PR should receive praise when it is due

It is interesting to see FT.com columnist, Michael Skapinker being dismissive of PR practitioners in his piece You can handle the web without an adviser – yet when he claims Scientists must learn to talk to the media, he supports the work of the Science Media Centre.  Of course, he fails to clarify that this independent venture, as a “press office for science”, is a public relations operation. 

This is one of the many challenges for the profession of PR.  When issues that are not our responsibility, but result from poor operational management, the media labels them as a PR disaster.  Or they pejoratively call corporate citizenship initiatives “PR exercises”.

Yet, the media remain silent when it comes to clarifying that PR does help organisations and their publics.  Could it be that journalists know they could not do their jobs without the support of PR professionals – and this belies the myth of the investigative, independent journalist?

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

3 thoughts on “PR should receive praise when it is due”

  1. One wonders if there is a case for a blog that ‘outs’ journalist’s double speak. It would be a very busy one and would be such fun. I guess there would be at least one new entry per week. My contribution from last week is Rick Broadbent in the Times last week commenting whether Christine Ohuruogu should “play the public relations game”. One wonders what sort of game he might mean.

  2. David,

    That would be fun – I’d like to contrast with references to journalism as a noble profession. Neither stereotype – PR = all bad, journalism = all good stands up to scrutiny and needs to be challenged.

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