Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stop the Spin...

One of the things that the start-up focuses on is establishing a higher level of honest, ethical communications in public relations. In a similar vein, the PRSA’s annual conference this past November featured an interesting opening speech. TV talk show host Tavis Smiley gave an impassioned plea for PR pros to “stop the spinning.”

In his speech, Smiley had several poignant comments:

• “The American people are sick and tired of being spun.”
• “PR has gotten a bad name as a profession. It’s been sullied, demonized, and devalued and it’s time to stop the spin.”
• PR pros need to be reminded of their real mission, he said, which is “relate to the public.”

It’s true. The problem with PR people is PR people. Working in this profession for 10 years (after a four-year stint reporting) has taught me not to judge PR people by what they say, instead, judge them by their actions.

Similarly, reporters are skeptical of spin, and the public has become skeptical of reporting influenced by spin. That’s why PR entities that communicate with the public need to position their information with hard-nosed facts. Public perception is intolerant of false spin, and this often reverses itself into a really bad brand reputation. A PR person’s job is to be a conduit between a company and the public, and to present factual information that would be useful to the public in a manner that’s also beneficial to the company.

Certainly the spin problem presents problems internally within a company, too. When dealing with PR and marketing people, my decisions are based off of their actual actions because if they’re sheisters and spinners, their comments are what they think you want to hear. This was a primary reason for starting my own company.

When I tell a client or an employee that I am going to do something, I do it. And if circumstance arise that change my direction, I communicate why instead of leaving them in the dark. That’s called being of service to people and treating them with dignity. That way they have the facts so they can make they’re own educated decisions. Dishonest “spin” has no place in human relations.

On the biz front, pretty much wrapped up with 2006 work, about 10-15 hours left for the big launch which will culminate during New Year’s. Eight hits so far on this front, including Fox-5 and the Arizona Republic. Also have an ad campaign and some design work to wrap up. That being said, it will be a busy week. Lots of 2007 meetings this week, which kind of surprised me. But hey, I’m not complaining. Business is good.

Next week is a vacation on the west coast, and I'm very excited. It's time to rest.

Monday's quotes:

“Rest: the sweet sauce of labor”

"Resting becomes a discipline in itself."
-Placido Domingo

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time”
-John Lubbock


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