June 23, 2008

Flack, Hack and Talking Smack

Posted in A walk on the "dark side", Spin tagged , at 3:16 pm by R

Yes, yes, the title of this Public Relations-based blog does include the term “flack.” As addressed in the inaugural post, it’s meant to be a play on words, not embracing the nature of this somewhat abrasive PR slang.

Gil Schwartz (more commonly known by his pen name Stanley Bing) addressed this topic eloquently in his opinion piece on CBS Sunday Morning (Mom, thanks for the call. I would never watch this show if it weren’t for you tipping me off to segments of interest). Schwartz submitted a rebuttal to CBS reporter and legal analyst Andrew Choen’s sharp criticism of the Public Relations industry following the debut of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s book.

Cohen says:

Show me a PR person who is accurate and truthful and I’ll show you a PR person who is unemployed.

Well color me offended! I’m accurate and honest AND I have a job…so there!

Schwartz, who is also CBS’ Executive Vice President for Communications, agrees with me. And he does an excellent job of telling Mr. Cohen why he is quite wrong and telling viewers why public relations is, indeed, vital to the news they rely on.

Schwartz says:

PR people aren’t even on the list (of Top Five Professions Rife with Liars). Because in general, we only lie when we are lied to by our clients.

It takes truth and accuracy from all parties involved to create outstanding public relations efforts, to build impeccable brands and to produce brilliant journalism. When one piece of this triangle of relationships doesn’t up hold those principles…well the whole thing goes to bits.

And as scathing as Cohen’s remarks were, I think Mr. Schwartz quite shut down the flimsy argument with the fine art of his profession. The finest point of which is this:

PR and journalism are two sides of the same profession. So play nice, huh!

Amen Mr. Schwartz. Amen.



1 Comment »

  1. Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links?

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