Thursday February 3, 2011
The UK government's director of communications has been a hot topic recently. Firstly when Andy Coulson resigned, then all the speculation about who would take over, then the appointment of a senior BBC journalist to the role.
I have been fascinated by the way that PR is being discussed - it seemed to be taken for granted that the new post holder would be an ex-journalist and possible from a 'red top' (although of course this wasn't the case in the end). But why? Aren't PR and journalism two totally different occupations/professions?
The BBC story announcing the new appointment states that Craig Oliver will have to 'sell' David Cameron. Is that what everyone still thinks PR is ? About sales? Or perhaps I am looking at PR through rose coloured glasses and that actually is all its about.....tell me I'm wrong please!
And then this week we had Paul Lewis from BBC Radio 4 Money Box (which we all love) Tweeting that it was a sorry day when a journalist crossed to the other side with the implication that to do so they had to give up an interest in the truth - uh? That maybe one perspective on PR and we all know there are PR folk out there who are no stranger to the odd fib, but surely PR has moved on? Its time people realised that a lot of PR work is about understanding, ethics, employee engagement etc etc.