I probably speak for a number of public relations practitioners who are tired of hearing the term “spin”.
Bill O’Reilly on Fox News has his “No Spin Zone”. Following debates politicians have their “Spin Rooms”. TV commentators are starting to call PR professionals “Spin Doctors”.
Even a few clients have picked-up on it. Though it’s just business as usual, and there is absolutely no intent to deceive in anything they do, they have added the word to their own jargon. I’ve had a few say,”Well we need to spin this so…” or “I guess the spin on this is…”
Sorry folks. Experienced, solid and knowledgeable PR pros don’t “spin” anything.
Yes our job is to influence opinion and ensure a client’s voice is heard. But that doesn’t include lying to the media, over-stating and exaggerating facts or creating a scheme so outrageous it’s bound to attract attention.
Unfortunately people see the Hollywood types such as Britney Spears running around without her undergarments or Lindsay Lohan in a drunken stupor all over the TV news and the Internet. Then they hear some PR person issue a statement about how their client is sorry and will enter some kind of rehab program.
Then it’s all debated all over the TV talk shows with some “PR Guru” about how do you “spin this” and how will the starlet rebuild their career after their latest debacle.
Holding the hands of these Tinsel Town types, and trying to cover up their misdeeds may pay well, but it isn’t what public relations is all about.
Most of the public relations pros I know are educated and schooled in the industry. They are thorough in their approach and set a good example for others in the field.
They create a well thought out plan coherent with a company’s, organization’s or even individual’s business objectives. It includes a solid strategy and various tactics of accomplishing those goals.
I am sure many of the Hollywood PR types have strategies for these stars. Too bad most of it can get lost in the shuffle when the big news of the day is your client’s divorce, auto accident or plastic surgery.
Professional public relations, as I know it, doesn’t involve “cooking the books”, covering-up a disaster or leading the media astray. PR does provide information that may be necessary, if not crucial, for those interested in your client and the client’s product.
What public relations professionals do is to provide a sound strategy that works hand-in-hand in a way that benefits the client, the media and the consumer. It’s PR done right. Now go ahead and try spinning that.