A PooR public image

      53 Comments on A PooR public image

Bill Gates

“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!” – Philanthropist Bill Gates

“Public relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.” – Novelist and former PR man Alan Harrington

Discussing reputation management in the classroom is always interesting, especially when we create lists of organizations and individuals with poor public images. From Wal-Mart to Kanye, we have lively conversations about bad reputations and how to repair them.

However, as we consider those with PR challenges, we should point to the PR profession itself. Public relations practitioners are often disparaged and misunderstood. Journalists have been historically critical; many see their own motives as pure while PR people work the “dark side.” Journalist and novelist George Orwell famously wrote, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.” American Revolution writer Thomas Paine called publicity “a black art,” even while using early PR methods to influence public opinion in support of anti-British sentiments. Sci-fi writer Graham Diamond said, “PR is…learning to psychologically manipulate…It’s devious exploitation, taking advantage of the human psyche.”

But like Bill Gates, others view PR as an essential and noble profession. “Public relations (is) a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens,” American Express founder Alvin Adams wrote 100 years ago. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson exclaimed, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” Charles Evan Hughes, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, New York Governor, Secretary of State, and Republican presidential candidate, noted, “Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.”

Despite the welcomed praise, PR practitioners often feel the sting of a poor public image. We’ve been called “spin doctors,” “flacks” and “propagandists.” Perhaps the profession could use a reputation management campaign of its own. But how would you change attitudes about PR? Your thoughts?

53 thoughts on “A PooR public image

  1. Awilda Pena Luna

    As a public relations student, I have come across many situations where I am asked “What exactly does PR mean”? Well, that on its own is difficult to explain. Then I’m asked “Well, you just lie and make your client look good and promote them right”? This is the frustrating part, many see us public relations specialist as liars, who hide the truth to make sure our clients look good at all times to the public. This in fact isn’t true, of course their are specialist who do in fact do anything and everything even id it means lying, but it doesn’t determine the entire public relations industry. It is extremely difficult to change the public’s perception of PR, but it is up to us public relations specialist to do things the right way in hopes that this false idea will eventually fade.

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  2. Kristina Scotto

    Although I’m biased, I, like Bill Gates, believe that public relations is an essential profession. It’s crucial for businesses to have an impeccable PR department. I wish that others saw this, as well. In the past, I had been criticized because of my choice go down the road of public relations. People who do not understand the communications field have a bad image of PR, and believe that it’s either a glamorous job, or that we try to hide the truth. Obviously, this is not true. I think that public relations is extremely underrated. Hopefully, people who aren’t educated on the topic listen to Bill Gates and realize how important it is.

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  3. Grace Finlayson

    It is difficult to explain public relations as a profession to someone who has not studied communications because there are many different things PR practitioners do. However, it is the first thing that is generally cut from the budget because people have a hard time understanding what we actually do. This can be a problem for some because people will wait until crisis level and turn to a PR firm to fix their problems when companies should really have an in-house PR team that attends high-level meetings making sure people are making the right decisions before they have to turn the public’s perceptions around. That is why most people have a negative view of PR practitioners because the majority of what people see is how we fix major problems with companies or people when there are so many different ways to use PR so that a company or public figure doesn’t look bad in the first place.

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  4. Bianca Kroening

    It sounds like what Graham Diamond and Thomas Paine were talking about is propaganda – using PR to spin a story, repeat it enough times, and manipulate its audience. The field of PR should work on its own reputation management, so instead of being seen as smoke, mirrors, and the man behind the curtain, we should get the public attitude to match the feelings of Bill Gates, who understands its purpose and sees its value. Perhaps PR practitioners can do this in the same way that they run any good PR campaign – with transparency.

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  5. Jennifer Im

    Like with any “brand,” the employees and loyal customer base are the best advocates. The best thing we as blooming PR professionals can do is to lead by example. As long as we use and introduce honest PR practices and treat each our publics and beyond fairly, this negative reputation will dissolve. After all, that’s the fundamental root of PR, that transparent communication does pay off.

