Public Relations: The Bad Guy

Public relations is a multi-faceted career, and there are many avenues that a career can follow. So why does public relations have a bad reputation?

Well, the reality is that public relations practitioners are more often than not approached to exclusively handle a potentially devastating situation with both strategy and finesse. To onlookers this might look like they are inclined to put a positive “spin” on a negative situation, but why wouldn’t they? They are hired to stand behind the corporation, the small business, the senator, the charity, and they are just doing their job.

The bad reputation among public relations practitioners exists because they are seen, first and foremost, as spinning a blatant lie to make it seem like a gift, to make it seem like the wrongdoing their client took part in was not a wrongdoing after all, and that it was a lesson learned that somehow benefited the community.

Public relations practitioners know how to deal with bad situations quickly. They are trained in crisis response, and are taught that the communication relating to the issue must always be clear, concise, and complete, and that everything can be okay as long as you learn all there is to know about the affected audience.

However, crisis response is not their primary function, and that is usually what goes unnoticed. Why does the positive work get overlooked? Because people simply love scandals. Positivity just doesn’t capture the attention of the average person today.

Public relations’ negative reputation is unwarranted, because there are many individuals within the industry who go to work everyday to make a positive difference. They work hard and hold ethics in high regard. They are the true face of the industry.

— Natasha Jamieson

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One Response to Public Relations: The Bad Guy

  1. I also believe there’s the issue of public relations being unfairly equated to the image consultants and political practitioners seen in the halls of politicians, especially those running for office. While PR team’s will still help out politicians, they aren’t the ones spin doctoring. You are also dead on the money in stating our profession is not entirely about crisis control, however many people do, because they often only think of PR when it is most needed, in times of crisis. Because our work is very finessed day too day, when we are helping maintain a companies good image, and not reacting to a crisis, we can be easily forgotten(sadly).

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