Some “Truths” About Public Relations
I often find myself talking about ethics and transparency with young practitioners and with potential clients. Some people, I think, regard such discussions as quaint or even a joke. To me, these are things that set public relations practitioners apart and are necessary to our task of looking out for the long-term reputation of an organization.
Jeff Domansky, APR, publishes a blog called the PR Coach. His column, called “10 PR Truths: How Do You Measure Up”” is aimed at practitioners. But whoever is communicating on behalf of his or her organization should look at these points.
Jeff’s blog post can be seen in its original format at http://www.theprcoach.com/ten-pr-truths-how-do-you-measure-up/ or you can read it below:
Glenn Ferrell wrote a really thoughtful post about the PR profession- Seven Ways to Change the Perception of PR. It got me thinking about truth and truths in PR or any business.
Here’s the reality of public relations. Our profession is constantly under pressure for results. We get slammed by critics from the media, activists and interest groups not to mention consumers and the general public for spinning or even worse, not always telling the truth.
We operate in real time whether it’s crafting a strategy, launching a product, managing a crisis, pitching the media, communicating to employees or responding to customers. When you add social media into the mix, you can go from hero to zero in moments unless you operate with clear fundamentals.
The most successful public relations pros I know get results with integrity and grace despite this challenging environment. I thought about what makes them so successful and came up with 10 PR truths they embrace:
- Truth – telling the truth is the foundation for their reputation. Everywhere.
- Transparency – disclosure is not an option. It’s a standard.
- Trust – they create trust with many, as well as trust others to do their best.
- Tell it like it is – the fact is, they deal in facts.
- Timeliness – operate with a sense of urgency.
- Take action – they lead, they act and they make things happen.
- Tell stories – they tell stories that mean something, that resonate and stand out from the crowd.
- Take responsibility – they usually share success and take ownership of problems.
- Tend to the details – sweating the small stuff is a habit.
- Trust your instincts – this is the art of PR. Great instincts come from good experience.
Here are a few favorite quotes about truth worth remembering:
It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Half a truth is often a great lie.
The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.
Not one of the successful leaders and mentors I know lack any of these 10 important fundamentals. Think about your own PR practices. How do you measure up? The truth is, if you follow these PR truths, you can’t fail! And they would go a long way towards restoring positive perceptions of our profession.
It’s not just the truth, it’s the truths that make the difference.
# # #
What do you think of Jeff’s column? Is it fair to expect your communications representatives to meet these standards?