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  6. Kristen Simon

    When it comes to the Public Relations field I find that most people have no idea what it is. Relating to one of my favorite shows, “Scandal”, the show’s main character Olivia Pope, who portrays a PR practitioner in the series, often has negative press around her and what she does. Whether she’s involved or is correcting ‘bad press’ and turning it into something more positive. Since most of PR work is behind the scenes it’s hard for the general public to fully understand what it is. Having that sense of transparency is a must for the public to understand.

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  7. Gabby Sully

    Public Relations has the worst reputation of any work in media. To change the opinion of PR, you need to open a dialogue about it. Last year, my dad called a story on the news a “typical PR spin,” and I just looked at him. We started talking about it and why he felt that way about it. The conversation lasted for a good 20-30 minutes until we got to a common ground. I explained to him that what was being told on the news was not false, that it’s just another side to the story and that other details would most likely be released later (which they were). Questioning why people think the way they do or degrade PR the way they do is the only way to get others to change their mind about it.

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  8. Sara Fox

    I think it’s extremely difficult to change the public’s perception of PR. While we can inform society on what exactly public relations is (because most people are fuzzy on that alone), the truth is, PR is a bias profession. Whether you’re working in-house or for an agency, you have allegiance to some company and your job is to produce positive outcomes for them. All we can do to change the face of PR is to spread the word that with all things, there are ethics, and a good PR professional will remember them with everything they do.

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  9. Anwar Ahmad

    It’s very interesting to see how public relations gets taken for granted. When something goes wrong with a celebrity, business, or company, who does one turn to? Public relations has a reputation for spinning stories, but that is a stereotype that just isn’t true anymore. In my very first public relations class that I took at Hofstra, I was taught to never lie. People assume that PR practitioners just cover things up. I do believe that we need to fix our own image before we take on the tough tasks of fixing other peoples images. I have gained even more respect for Bill Gates because he clearly understands how essential public relations is. It is true that that PR practitioners do more then just fix images. We find ways to communicate clearly and effectively. That should never be forgotten.

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  10. Asher Lennon

    I thought it was interesting that PR has a negative image associated with it while journalism is looked at in a better light. In the past I had never really thought about how people viewed both PR and journalism. Going forward I will definitely look at how I look at each and how the people around me look at the professions both in their daily life and professional life. I agree with Mr. Gates that PR is always important and necessary.

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  11. Jenna Morace

    I think the main way to change peoples attitudes about PR is to show them that it is about making connections and representing yourself in the best light possible. People are quick to judge and without having all of the facts infant of them. As a career that is misunderstood it wouldn’t hurt to show the background work that goes on behind the scenes. Realistically thinking if someone as important as Bill Gates views PR as one of the main important things when running a business, it must be crucial to succeed.

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  12. Kassara McElroy

    If an organization does not value public relations, it is very visible to me. Those who criticize PR are likely in need of it. Critics could apply manipulation to any profession. I have heard that history text books in the United States favor and portray the U.S.A. in a more positive light than other countries’ textbooks. Does this mean teaching is a dark art? No. Anyone who has an organization that deals with the public is in need of public relations, whether they approve of it or not.

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  13. Marielle McCartin

    Studying to be a Public Relations practitioner is a constant struggle to try and explain to people what public relations really is. The bad image always has people wondering why and what a PR person does and how they help their clients. I always explain to people that PR is not just spinning stories to make them the best they could be , but it is presenting facts correctly and in a positive light.

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  14. Emily Walsh

    I completely agree that the profession could use a management campaign of its own. Many people, including myself, view PR as necessary for businesses, people, or anything that has an audience in general. Some ideas that may work to promote a positive reputation may be using popular PR blogs to create posts, media and relevant stories about how PR is both positive and crucial. Additionally, using national organizations, like PRSA, to spearhead the campaign would make for the best change of gaining coverage. PR is unfortunately a very misunderstood profession, but I truly believe we have the power to completely change that and help audiences understand the positive aspects of public relations.

