Arment Dietrich

Is There Anyone Reading Who…

By: Arment Dietrich | December 12, 2007 | 

1. Thinks, as PR people, we are flacks?

2. Thinks it’s our job to be biased and provide only select information to reporters about our client’s products or services?

3. Thinks it’s our job to provide the best information with the most transparency?

4. Thinks it’s okay to be called “spin doctors”?

5. Isn’t embarrassed by the recent articles from Wired and the New York Times about our profession?

6. Thinks it’s ridiculous that even though Wiki acknowledges PR professionals can provide the most accurate information about clients, products, and services, won’t let us post to their Web site?

7. Would be willing to walk away from money if it meant you didn’t agree your client’s product or service really was the best out out there?

8. Wants to do something about the perception? 

9. Is willing to advocate for PR professionals?

10. Wants to join in on doing PR for the PR profession?

  • Angela Loiacono

    I’m so happy to see we can begin having this conversation and dismiss some of the off-base comments and perceptions that have been thoughtlessly thrown at the PR profession. We, as PR professionals, have an opportunity here. We have the chance to push back on the negativity and incorrect discussions about the industry that have been thrust into the media spotlight.

    I wholly agree with Gini, and I am embarrassed about both the Wired and New York Times articles. As business people, as PR professionals, and as respectable staff in a large industry, we need to start the process of rebuilding our name.

  • Cory

    The general snarkiness towards PR professionals can be attributed to what I call “The Real Estate Agent” effect. People tend to think we are nothing but flacks until we do a great job and bring their business the visibility and results they want. Just like people have a low opinion of real estate agents until they find them the perfect house in the perfect area. If anything this should make us more determined to do the best job possible. Public relations in general is an industry where you receive little attention about the positive you have done until there is a hiccup. No one cares how many millions of dollars worth of visibility you brought your non-profit clients if you send one email to one wrong person, or have to do crisis control for a client the public may not like. I also find it ironic the WIRED editor’s acknowledges his magazine sends out unsolicited emails…kettle meet pot. I wonder what would happen if all of WIRED’s in-house and retained PR people decided to say take a month off, say when WIRED was trying to launch their magazine’s favorite things issue? How many ad dollars would be lost when advertisers get wind?

  • I am very embarrassed to be included in a profession that is nicknamed “flacks or spin doctors”. As a young PR professional I have been educated in my early learning’s on how to use the media and reporters in a proper professional way in order to not be associated with the word “flack”. Recently I have read several articles where reporters are calling PR professionals out on how they go about their everyday business. We as PR professionals need to smash the word flack and move on to the correct way of business and it starts by producing the facts, no spin!

  • I agree, the reason you get into any line of work is so you can do something you can be proud of. When our industry is looked at as ‘flacks’ and ‘spin doctors’ it takes away some of the credibility of everyone apart of it.

  • Damata

    Spin doctors don’t last long in this profession because they cannot build relationships!!!

  • I believe it is the job of a PR professional to provide transparent information to media outlets, as it benefits clients more so than information subject to spin. By using transparent information, you invite the reporter to research further, expanding the story and improving the piece delivered to the audience. By spinning, you only alow for one angle of the story, creating a disservice for your clients.