from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.

7.18.2005

pr catch-22

good pr pro's wince a bit at the term 'spin'. and with good reason. public relations sometimes walks a thin line between truth and (at best) sins of omission. good pr is talking up the benefits of brain surgery in every feasible news outlet and in a way that the masses can digest, without omitting all of the potential downsides. good (ethical) pr isn't armstrong williams posing as an objective media source touting 'no child left behind', when he's being paid by the folks he promoting. but, it can include hiring a pr firm to write and place articles that applaud EPA research under a by line that clearly identifies the EPA as the source. (see today's ny times article)

using a pr agency is a little like hiring a plumber to fix your drain - you might be able to fumble through it yourself and get the job done decently, but hiring someone with the right training and experience makes it more likely you'll get a better, quicker fix. so the government is hiring pr agencies ... someone needs to help us decode the bureaucracy, and if some hired communication hands will help, right on. the concern is whether an outside firm will be given sufficient access to people and information to allow them to present an accurate story. and, will an uptick in good publicity that a pr firm might generate go unchecked by the media? that's the rub.

over-the-counter video news reports are an excellent way to get your story on the local evening news. but, this may not be the most honest approach to talking about government activities. there's nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get some good publicity. but, in a world where we are already constantly provoked to question the ethics, objectivity and gumption of the press to dig beyond what they're handed on a silver platter, i guess it's hard to stomach the idea of the government paying for more propaganda.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dirty Pop said...

huh?

7/19/2005 10:11:00 AM

 
Blogger Amanda said...

i'm glad i'm not the only one who didn't follow. you sure are a smarty, ms. betsypants.

7/20/2005 03:41:00 PM

 

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