Canadian Careers - Public Relations Articles
Misconceptions about Public Relations
By Maryse Cardin
PR is a buzzword right now. I recently read an article on how public relations is one of the hottest jobs at the moment. Several famous people have worked in the profession including Sophie Rhys Jones, the wife of Prince Andrew. Television shows like Absolutely Fabulous and Sex in the City's Samantha have portrayed public relations as a glamorous field of parties, where women have a glass of Crystal in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
These images have done nothing to help the public understand or respect the functions of public relations, or dispel the notion that it is a lightweight function of party planners. One senior women practitioner called it "the misconception that public relations is about blowing up balloons or at its worse lying and misguiding the public."
To make matters worse, there are many disparaging terms used to describe practitioners such as "spin doctor" or "flack".
This could not be further from the truth. Public relations is a function of management with practitioners invited to sit at the management table, and carries great influence over an organization's reputation. PR has the power to solve problems and to help make a business.
There is a need for PR for PR -- the need for practitioners to enlighten others as to the benefits that effective public relations can bring to any organization.
These benefits are numerous and can include raising awareness of an organization and its services or products, managing issues and crisis situations, improving employee retention and morale, increasing sales, and forging the relationship of an organization within the community.
||Maryse Cardin is the co-owner of Turtle & Hare Creative, an award winning boutique public relations agency. (www.turtleandharecreative.com) She has worked on campaigns in North America, South America, and Asia for a multitude of clients including News Corporation, the Hain Celestial Group, Toyota and the Nagano Olympic Committee. She teaches public relations at Langara College. Maryse is presently writing a book on women in public relations and the skills it takes to excel in the industry.