PR Professionalisation

Mouth full that one hey? 🙂

Over the last few years that public relations has become more and more apparent to us ‘regular’ folk, it can be said that the form of practice has seen a rise in the discussion of professionalisation. Is PR a professional practice? Is the way that practitioners carry out methods professional?

So what are the problems facing PR practitioners? Firstly the fact that there is almost a constant battle with journalism professionals in regards to the source of news and whether it holds good news values in order to be published. Secondly the fact that PR ‘professionals’ have been caught up in modern governmental issues has done little to contribute toward a good name for the practice.

Firstly I’m pretty sure most people know of Max Clifford and his involvement with celebrity news. He is the celebrity ‘fixer’ if you like and deals with getting people involved in news across all different platforms. His aim is to drum up enough popularity with these stories for the celebrities that he serves and to be fair to him he is very good at his job. People have argued that this kind of involvement by a PR practitioner is detrimental to the name of PR as a practice. I can see where they are coming from but surely if there are people willing to pay someone to do the job of placing them in the news then why not take their money and make some headlines?

It’s no different the higher you go. I’m sure everybody can remember the Alistair Campbell ‘spin doctor’ news stories that turned up whilst Mr Blair was in charge of the country. It did nothing for the practice with so called’ professionals’ getting embroiled with such issues. If the PR network was hoping to break away from any perceived stereo-type then they were dealt a massive blow with these stories.

In order to move on I feel that the public relations professional must ensure that any problems arising through legal disputes or such are dealt with quietly and swiftly. They must also try to ensure a touch of clarity in their decision-making when dealing with high-profile cultural icons, such as prime ministers. A sense of transparency in their dealings would also help to improve any flailing judgments made against them and the practice as a whole.

Public relations can be carried out very well if the individuals involved are good at communication. It’s when these lines of converse are crossed or even slightly blurred that the perceived audience tend to become somewhat disillusioned with their goals.

Peace and love people,

Captain Squirrel

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