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The PR Make-Up

PR professionals are quickly joining lawyers and politicians in a hated stereotype, where PR pro becomes synonymous with “enemy”. Dubbed as liars and embellishers of the truth, do PR professionals really deserve the critique that we often receive?

Since the purpose of public relations is to receive positive media coverage, it stands to reason that PR pro’s convey favorable images of a company, person, product or service. We do not lie about the unsavory; we focus on the positive.

Applying cosmetics to enhance beauty, selling oneself in a winning resume; aren’t we all guilty of embellishment?

The PR make-up therefore, is not deceitful concealment as many would accuse, but a common practice both industry and nationwide. Whatever your profession, whatever your company designs, manufacturers, markets or sells, in any prospecting meeting, you are undoubtedly going to focus on your positive experiences and will choose not to mention the failures and problems you may have encountered.

Furthermore, applying the “PR make-up” is becoming a necessity as we face an increasingly unforgiving media. How many times have we heard, “I didn’t say that!”? Too many times, I’m afraid. We have all represented clients who were ‘misquoted” by the media, usually due to a momentary lapse of concentration and the subsequent disclosure of what could be misconstrued as juicy information.

Coaching clients in media relations is an absolute necessity. Just as actors apply their make-up before going on stage, corporate executives and spokespeople must apply their PR make-up to hide the blemishes and avoid those awkward cases of misquotation.

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