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  15. Elana Delafraz

    Every time I hear people saying public relations is not an important aspect on the company, I become more and more proud but I am a public relations practitioner and student. I think that it is vital for a company to have this division or focus their budget on a good public relations representative because it is vital to their consumers. Without a good public image the company cannot Floreis and thus cannot sell something they are trying to sell or serve to the community that they are targeted towards. I am so proud of delegates for making a comment like that because I think that companies need to understand that having a good public relations plan will lead them to a successful company.

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  16. Olivia H

    I have actually never experienced this myself, or know for sure of anyone I know doing it. In all of the PR work I’ve done, none of it has been about spin. This might just be because of the area of PR I want to go in. I can see why PR for a massive corporation, or someone like a politician might involve something like “spin,” especially in light of a crisis or scandal. Travel and hospitality PR, in my experience, is more about PR in the sense of crafting the experience into a story that journalists want to pick up. Make sure if the hotel has a rooftop pool, that they are included in a list of “Best rooftop pools,” if they aren’t included, well why not. At that point it is mostly media relations. Even if a crisis were to happen, I don’t believe “spinning” the story to be the right thing or even necessary, if the person handling it is good enough at PR.

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  17. Elliot Rubin

    Ever since I started studying PR a few years ago, I have been faced with the dilemma of trying to counteract the negative perception of a PR person. I feel that the best way to change these attitudes is to people that PR people don’t lie, distort, or mislead, they present all the facts, and then spend more emphasis on the positive facts. If after a thorough explanation someone still does not believe that a PR person could be ethical and be held to a high standard, they likely never will, and it is then time to move and try and not perseverate on that person’s opinion.

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  18. Julie Dietel

    While there are many people out there with a bad image of public relations, I have to disagree. Perhaps it is because I am biased but I feel as though PR doesn’t always have to be a “spin” on a negative situation. I look at PR practitioners as story tellers; we find what others may not immediately see. We are the main communicator and in today’s world it is imperative to tell these stories. While there is bad PR out there, I think it is important not to fall prey to the reputation but rather challenge it.

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    1. Alexandra Halbert

      I found this blog post to be very interesting. I feel as though many people don’t know what PR is. When I tell people I’m a public relations major they often respond, “what is that?” Perhaps a large part of this issue stems from the general publics knowledge, or lack of for that matter, on PR. As we all know, it can be difficult to explain in just a few short sentences. I’d have to admit that I’m most likely biased to this patrticular question but I don’t see PR professionals as “spin doctors” or “flacks” by any means. It is our duty, like any profession, to meet the needs of our client. Just because we carefully craft our stories does not mean we have anything to hide. We manuever the spotlight and showcase our client’s greatest talents, works, etc. PR is a skill, it is not a means of withholding, twisting or neglecting the truth.

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  19. Sydney Seligman

    It is always hard for me to think about PR having a negative image in the public eye, being that I am studying this and also because it has a very different role in fashion, which is the field where I have interned semester after semester. I think that the reason that practitioners get this reputation of “spin doctors” is because very often scandals are featured and amplified in the media, which falls on the practitioner, while PR people do not get credit for managing and upholding the client’s reputation the rest of the year. In addition, in the public eye, PR and marketing are bunched together as one big, bad persuasion scheme. If I were to do a campaign to help the field of PR, I would emphasize all of the positive and important things that these people do daily, like pitching important stories to the media.

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  20. liad zayit

    Before I decided to become a PR major my whole perception on PR was that PR practitioners were people who just twist/spin stories to make it “better”. I totally agree that PR as a major/field need a reputation campaign. Many people don’t understand what public relations is and I think a campaign could both educate and help people see the positive side of PR. Especially in this day and age with social media being so popular I think that would be a great way to campaign PR so the public is aware.

