Isn’t 100 years enough time for PR to grow up?

It is 115 years today since the birth of “the father of public relations”, Edward Bernays – acknowledged by Ron Schuler who provides a biog of the self-publicist on his blog.  Following October 3rd’s century since the first professional press release – one wonders why techniques that Bernays would have been proud of, and the ubiquitous press release are still the primary tools used by modern PR practitioners. 

Good to see via CIPR President Tony Bradley’s blog publication of a consultation paper for social media guidelines.  However if the majority of practitioners haven’t even realised that for many media the press release is viewed as spam or junk mail, can we hold out a lot of hope that they’ll leave Bernays-style tactics behind in this new world?

Update 1 – I couldn’t find the social media consultation paper on CIPR website so I’ve attached it here: Social Media Guidelines.

Update 2 – PR blogosphere is beginning to buzz over the CIPR social media code – whether it is necessary, too complex or if it reflects accurately some critical perspectives – see: Stuart Bruce, Richard Bailey and Paull Young in Australia

Update 3 – Simon Wakeman has published the CIPR’s text on Google Docs where he will air his thoughts and is asking for collaborative comments.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “Isn’t 100 years enough time for PR to grow up?”

  1. PR practitioners could become more adept at delivering short verbal synopsis down the telephone to people such as journalists.

  2. I just tried to read the social media paper on the blog. Do we have to go via the CIPR website itself to access it? Thank you

  3. Jill – see above as I’ve amended the post to include the pdf of the social media consultation paper from CIPR.

    I also agree that PR practitioners need to be as skilled in concise communications orally as well as in writing, and visually too.

  4. I’m delighted to see the CIPR taking this seriously, there are pitfalls too, of course, but as Tony points out, transparency is the key word here. Blogging doesn’t suit everyone either, some people may be too rigid in their approach and afraid of criticism. This has to be viewed constructively, it is an additional communications tool.

    I went to the excellent Blogging4Business conference last year, lots of PR people went and spoke about their fear of criticism. The next conference is next April, I have booked my place,
    http://www.retailevents.co.uk/b4b2007/

    I tagged you today Heather btw, if you have a moment to check it out.

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