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’sArun 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 →
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 →
A series of opinion pieces last week by Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban asserting that startups “should never hire a PR firm” got the PR world buzzing with outrage. But does he have a point or is it too general a brushstroke to paint that PR can “never” benefit a startup? Let’s look at the tape.
I wrote this question in a note in my iPhone late one night last week. For those who don’t know me, I’m a bit of a nerd, and yes, these are the things I think about. Primarily, I posed this question to myself as part of my job at PRSA, which includes advocating the business value of PR. But I also ask it because I’m genuinely interested in finding the answer.
Who among my generation of PR pros — those old enough to remember Bacon’s before it became Cision but young enough that our entire careers have evolved online — will create the next great PR firm? The next Edelman or Burson-Marsteller or SHIFT Communications. The type of PR firm that comes to define a generation within the industry and advances the business of PR well beyond the status quo. Continue reading →
When the Columbia Journalism Review and ProPublicaexamined the growing value of public relations and its relationship with journalism, the scope of the piece, and the reaction it received from the journalism community were fairly predictable. A rousing chorus of “PR has too much influence” over [fill in the blank] seemed to fill the comments of both CJR.org and ProPublica’s website.
This notion was further advanced in July when New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane explored the role of public relations professionals working with journalists in a blog post titled “PR Professionals: Bane or Boon?”
The underlying sentiment in both seems to be that as journalism continues to shed thousands of its craftsmen, while public relations grows rapidly — both in stature and the number of practitioners — there is an overt level of influence being exerted by the latter over the former. And the world is just bad because of that. Continue reading →
I’ve been getting out more lately. Out meeting clients and prospects at User Conferences and Trade Shows. Out making new contacts, engaging people in conversations and learning more about what makes customers and prospects tick within the vertical markets that we serve. I’ve been out “pressing the flesh.”
A few years back I was the PR Manager for the State of Maryland’s two 529 college savings plans. If you are unfamiliar with a 529 college savings plan, basically it’s a financial savings investment vehicle with special tax considerations and incentives, designed to encourage saving for children’s future college expenses. My job as the PR Manager for Maryland’s plans was to make sure that:
#1: the value of saving for future college expenses was top of mind for parents (and grandparents)
#2: Everyone understood exactly how Maryland’s two 529 college savings plans worked,
Unless you’ve been in a cave the past two weeks, then you know things aren’t looking too good right now for the economy. It’s yo-yoing like crazy, which has investors, CEOs and entrepreneurs fretting.
Friday’s Wall Street Journalreported that America’s entrepreneur class shrunk during the Great Recession (despite predictions that it was rapidly growing because so many people were out of work). And The Financial Timesreported that business leaders’ confidence in their industries and the global economy has deteriorated sharply.
This week, I wanted to weigh in on two issues related to Facebook that are gaining attention from PR pros and marketers alike: the fallout of over the Facebook/Burson-Marsteller ethics flap and the growing fascination over Facebook ‘Likes.’
Regarding the recent ethics flap, I made quite clear last week my belief, as well as that of PRSA, that the tactics B-M engaged in were unethical and improper. Now, I want to turn my attention to The Economist’s examination into what this incident portends for the future of media. Continue reading →
It’s been an exceedingly busy couple of weeks for me, both personally and professionally. (A wedding coming up in two months will do that to you!) I have, though, been actively monitoring many of the issues bubbling up in the PR and marketing space, and I thought I’d very quickly weigh in with a few random thoughts on QR Codes and PR firms working with dictators (two totally disparate topics, I know): Continue reading →
I have to admit, I can be a bit of a crank when it comes to how the mainstream media covers PR. It either verges on a near fascination with celebrity publicists — one minor faction of the broader and fast-growing public relations industry — or the belief that PR can easily be wrapped up into a report on the general advertising industry.
Quick and easy, right?
So I’m always a bit bemused when I read articles with headlines like “When Publicists Say ‘Shh!’,” which ran in the April 18 edition of the Sunday New York Times. What followed was a series of clichéd examples from celebrity publicists of how they either act as mouthpieces for their clients or do everything they can to tell them to “shut up” when thinking about oversharing online. Continue reading →