K.-based PR firm Bell Pottinger, thinks so.

That’s what he told a crowd gathered in Dubai for the recent IPRA Public Relations World Congress and reiterated in an excellent interview with The Holmes Report.

Lord Bell is asked why he feels that public relations has become a “lightning rod for mistrust.” His response is intriguing inasmuch as it provides a nuanced view of a much broader issue afflicting the profession: its reputation within business and society.

Lord Bell sees “no solution to [the] issue,” of public relations’ reputation challenges, he tells The Holmes Report’s Arun Sudhaman, believing that “We [have] become the lightning rod for that mistrust. It is something we have to learn to live with. That makes us an easy target for the media.” Continue reading

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10 Reasons To Think About Getting Your APR

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We all know there are good PR Pros and there are the “other” PR imposters. These imposters go around selling our profession short of what it is and throwing mud on the industry name. It is hard to show that you are not one of “those” to a reporter, client or boss who has been burned.

“Professionals have credentials and others merely have titles such as Vice President,” says Jeffrey Geibel, APR, Principal of Geibel Marketing and Public Relations. “An APR is a transportable credential such as an MBA. It goes with you, unlike a title.”

The APR is a hit or miss topic for PR pros. Some are die hard that you have to have it and others are waiting for the raise and the promotion to come along with the hard work that it takes to be accredited. Continue reading

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The Celebrity Plug Goes the Way of the Dodo

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Could the celebrity plug — that beloved loathed centerpiece of many celebrity PR campaigns — be going the way of the Dodo? If the UK’s Guardian newspaper is any indication, it may be. And this could have profound effects on public relations.

To get the background on this movement, you have to go back to a somewhat obscure point in The Guardian’s updated editorial code. According to PRWeek, the revised code includes a new clause addressing the inclusion of promotional material in editorial. By its updated code, The Guardian — one of the world’s most influential newspapers — no longer allows its reporters to “promote products” in order to secure interviews with a PR pro’s client. Continue reading

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When Not to Pitch: During an Earthquake (or a Hurricane)

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Dear PR colleagues: Pls do not pitch earthquake-related stories unless you rep an earthquake preparedness company/expert.

I wrote that tweet Wednesday afternoon in response to a tweet from Forbes media reporter Jeff Bercovici that he, like every other reporter it seems, had received an irrelevant earthquake-related pitch from a PR pro.

And Friday afternoon, I tweeted this as Hurricane Irene beared down on the East Coast:

Oh wow. Bad PR RT @ShopWiki_Hlth_B Be prepared for Hurricane Irene with this awesome waterproof mascara by @LorealParis

*Headshaking* Far be it from me to fault my many excellent colleagues in the PR business, but let me be blunt, fellow PR pros:

Please stop being stupid with your pitches. Continue reading

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Commentary: Blogger Compensation

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All opinions expressed herein, unless otherwise noted are my own.  They do not represent the opinion of other PRBC bloggers, affiliates, etc. – NB

Payments to bloggers are one of the many “Blogger” issues that has been coming for some time and last week came to a head around “Mommy Bloggers” at the evo ‘11 conference when conference sponsor, Aveda, through their Director of Global Communications, Evan Miller, clarified their position on engaging with bloggers.  Since I wasn’t at evo and didn’t want to misphrase or mischaracterize anything coming from Aveda, Mr. Miller clarified by email.  In short:

Since Aveda began working with bloggers in a PR capacity it has abstained from compensating them with cash payments. Aveda has offered bloggers compensation in the form of Aveda.com gift cards, product and salon/spa services. Aveda’s Digital Marketing team has conducted, on occasion, more extensive campaigns with bloggers in which it has compensated via monetary payment.

Just to be completely clear, again – this was merely a restatement or clarification of Aveda’s position – not a new position, and not a change from old policy. Continue reading

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News of the World Hacking Scandal is Bad Business, Not a ‘PR Disaster’

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The fallout last week from the News of the World phone hacking scandal, and the subsequent bombshell decision by News International to close its 168-year-old tabloid, has raised a whole slew of accusations, questions and soul-searching within the media industry as to what it all means.

And, of course, it’s also led to the media reducing this to yet another “PR disaster,” as though every business crisis, or every crisis in general, falls squarely on PR’s shoulders. If only we had that much influence on company’s bottom lines.  Continue reading

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Friend or Foe? Online Reputation Management Firms

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As many people know, I’m a vocal advocate for the value of PR. Hell, I wouldn’t be doing my job at PRSA if that weren’t the case, and it’s something I sincerely believe in. Yet from time to time, like most folks, I get down about certain aspects of the business. This is the story of one of those moments.

And it has to do with the growing use of online reputation management firms and the increasing prevalence of spurious tactics some of these firms are using. I point to two recent articles in The Times of London (sub req’d) as exhibits A and B. But you don’t have to look far to find other examples. Continue reading

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