The October issue of California Progress Report has a retired soil scientist commenting on why “we abandon science in favor of PR”. Part of his commentary discusses the “shuck and jive being put out by these experts and their PR machine effort…it’s pretty hard to sell the truth when misinformation and distortion seem to sell so easily.” He even goes on to say that “a good PR message makes a normally sensible person take leave of their senses.”
I think his original message is to help his readers understand how ecoli has gotten into spinach and lettuce. He quotes an October 25, 2004 story from the Los Angeles Daily News about a reclamation making Orange County drought proof. But he gets wrapped up in how warped the PR is as a profession and how we’re ruining science because we pitch stories.
He even calls out a specific PR firm and what they did to help Monterey County “sell their program of using tertiary treated sewage”.
How do we fight back? How do we fight against destructive spin? How do become so ethical as an industry that people can’t help but sing our accolades? We once heard PR people are down there among the bottom feeders of IRS people and attorneys. We want to change the perception and we need your help!