Mediations: Philip Young

  • Mediations comments on public relations theory and practice, with an emphasis on social media and communication ethics. Philip Young is project leader for NEMO: New Media, Modern Democracy at Campus Helsingborg, Lund University, Sweden. All views expressed here are personal and should not be seen as representing Lund University or any other organisation.

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    Without giving too much thought to your last question.... I am interested in the idea of 'rumours' in PR. While the word may have slightly negative conotations wouldn't it fit with our move towards word-of-mouth messages? What else is word-of-mouth if not rumour? And what's the deal with memes? Aren't they engendered by rumour? While the word may strike fear into certain types of PROs, aren't rumours just the verbal equivilent of aggregated messages in the blogosphere?

    From a branding perspective, I would vote for as great a similarity to the original message as possible—rumours, while they can spread fast, can damage a brand. It is not only a journalist’s duty to ensure that accuracy; it is a PR agency’s duty to provide sufficient information. Better an accurate message carried to fewer than an inaccurate one with false drama carried to more. Life is already filled enough with false dramas.

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