PR in 2017: Doing the right thing, because it’s the right thing

By Brooke Kenyon

Gazing into the future at the CIPR Channel Islands Forum: PR 2022 last month I was reassured that, whilst many elements of the PR role are susceptible to radical change over the coming decades – with reliance on AI and ever changing media industry – some key qualities a PR professional will need won’t change:

Be a storyteller, be brave, have integrity

I looked back across the takeaways I chose to share on social media, and the most popular was a sentiment from Tara Cunningham who addressed the conference on the topic of ‘PR as a management function’.

Ethics is a topic which quickly pricks up the ears of many; in fact October (yes… it is October already!) sees the CIPR host its annual #ethicsfest and in the wake of the Bell Pottinger crisis unfortunately, yes, it is still necessary to remind many that the vast majority of PR practitioners do plan their activity with ethics at the heart.

Tara’s message about how we should be doing PR for generations to come was loud and clear; yes public relations holds power and often moves behind the visible scene by working with, and for, influencers – but all of this can and should be done ethically.

To my mind the key to ethics is truly understanding the business you are working with, and the key to that knowledge is asking questions.   In agency life, where we work across a variety of industries we rely on our clients – the subject matter experts – to guide us. Campaign success we all know is intrinsically linked to this two-way relationship.

PR professionals must be allowed and encouraged to ask questions of these experts and, no matter how well we know the business, to keep asking them.  To do a PR job well, to advise about strategy, its consequences and the impact of business decisions, we need first and foremost to understand it.

So, ask questions to ensure you understand well the businesses you work with, this will allow you to keep asking the right questions to inform a successful and ethical PR strategy.

PR in 2022:

Still doing the right thing, because it’s the right thing

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