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  21. Haley Moffatt

    Like many instances in the world, once people see one case of PR gone wrong (whether it be lying, covering up something, etc) they assume that all people who practice PR are bad. Obviously, studying PR and knowing its benefits I do not believe this. However, a majority of the world does not study PR and do not know what great benefits and opportunities it brings about.

    I think in order for PR to regain a shiny image it’s important for people to begin educating themselves about what PR is and what the people who practice it actually do. I’m sure of they took a few minutes to read a short synopsis about what a PR agency may do, they’ll realize pitching, drafting press releases, and securing media placements is not all that evil, but ignorance is bliss until then!

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  22. Gabriella Johns

    Switching from journalism major to PR my eyes have been open to a whole new world. People who are not in this business are ignorant to what really goes on. How you handle PR is a personal choice. You can shine PR in a good or bad lighting. Putting group of people in one category by saying “spinner, liar, and or black art.” Does show a full representation of our business.

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  23. Emily Barnes

    I think the public has these negative perceptions of PR as a result of isolated instances. The idea that perhaps PR itself needs a reputation management of its own is quite interesting because I think more people desperately need more knowledge about the premise of PR as a whole. Everything really is PR if you stop to think about it. The way we perceive things is based upon first-hand accounts that influence our views and determine how we react to people, companies, products, etc. PR is creating a relationship between two things and this is how our society functions basically–by the relationships we establish with various mediums. The public must realize this paradigm in order to fully understand PR to its full capacity.

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  24. Christina Shackett

    Even if Public Relations has a bad reputation, it is crucial in today’s society, and the emphasis we place on image, for PR to flourish. We take the worst images from a company that is suffering and attempt to make them succeed. While this can be seen as manipulative, it is up to us as part of the Public Relations culture to make it a good thing.
    We should turn what people view as “spinning” into a truth factor. Instead of making it seem as though we are lying, we should be able to make truths the prevalent part of the profession. If we as a whole – no matter how difficult it is – make it consistent that we use truths in our case instead of alternative facts, it could make the reputation of PR better.

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  25. Wendy Timana

    I have heard both sides of opinions on PR. I have heard people saying it’s an evil manipulation art that shields facts from the public. I have also had the pleasure of seeing the other side of it in our class and seeing that PR is much more than I was told and is in fact the opposite. PR itself needs a good PR team. However, changing public stigmas on a whole field is a huge challenge. The only thing we can continue to do is be good PR people and stick to the truth. We must be honest in our professions and let our colleagues see for themselves what PR is about. Campaigns by organizations as the PRSA are great and will make us look good as well. What we need right now is for people like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne to resign so we can get some honest people representing our field. They enforce all stigmas to the maximum. Let’s hope than in 2020 we get some honest people working for the white house.

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  26. Sam Bussell

    I would say that PR is used to help people instead of tearing them down. A good PR company will use all of the resources they have to protect the client that they are assigned they will try to appease the people or the press but the job isn’t about them, it should be to help out a particular person to put them in the favor of the public. Higher ups that can afford a PR shouldn’t be complaining about a team trying to take them down because that isn’t their job, if it is then they should find another career because PR people should be used as a positive influence on people and not a negative one.

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  27. Emily Bravo

    PR needs to denounce the spinsters that have ruined the organization’s credibility. Unfortunately, Kellyanne Conway is the freshest form of PR in the nation’s mind. She is single handedly ruining PR’s name. PRSSA should make a public statement on how it condemns the actions of Conway alternative lies. Explain to the public how PR is based on the truth. It’ll be hard to win the public’s trust but its not impossible.

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  28. Max Newman

    PR definitely gets a bad reputation for the few entities that use it in negative ways. Those who try to “spin” and get caught in the act are the only cases that the public pays attention to. We are too oblivious to see the tactics that PR professionals use, in more positive ways, because the tactics used are working on us. We can not tell. Ultimately I believe that PR is under-appreciated and that it makes a lot of beneficial contributions to society that go unrecognized.

