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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    PR has no choice but to re-organise to see everything in the round. This is why quality content marketing (coupled with solid outreach - i.e. PR) wins. Earn the eyeballs by being the publisher rather than paying so many other publishers for those eyeballs.

    PR talks too much about what PR is rather than getting on with the glaringly obvious. A Jed rightly says, it's all across the board now.

    Wake up, PRs.

    There's a bigger issue here. As Social Media gives way to Social Business, who will be the champions of that?

    PR is still in a great position to take advantage of the change of the last decade but it needs to get to grips with one simple fact: money will bring it the respect.

    There needs to be a greater effort by PR to show the financial benefits it brings in - from internal comms to social media to traditional PR - as well as the creativity that stimulates the financial income. Otherwise it won't be treated seriously. If, as an industry, we control and generate the financial figures then no one can argue with the role or influence it brings to each business.

    A great addition to the discussion. To pick up on one aspect. You're quite right my post doesn't pick up on why public relations is different.

    You also say that "I am very uncomfortable with 'reputation management' as, unless this comes from action, all that PR is offering is spin and distortion."

    I agree with your comments about action and spin, but I'm still more than comfortable with the term 'reputation management' as for me that's at the heart of what we should do.

    It's worth reminding ourselves of the CIPR's definition of public relations:

    "Public relations is about reputation - the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you."

    It says PR is about reputation, but then crucially it says "the result of what you do". The problem we've got ourselves into as a profession is that too much of actual PR practice is focused on the "what you say".

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