Royal Pains

TheSpanish Royal Family (2013)

TheSpanish Royal Family (2013).

As PR practitioners, we like to think of ourselves as highly evolved, open-minded people who always listen to our audiences and respond to their feedback to make sure that they’re kept happy.  In other words, we think we practice what Grunig calls two-way symmetrical public relations. But in truth, there are still many current examples that prove that the public information model – the one that just tries to push information to the media, not responding to any kind of feedback from the public- is still used on a regular basis.

All you have to do in order to appreciate this is pick up a copy of Hello! Magazine and read up on what’s happening with our European royals, in particular with the Spanish monarchy. In case you haven’t been keeping up with some of their latest news, let me bring you up to speed on how they’re doing. Continue reading

This is war!

WWII Propaganda poster.

WWII Propaganda poster.

OK, that’s it. Portraying PR people as evil spin doctors full of cruel intentions is getting really old. Last week, I attended the latest in a series of debates about PR, this one titled “Modern wars are spun and not won. What warring parties say is more important than what they do”.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a great debate (there was even some pen-throwing involved!), but the fact that the profession is still seen by many as being twisted and murky is infuriating. It would be great if PR practitioners were all-powerful influencers, but in most cases that’s just not so. Continue reading

Debate about ethical PR. Leave your boxing gloves at home, please!

Is there such a thing as ethical PR?

Is there such a thing as ethical PR?

I recently took part in a debate titled “The Only way to practice ethical PR is to work for the not for profit sector. Everything else is just corporate, political or consumer propaganda”. No doubt about it: this is quite a radical statement. As luck would have it, two colleagues and I wound up defending it…reluctantly, I might add. No self-respecting PR practitioner would agree with such a thing. Or would they?

Please note that we started off by having a show of hands which quickly showed none of the attendees were on our side and that we actually managed to come up with some pretty convincing arguments. Would we manage to convince anyone to support us?  Continue reading