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  29. Stephanie Rubbino

    I understand and see why people think that PR can have a bad reputation at times but in my personal opinion i think journalists can be more deceiving. When it comes down to it its hard to escape stereotypes so in this case PR practitioners will have a hard time getting away from that certain stereotype of being “spin doctors” or “flacks”. With everything in life there are the good and bad and it seems the bad part of PR is better known than the good that people are doing in that field of work. In order to try and change attitudes people must make a better effort of putting the positive things they have done out into the world and ensure the public takes to it.

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  30. Erik Hansen

    The very profession of Public Relations seems to be in urgent need of Public Relations itself. Over the years, spin from all over seems to have tainted the public image of PR as a field, making many think that its only purpose is the defense of otherwise undefendable acts. While many are still able to see its importance and usefulness, it would require huge campaigns from perhaps the PRSA or another organization in the field to fix the common folk’s perception of the field.

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  31. Sarah Hanlon

    I think that in order for the general public to change their opinion about PR and PR professionals, they must be better educated about the job itself. Too often, people make assumptions without having facts to back up their beliefs. Sure, it doesn’t help when certain PR professionals make a bad name for the job, but overall people need to be aware of all aspects, good and bad, of public relations.

    All PR professionals need to take it upon themselves to do their job ethically and with integrity, and over time that will result in people understanding and appreciating PR. At the same time, it is the duty of the public to take it upon themselves to understand that PR is not “spin” or “propaganda”. This is a two way street, and a mutual understanding must be met by PR professionals and the public consumers.

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  32. RHwang

    I did not choose to be a public relations major until recently. At first, people would ask me why I did not stay as a business major. I would just answer with a shrug; however, after taking a few classes in PR 101, I can say, “It is more fun and even more complicated than being a business major. I get to think outside the box more often.” Anyone can have a good reputation, but what a PR manager does, it to keep the good image that they already have and maintain it here.

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  33. Tyler Weatherly

    It’s easy to see both sides of the situation, especially with increasing distrust in the media in general. It’s just a bit ironic that public relations professionals were always though of as “spindoctors” and journalists were the ones with an allegiance to the truth, but suddenly in our current political climate and with our current president the roles have (on the surface) switched. According to Trump, it’s all fake news & his PR team is upholding the “truth”. And in case you haven’t heard, no one does anything as well as Trump. As far as the public can see, PR professionals are out here giving “alternative facts.”

    Stepping away from politics – PR practitioners are always worried about helping the reputations of others and don’t really focus on themselves as a whole. Maybe the PRSA can do some PR for the organization to help the reputation of PR as a profession.

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  34. Briana Cunningham

    It is interesting that PR practitioners are often so worried about the image of their clients that they fail to focus on their own PR. Perhaps this has happened on a larger scale and has lead to a damaged reputation for the profession as a whole. Ever since declaring my public relations major it has been an ongoing battle to defend the practice to family and friends who think that all we do is lie and spin. But despite my efforts there are always those in the industry that follow unethical practices and prove all of the skeptics right. I have even talked to PR professionals that have declared that the rumors are true and the only way to get ahead is to be unethical. I refuse to believe that is true and have no doubt that public relations is a growing field because it stands for something real and promotes relationships built on truth and transparency. I can’t say how we can change the public’s opinion about PR, but I suppose it has to be done one ethical practice at a time.

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  35. Madeline Myslow

    I think Bill Gates’ perspective on PR is the exact right one – as we’ve seen from class, there are plenty of companies which have failed due to their lack of a skillful PR team, so we cannot write off the importance of public relations. Those who view public relations as a bad thing most likely do not realize how good PR can make or break a company and the issues the company faces. As long as a company is honest and genuine, all a PR team has to do is boost the positive message about the company. PR specialists are not lying to the public or spinning the truth, because if the company or product is bad, it will speak for itself, regardless of how great of a PR team it has. I don’t believe that enough people think of PR as a bad thing for me to have to come up with a way to change people’s minds, I just believe that as a PR major it is my job to ensure those who don’t know what public relations specialists that it is an honest and beneficial field.

