RTRViews – Respect for Public Relations?

Burson Bust
Burson Bust (Photo credit: Bart Heird)

Timely need for a POV like this one from Rick. Reputation, reputation oh….?

I’m sharing some of the items I’ve been reading while wondering if those of us in public relations are ever really going to do the things necessary to get the respect most people in this business deserve.

I’ve said that I don’t think we need a new definition of what we do, but you should check out what Harold Burson, co-founder of Burson Marstellar had to say a year before the new definition was revealed and just after:

Public Relations Defined – Harold Burson’s Blog 4/20/2011

A “Modern’ Definition of Public Relations? Why? – Harold Burson’s Blog 3/5/2012

I also think that Paul Holmes of the Holmes Report makes quite a bit of sense in this essay.

What Is A Public Relations Consultancy?

One of the big points both Burson and Holmes are making is that we’ve gotten too caught up in our push to publish a story at the expense of being consultants and business advisors to the organizations we work for. Telling the story is only part of what public relations needs to become again.

Jack Martin, global chairman and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies makes that point in his Fifth Seat Philosophy that the Holmes Report quoted in this article:

 “When faced with significant strategic decisions, companies traditionally turn to four advisors: legal counsel, investment bankers, management consultants and forensic accountants,” the firm’s website explained. “Each is trusted to review their area of expertise, but none factor public trust into their final analysis. We fill a Fifth Seat in your boardroom, helping transform your corporate reputation into competitive advantage.”

All of these are making me think about what we should be doing differently. Sure, we’ve got people in this business who don’t live up to high standards, but what profession doesn’t? Step up and throw the first stone if you think you work in one that doesn’t make mistakes… Most of us, however, work very hard at doing the job right. But we need to work on our industry’s reputation.

Before I post more of my ideas, what do you think?

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Author: Dean Crutchfield

In an award-winning career spanning two decades, Dean Crutchfield has created, built and re-invigorated some of the world's most iconic brands.

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