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Arment Dietrich

Tough to Spot Good PR When You See It

By: Arment Dietrich | January 15, 2008 | 
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Blog written by Josh Culver

Since recently starting in the PR industry, I’ve been surprised at the amount of defense that is needed for the industry. Granted, every line of work has its critics, but I was bewildered with the amount of criticism toward an industry that is believed to have been started before the 20th Century.

Yet, PR is hard to recognize when it’s done well without being ‘spin’. The best PR I can think of some would argue that it was simply leadership. I’m talking about the job done by ex-New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani after the tragedy of 9/11. The appearance of Giuliani then has turned into one of the lasting memories of those events. He was viewed as a pillar of strength for not only the city of New York, but the nation as well. Although some people think of President Bush and his role during those hard times, for most Giuliani is in the forefront when remembering those events.

I’ve heard the arguments before that Giuliani was just a good leader and PR had nothing to do with it. But when the nation was trying to move past the mourning that September, and trying to return to normalcy, it was Giuliani’s appearance on Saturday Night Live just five days after the attacks that helped kick start the healing process. His opening spot on the weekend staple helped Americans realize that it was okay to laugh again.

In the months to follow, the Mayor was constantly in the public eye, not only in New York, but nationally. His usual appearances were coupled with constant camera shots of him at the World Series when the Yankees advanced to the fall classic. He was viewed as the anchor nationally, as the shining example of how every New Yorker and American should act. So much so that now he’s even attempting a presidential bid from all of the positive publicity during his tenure during that time.

As natural as all of the leadership seemed, there was a ton of work done to help publicly construct that image.

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