Two interesting articles have been published in respected media in the past few weeks, both of which highlight the value of good and properly planned public relations.
The Economist (December 16, 2010) article “Rise of the image men” tells the story of PR through time. It reminds us that spin and image-making have been around for as long as history has been recorded. “The earliest historians were often the PR men for the winners of battles and dynastic squabbles. In 18th-century London, the political spin-doctor was already at work, in the form of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, who conducted a ruthless publicity campaign on behalf of the Whig leader, Charles James Fox, in between posing for Gainsborough and Reynolds.
“But only since the early 20th century, and Lee’s campaigns for the coal and rail bosses, has there been a recognisable PR industry dedicated to shaping the representation of clients in the media.” Definitely worth a read if you are interested in communications or involved in the PR industry.
In the Wall Street Journal (December 29, 2010) Suzanne Vranica writes and interesting article “Public Relations Learned the Hard Way”. She points out that amid harsher government scrutiny and lingering public mistrust of business, 2010 saw more than its fair share of corporate crises.
“Some of the biggest stemmed from unexpected events, such as Toyota Motor Corp’s safety problems and BP PLC’s oil spill. But crisis-management experts say some companies compounded their woes by botching the initial public-relations response.”
For those of us who provide professional advice on crisis preparedness, 2011 should be an interesting and busy year.