It’s been everything I can do not to comment on Scott McClellan’s book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.” 

It’s been everything I can do not to comment on legal analyst, Andrew Cohen (yes, an attorney), when he went on CBS and said, “Show me a PR person who is “accurate” and “truthful,” and I’ll show you a PR person who is unemployed.”

But rather than comment on either (until I’ve had the chance to read the book), I am commenting on ethics in PR.  Like Matt Kucharski, I think a profession that was built around creating and sustaining positive reputations would have fewer ethical dilemmas or critics, such as attorneys.  Turns out, our profession is in the same league as personal injury attorneys, corporate raiders, and politicians.

This article by PRNews is based on surveys with members of the PRSA Counselors Academy, and points to some fairly interesting divergence in opinions on the role and importance of ethics in the field.

Personally, I take great affront to this survey, and to the comparison to ambulance chasers.  If a client were to ask us to “spin” a story or leave certain facts out in order to get better coverage, we’d resign that business immediately.  But then, I guess without unethical people in our profession (thanks Scott McClellan!), we wouldn’t have this blog, would we?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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