If you’re not proud of working in public relations it’s probably time to find something else to do.
There’s a sport in public relations to publicly undermine what we do.
Don’t get me wrong, reflection is a positive means of learning, and is something that I practice myself, but self flagellation in industry media helps no one.
An article in PRWeek posed the question why do ad agencies win more awards than PR agencies at Cannes.
“Our work is not as bold, strategic or well crafted as ad agencies,” lamented the headline.
Creatives from across the public relations industry waded in citing issues of bravery, budgets and silos. These are bullshit excuses.
None of the respondents suggested that ad agencies win because Cannes is an ad industry event, and ad agencies submit more entries.
Here’s a suggestion: how about measuring the success of your work based on the business outcomes that you deliver instead of ad industry gongs?
There’s a related conversation at the sharp end of reputation management in our business. Apologists suggest that management consultancies are eating our lunch.
It’s an issue of qualifications, skills and ultimately confidence. Management consultants have the ear of the board because they speak its language.
They measure their performance based on the outcome they deliver to the business, and charge accordingly.
They typically have a professional qualification in finance or law, and are accredited by a professional association.
It’s the reason that he CIPR has been pushing its professionalism agenda so hard in recent years.
“Strategic public relations advisers are encroaching on management territory and we need to maximise that opportunity and scale fast,” said Sarah Hall, President, CIPR.
“Becoming a Chartered practitioner to demonstrate strategic, ethical and leadership credentials is the best and quickest way to do this.”
If you’re not able to speak up for your profession, maybe it’s time to find something else to do.