PR professionals are failing our most vulnerable communities because we are afraid to stand by our beliefs and demand our place at the top table. Too often we are too distant from the results of our actions and we forget the human dimension of what we do. As a south Leeds councillor the aftermath of the bombings reminded me that the work of public relations professionals can have a massive personal impact on the daily lives of individuals.
We’ve probably all had occasions where media coverage isn’t as positive or accurate as we’d hoped and planned. We look at what it means to the reputation of our organisations. But how often do we think about what it means out there in the community? What happens when the misspoken quote becomes the hot topic of conversation in the local shops, pubs and clubs? What about when Mums and Dads talk about it at the school gate? What do we do when the extremist groups such as the BNP and Combat 18 take our work and use it for their own ends?
Public relations people are often held in low regard, even by colleagues within the same organisation. But our work is important. We are failing people if we don’t demand our seat at the top table and ensure that our professional advice is heeded just as much as we listen to doctors, police officers and lawyers. We have the power to change people’s daily lives and rebuild hope in our communities.
The event took place Thursday 8 December 2005.
It is inspirational that British PR pros feel that they need to express in some way about the bombings and how PR could help to make thinks a little bit better.
A percentage of profits raised from this event will be donated to the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Trust and to families of victims of the London bombings.
(Disclaimer: I am CIPR member).
Tags: PR, RRPP, Public Relations, Relaciones Públicas.