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  36. Whitney Shepherd

    I think it is an interesting suggestion that the PR profession could use its own reputation campaign which I definitely do not think would hurt the professionals in that industry. However, I think there will always be critics of PR professionals from within the media world and outside of it. I think many who criticize us do not fully understand what it is the PR professionals do or tend to believe that we “spin” the truth and spout “alternative facts.” I think the best thing we can do for our profession is to continue to be honest and factual professionals that represent our organizations and clients to the best of our ability and not let stigmas and misunderstood facts shape the functionality of our profession.

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  37. Madison Wright

    Public relations is as vital as journalism and this is coming from a journalism major! The commentary that public relations professionals are spinsters is based off what the media shows like Kellyanne Conway. Her constant lies have damaged the reputation of PR people everywhere. I agree with Alvin Adams when he says that public relations is a key part of every day communications. Public Relations are important for all companies and people alike.

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  38. Dianne Fallucca

    Whenever I am asked to explain what public relations is, I will often say it is our job to define an organization or person’s image to an audience. It is our job to pique the interest of those who may not typically be intrigued and work to maintain the attention of those who have already latched on. That being said, I do not believe a good public relations person should push the wrongdoings of a client under the rug. I believe that we should always have a client acknowledge what he/she has done that others will view as distasteful while also working to highlight the good the person or organization has done.

    In terms of a redefining the public image of PR, I think it is important for people to understand what the world would be like without the help of public relations practitioners. Would they even know or understand some of the corporations, products or celebrities they support?

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  39. Courtney Grieco

    The closing statement of this post really left me thinking. PR professionals spend to much time trying to repair damaged reputations of others while we walk around with job titles that people have poor views on. As professionals in giving individuals reputation makeovers, the PR people today most likely have the tools they need in order to change society’s viewpoint on the world that is Public Relations.

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  40. Brittany Liscoe

    I think that in order to get people to understand that public relations is not the sneaky and manipulative profession they believe it is, they need to be aware of how often they themselves utilize PR. Everyone wants the world to see the best version of themselves. Even when we have a bad day or act out of character, we don’t want the public judging us because of our missteps. As a result, we feel the need to defend ourselves when we believe people are getting the wrong idea of us. I believe that if the people who judge PR professionals really considered how often they try especially hard to portray themselves in a certain light, they wouldn’t be so judgmental.

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  41. Brandi Hutchinson

    Before studying Public Relations, I always saw PR as a negative. I always saw it as someone/some organization trying to fix a bad image. But today we are surrounded by individuals and groups who constantly have a bad image and I think to myself, “Wow they have really bad PR representatives.”. However now after actually learning about PR, I see PR more so as a profession that wants to create, change, or keep an idea.

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  42. Ben Martin

    I can see both sides of this dilemma. On one hand, this profession is necessary and vital to the reputation of companies and individuals. But then there are those, alike KellyAnne Conway, who spin lies and alternative facts and completely validate the negative aspects some people concentrate on. What bothers me the most is that the corrupt few create such a negative image for the whole industry. I feel like the work we do is noble and very important, its really unfortunate people do not see the good work as often.

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  43. Emily Levine

    I think it’s interesting that traditionally PR has always had the bad reputation of spinning facts or just straight out lying to the public, and traditionally journalists have always been the ones upholding truth. But suddenly our current president and his administration seem adamant on convincing the public that now journalists are the ones lying and publishing fake news, and people like Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, as PR people are just giving “alternative facts.”

