Much is made of a conflict between journalism and public relations. Some research suggests PR pros now outnumber media types by a 3:1 ratio. The relationship between the two groups can be stereotyped using this gem of American musicals.
A well-written and researched feature in the the Columbia Journalism Review paints a picture of puppet-master PR reps planting stories and misleading the American people since the start of World War I. Indeed, public relations as a profession was likely born out of the First World War and the government’s desire to drum up support among the public.
Fast forward to current day and it’s hard to ignore instances of people with little ethical standards distorting facts and preying on media short on staff and resources. To label them as public relations professionals, however, is a punch to the gut of the majority of PR pros who practice their discipline with integrity.
To boot, the PR discipline has grown to entail so much more than media relations. We at Crossroads wear a number of hats covering everything from project management to content creation to integrated marketing campaigns. Hell, I’ve even donned a honey bear costume and danced to the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” in the name of client service.
It all goes to show PR has evolved quite a bit from the days of press officers and war propaganda. Media relations is still a key element of what we do, but at the core we are communicators and relationship builders with a variety of stakeholders be they media outlets, consumers or fans of honey.
*A version of this post originally appeared on Daniel’s blog Confidence Shaken (not stirred)
*Image credit: Arthur Giron