Some people may imagine that public relations practitioners are just people who spin beautiful tales. Public relations is never that, and has always been about the long haul.
Recently, someone made a personal mistake that raised not just eyebrows, but tempers all around. Instead of baring his heart and admitting his mistakes, he took an unusual path by subcontracting others with the hope to undo his errors with the packaging of words. Unfortunately, the outcome was probably not what he hoped for.
We frequently have conversations with people. Some people have been misinformed about what public relations is, thinking that we are just people who socialize, or worse, people who spin beautiful stories that can range from exaggeration to lies. We correct these twisted opinions one at a time, and it can be tiresome. Fortunately, we are holistic communicators who walk on both marketing communication and human capital development, and when we are faced with someone who goes into a mental loop, we can just shrug it off and just say we are marketing consultants, or training consultants.
The bottom-line is that public relations is not spin. Spin is propaganda, especially in a political sense. Public relations is not merely media relations either. Public relations goes a great deal further, to communicate the holistic entity to all the stakeholders, whether it be the media (broadcast, print, online), institutions, commercial entities (suppliers and corporate customers), and individuals (external and internal). For example, when a corporation desires to be prepared for any possible crisis, a pre-crisis communication program can be designed and implemented by a public relations team, to be meticulously articulated to the entire corporation.
The spirit of good public relations is to communicate holistically, to all possible stakeholders, not just to smooth over an image of an entity, but to communicate all the available facts so that stakeholders can form as complete a picture they can about this entity. It is also about communicating with heart, such that stakeholders are given respectful communication that values every stakeholder, and not skewed towards one or the other.
Public relations is hard work, at least good public relations is. It is not something imaginative writers create for the sake of “sounding good”. Public relations takes great preparation beforehand. Public relations takes great efforts every day over the long haul. Public relations has serious accountability and responsibility for all stakeholders. It is a serious platform that many who stand on such a platform, steadfastly and passionately holding up the flags with honor and integrity. Public relations is not something we take lightly or frivolously.
Seamus Phan has 32 years of professional experience. He is a professional speaker, marketing and branding consultant, book author, technologist, scientist, artist, and aviation enthusiast. Some articles are reproduced at McGallen & Bolden, where he is CTO and Head of Content. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018. All rights reserved.