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  44. Alyssa Scott

    Often, when I tell people that I am majoring in Public Relations, I get criticized. “Alyssa, why don’t you just do journalism, it will be more useful…?” I even get “Your major is to lie to make people look good, right?” Most of the time I cringe when I hear these things, but I do try and get my friends and family to understand what Public Relations is and why it is so important today. PR definitely gets a fair share of poor public image. Although I do not believe that we need a reputation management campaign of our own. The public may view it as a waste of time, and it may make them even more upset. Instead, I believe that the profession should just continue to work on staying as pure as possible. Overtime people will begin to understand for themselves how critical and useful this profession is, especially in this digital age.

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  45. Samantha Storms

    In light of all the criticism surrounding the faulty facts and truth bending of high-up individuals such as Kellyanne Conway, it’s clear and, dare we say natural, for public relations professionals to carry the bulk of the backlash. I think it’s absolutely essential that the PR community forge on in performing its linguistic duty to the masses. It’s becoming more and more crucial that the relationship between PR professional and client remain a top priority, not for simple commercial desires but for allowing the spread of true goodwill.

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  46. Michael Mastropierro

    I think that the profession does need reputation management. Despite all of the positive statements made I feel like if the general public was polled about their perception of public relations if would lean more towards the negative. PR could use a reputation management campaign to help improve the public opinion. After that, I think people would trust what PR professionals are telling them more and not view them as “spinsters” anymore.

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  47. Elizabeth Giangarra

    When it comes to PR, I certainly agree that the field needs to work on its reputation management campaign. There are many people who still do not understand the meaning and importance of public relations, when it comes to campaign to both educate and persuade people to see the positive side of PR is absolutely necessary, especially during the current political climate. Something that could work would be a social media campaign from PR organization that promotes the positives of public relations.

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  48. Nicole Lamanna

    It’s hard to believe that PR professionals get so much flack even though they are an essential part to many people’s lives. Without PR professionals, many businesses would fail and many political campaigns would fall flat. I think before one criticizes the field of PR , he or she needs to take into account all of the good it does. Changing the public’s feelings about PR is never going to be easy, but I do think it’s possible. First and foremost though we need people who the public consider to be notable PR leaders, for example Kellyanne Conway, to be representatives of what embodies good PR.

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  49. Neil A. Carousso

    I never really heard these “stereotypes” about public relations professionals. I think PR practitioners should ignore the critics, because all people are criticized. It is incumbent on anyone to focus on doing his or her job(s) well, to the best of one’s ability, despite ill-informed opinions. One cannot make everyone happy.

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  50. Marli Delaney

    I believe that public relations practitioners have been misunderstood, but I also wouldn’t necessarily say that journalists are viewed so greatly, either. Public relations aim to bring positive relationships and even though there are some wicked people out there, journalists seem to be the ones who would tell the public about that (‘muckrakers’). However, there are journalists who also create fake news and who expose controversial issues for their own benefit just to start trouble, so I don’t know if I really agree with the statement “their [own] motives as pure while PR people work the “dark side.””

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  51. Daniela Gagliano

    Like almost anything else in this world, there’s a stigma that follows PR. It’s almost always easier to remember the examples that failed rather than the examples that lead and shed a positive light on the career. People have to remember that PR isn’t marketing and there’s a fuzzy line between the two categories. As a PR student when I hear public relations, some immediate buzzwords I think of are non-profit, PSA’s, repressing the best public image, etc. While there are some rotten eggs in the PR world, they don’t reflect the good and pure work of those striving to raise awareness of honest products, people or organizations.

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  52. Haylee Pollack

    I agree that PR as a field needs a reputation management campaign. Although there are people out there who do understand public relations, there are many that don’t and I think a campaign to both educate and persuade people to see the positive side of PR is absolutely necessary, especially during the current political climate. Something that could work would be a social media campaign from PRSA or another PR organization that promotes the positives of PR and gets them out there to publics that may currently be unaware of them. I know that before I started learning about PR, my perception was that PR practitioners were people who spin stories in their favor, which further goes to show why a campaign such as this is necessary.

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